Whether it is planned or unexpected I love to host people in my home, particularly if people need a place to stay for the night or a couple of days. Dave and I decided early on that we wanted to have the kind of home where we would always have a bed for someone if they needed it. Over the years we have enjoyed friends crashing for the night, family staying for a couple days, students who lived with us for a few months and strangers we’ve never met. Yes, I said we let strangers stay in our home.
Working for InterVarsity is like being connected to a big global family- there are more IFES (the parent movement of InterVarsity) movements around the globe than there are nations in the U.N! Occasionally we have people contact us and ask for favors like picking international students up from the airport, seeing if there is a place to stay for students doing internships or hosting someone on their way through town.
A few years ago we had a request for a favor like this and had a student named Uche from Uganda stay with us for two weeks. Yes, we went through the fears and conversations of “what if this stranger is a psycho and murders us in the night.” Ultimately we decided that we could offer him what we had- an air mattress in our living room since our 2 year old had turned our guest room into a nursery. Uche had such a rigorous schedule for the program he was doing for work that I think he slept on the air mattress for a total of 10 hours during the whole two weeks.
We took Uche to see Lake Michigan on a windy day, went out for lasagna together and enjoyed hearing about his life. Our son Reuben called him “Mr. Uche.” After he left we thought about what we would have missed out on if we had let our fears dictate our life rather than love for visitors.
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