The Joys & Challenges of Jerusalem | Faith

Here’s where the dead things come back to living
I feel my heart beating again
Feels so good to know You are my friend
-Communion, Maverick City Music

My dear friends,

It’s been too long since I’ve written. I say that nearly every time I post anymore, but it’s true. I want to be more consistent with it than I am, and I hope to write more this year.

Since I last wrote, I left my job at Vineyard Cincinnati and moved back to Jerusalem. The story of returning is a long journey on its own, but that’s a story for another time. Being back has been wonderful in so many ways, but it’s also been so incredibly challenging. Challenging in a much different, holier way (thank God for that), but still something I wasn’t prepared for.

Emotionally, I knew the return would be difficult. I was expecting this season to be a time of healing from multiple past friendships/relationships, and that certainly has happened. There’s been a lot of redemption and restoration that’s happened – places that once brought me bad memories I can and have now filled with new memories. I’ve had moments where I’ve gone to certain places around the city and prayed for God to redeem that area, and He has. I’ve run into people I tried hard to avoid, and it led to more healing. I’ve had scary encounters with a crazy neighbor (which have since been resolved). I’ve had moments where I erupted in tears while simply texting a friend and end up crying for an hour. I’ve struggled HARD with certain friendships I thought would be easy and lifegiving that just haven’t turned out how I’d hoped. I’ve felt more alone and lonely than I ever have before in my life (can any other enneagram 3s out there relate?!). I’ve spent multiple nights parading around my apartment, anointing the doors and windows and rebuking the devil.

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Some friends & I at a cookbook photoshoot at my studio apartment

Physically, I’ve struggled with debilitating constant back, knee, and feet pain since the moment I announced I was returning to Jerusalem (January 2019). That’s led to weight gain and an inability to be active, which has led to me being unable to run the Jerusalem Marathon or hike the Jesus Trail. I also nearly had a bunch of my stuff stolen when I was moving into my current apartment. Financially, I honestly don’t know how I’m going to make it here. Every day I wonder how I’ll be able to stay for the two years I initially felt called to fulfill. I just don’t have it. It doesn’t make sense, but daily I depend and trust in God to provide. And to be totally honest with you, recently I struggle to find the joy of living here that I had for the first 5 months or so.

And yet.

God is so, so good. He has grown me so much in the short 8 months I’ve been back, and I’m so thankful for it. There IS joy and abundant blessing, although some days I struggle to see it. I’ve started a jar of thankfulness that I keep on my desk, and whenever something happens I’m thankful for, I write it on a Post-It note and throw it in my jar. So today, I choose to be thankful for the blessings God has given me in these past 8 months. I’m sharing some below.

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Hiking at Timna National Park

THANKFUL FOR…

// the gift of a photographer friend willing to help me accomplish a lifelong goal of becoming an author and co-creating a cookbook with me. Thank you, Jenna – forever grateful for you and your friendship.

// a friend who donated funds for me to visit my chiropractor 3 more times after falling on the way to work and reinjuring my knees & back. Thank you, you know who you are.

// my amazing financial supporters who support me monthly and allow me to continue to be here, for as long as I have been. Thank you for believing in me and the work the Lord has called me to do in the Land.

// God providing healing for a situation I’ve been praying about for 6 years now. Hallelujah.

// Feeling a release to be able to freely date again after 6 years of feeling like I wasn’t allowed (although I rebelled during that time and dated anyways, and nothing ended well. Always listen to God, guys. Don’t choose your own path. It hurts more than you think it will.)

// The ability to get certified in holistic nutrition, something I’ve longed to do for years. The ability to do this in conjunction with my injury and learn about what I’m experiencing through school has been amazing.

// Learning how to “work as for the Lord and not for man” when I REALLY hate doing something specific. Like, I literally get nausea and get headaches from it and get crazy stressed out. BUT what God has shown me is that 1) I struggle when I have to do things I feel are useless or unvaluable [not that they are – but that I perceive them that way] and 2) I need to find a way to make seemingly useless tasks feel useful. This strategy has helped me to create purpose in these tasks and helped me more joyfully dedicate these tasks to God even when I dislike doing them.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.
Colossians 3: 23-24

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Helping with a birthday party at a home for the elderly, Ezrat Avot, in Jerusalem. Many of the women are Holocaust survivors.

// Constantly putting death to my flesh and learning to choose God’s desires over my own. It means taking stabs to my pride, and that’s been a big struggle.

// God’s knack for showing up and providing at the last minute when I don’t know how I’ll make it financially. Thank you so much to the people who have surprised me this year with your donations. You’re such a blessing to me.

// Continual revelation for what He wants for my future and how I can be preparing for that now.

// Friends who are getting married that I can help with graphic design needs.

// Finally getting into essential oils. Long story, but I felt God tell me specifically to do this a couple years ago, and I did it very half-heartedly. It’s been a fulfilling experience dedicating myself to it completely this year as I learn how to use plants God gave us to heal naturally and clean naturally.

// Revealing that singleness is a gift that I don’t often receive well. But it’s a time to devote to getting to know Him and His heart and the flexibility to go wherever He wants, whenever He wants, with ease. I pray that I will utilize my remaining time as a single person to do just that.

// A continual stripping of things and people I’ve held too dear for too long. He’s been eliminating the things and people that make me feel tied down to a certain place, and I think that’s so it’s easier for me to move outside of Ohio whenever I return home. I’m not sure where I’ll end up when I go back to the States, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be Ohio for the long term. Prior to this year, that would’ve been a big struggle for me.

So, there you have it. I’m thankful for so many things and I’m thankful that I get to experience the challenges and joys of living here and serving God’s people in His Land. It’s by no means easy, but it is fulfilling. And He is good, no matter the circumstance.

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Working at Bridges for Peace HQ

Would you like to support my work in Jerusalem? If so, here is how 🙂 Thank you for your support!

DONATION INFO [Preferred choice is Venmo :)]
Venmo @rachael9109
PayPal – HarrisERachael@gmail.com
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📸 by Jenna Solomon

loverae1

Jerusalem | Travel + Faith


The Zealous Israel Project participants

We have come to Mount Zion, city of the living God.
Heavenly Jerusalem, by His blood we have come.

“Mt. Zion,” Jonathan David + Melissa Helser

It’s been six months since my last blog. Honestly, I’ve been trying to figure out how exactly to put into words my experience living in Jerusalem since I moved here in July. Words fail me when I think about how to describe it.

My roommates

Of course, I could simply share some of the incredible things I’ve done and seen. Pruning pomegranate trees, hiking the desert wilderness of Timna, snorkeling in the Red Sea, riding camels, taking Krav Maga lessons, planting olive trees in the Judaean wilderness, leading our monthly worship team, leading worship weekly at Sukkat Hallel (Jerusalem’s 24/7 house of prayer), writing and performing my first original song, becoming a published graphic designer, developing relationships in the Jewish community, getting stung by a jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea, touring the Knesset, going to a night of worship in the desert of En Gedi with thousands of people from around the world.


Sitting on a tank used in the Six Day War at Radio Hill

We’ve done and seen so much I’m having a hard time remembering everything. It’s been incredible. I often have to make myself stop and stare at the Old City walls or Temple Mount (only a short walk from where I work) and say, “I live in Jerusalem.” Because this place feels so much like home that I often forget exactly where I’m living. It’s so surreal.


Planting olive trees in the Judaean wilderness

Honestly, even though I’ve had the most incredible experiences over the past 3 months, some of my favorite moments are found in the everyday mundane activities. Watching young people stand and give their seat away to the elderly on the bus. Waving to Roni the coffee guy every morning on the walk to work. Watching Muslims and Jews engage with each other and love each other. Celebrating the Biblical holidays like Sukkot and Yom Kippur. Eating onion rings at First Station, the outdoor mall/hangout near our apartment. Deep conversations late at night with fellow Zealous Israel Project (Z3) members. Hammocking in the park. Working out on Saturday mornings. Baking cakes for birthdays. Buying fresh challah and flowers for Shabbat every Friday afternoon. Going to Krav Maga on Sunday nights. Hebrew lessons on Wednesday nights. Coffee at my 2 favorite coffee shops, Tmol Shilshom and Power CoffeeWorks. Everyday life is wonderful.


Hiking Solomon’s Pillars at Timna Park

Although I love life here, these 3 months have really challenged me more than I care to admit. As a natural introvert, I’ve been struggling to re-adjust to living with 4 other roommates and all the different personalities and preferences. I think because of this I’ve become a little more distant with people than I am at home in Ohio. I’ve really connected well with a few people, though, and find myself developing deep friendships I hope will last a lifetime.


Leading worship in the desert at Timna Park

I also have been struggling with feeling really unqualified for my role as the worship team leader. I am confident that growing in worship and as a worship leader is one of God’s major focuses for me this year. And with that in mind, I’ve kept saying yes to various things being asked of me. I’ve grown SO MUCH as a worship leader in the past few months, it’s insane. I’m so thankful for the opportunity. But all I can say is I’m thankful for my team and the way they push me, encourage me, and have grace with me. There is no group of people I’ve enjoyed playing music with more than the three others on my team, and we flow so well together, knowing without speaking when to play the same song for 10 minutes because the Spirit is moving or when to add songs not originally in the line-up. Nozomu, Eilir-Wyn, Eliza – I love you guys. May God set a fire in our souls.


Playing my first finished original song, Abundantly More.

All that being said – Jerusalem is home. No, it’s not dangerous or scary living here. I feel safer living here than I do in America, and the Middle East is nothing like it’s portrayed in the American media. The entire country is community focused, and everyone helps each other out without asking. Parents let their kids roam free because of the fact that the country is so safe and people trust one another.


Hammocking at the Promenade

This is the City of Gold – the city of God’s people. God’s presence is thick here. The history is so rich – it’s amazing to think that I am walking the same streets walked by Jesus and His disciples. That the stars I stare at in the middle of desert are the same stars Abraham and Sarah would have seen. That the roots of the some of the olive trees could have been the same roots from the time of Jesus. That I can visit and touch places where miracles occurred. The places of the Bible are real and still present today.


Hiking the Timna Arches

God has called me here for at least a year. As for what’s next after that, I honestly cannot say. I’ll be home in July for a friend’s wedding (yay for being a bridesmaid!), and that’s the only concrete plan I have right now. I’ve been praying that God will show me what’s next soon. Until then, I will wait and try to soak up every moment here. Leaving everything behind to follow the call has been so worth it.


A photo shoot for this article for Bridges for Peace’s Dispatch from Jerusalem magazine

I love you all. Thank you so much to those who have been supporting me financially. Every single dollar is so appreciated. If you are able to help support me financially, please click here to donate.


My Krav Maga class

Hoping to write again soon. Until then, shalom from Jerusalem.

loverae1

Following the Call | Travel + Faith

Dear friends,

If you haven’t heard already….

I’m moving to Israel. 

For a year. 

Crazy, huh?

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It’s all very surreal to me, too. I’ll be moving at the end of July as a part of the Zealous Israel Project with Bridges for Peace, an 11-month servant-based discipleship program. I’ll be living and working in Jerusalem on the organization’s publications team doing graphic and layout design. You can read more about my role and the program HERE, on my support page. I would love if you would consider financially supporting me through this!

I am very excited about this opportunity, and I feel very strongly that this is what God has been pushing me towards over the past couple years. In fact, I can point to three different times where my application should have either been withdrawn or incomplete. By no work of my own, and from a back story that I found out about after being accepted, I am moving to Jerusalem in a little over 2 short months. The fact that I was accepted is truly the work of God and a clear sign that this is His next step for me. So I’ve said yes to His call and am looking forward to spending the next year with 10 other young adults from around the world, growing in our faith and developing new, lasting friendships. I am also really, really excited that I get to work in the same building and live in the city as one of my close friends, Becca, whom I met in Israel 2 years ago on our Call to Zion tour. She just wrote a blog about perspective which I highly recommend reading, if you get the chance.

When people hear I am moving, they usually respond in one of two ways. The first is to say, “WOW, aren’t you scared?” to which I say….no. Honestly, Israel feels safer to me than America in a lot of ways, and the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) do a wonderful job of protecting the country and its people. When I was there, Israel felt like home. It’s really hard to explain unless you’ve been there. But no, I am not afraid to live in Israel, regardless of what you hear on the news.

The second response is actually a little harder for me to embrace, and it should be the easiest. Most people say “WOW, that is so amazing! Are you excited?”

Again, this should be the easy question to answer. Yet it is the hardest for me to answer with complete honesty. 

It’s complicated. As I’ve already mentioned, I am really, truly excited. Deep down. And I know I will grow more and more excited about it over time. Please hear me say that I am excited.

But if I’m being really honest with you, my answer is that right now I’m hurting.

Mostly because I am struggling to leave a few close friendships behind for an entire year, and the thought of leaving Cincinnati and the people I love, more often than not, makes me burst into tears almost daily.

I realize that technology is wonderful, and WhatsApp will allow me to remain in close contact. But it’s still hard, and I know this upcoming year will be an emotionally challenging one. I’m excited for the ways I will grow, develop, and be stretched. And at the same time, I am not excited about all the emotions that will come with it.

I’m saying yes because I am choosing to follow the call God has given me. This life was not made to be easy, and being obedient to God is often one of the most difficult things for me to do. What I want to do, in all honesty, doesn’t matter. What God wants me to do, however, matters a lot. A whole lot. So I will follow what He wants for me, even when it’s hard. And I will praise Him through the hurt, knowing that good things will follow.

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“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!”
-Psalm 27:13-14

That’s where I am right now. I plan to blog about my experiences while in Israel, so I hope you’ll subscribe via email and follow along with my journey. I love you all – thanks for letting me be honest, and know you can be honest with me as well.

Shalom, friends.

loverae1

Waiting Well | Faith

Waiting sucks.

I’ll just say it outright. Unfortunately, we all wait for something – many things, typically – during our lifetime. Christians, it seems, tend to wait more than the average person. What is God telling me? When do I act on what He is telling me? How do I act? And what if I don’t want to do what I’m told? What if it is scary or difficult?

When I wait, I tend to have a lot of questions that rise to the surface.

I’ve spent the past week and a half in Sacramento, CA. I came here to attend a week of on-campus classes with Fuller Theological Seminary, but I came early to explore San Francisco and Redding.  I stayed a couple extra days to explore Sacramento, where I am currently sitting at Temple Coffee Roasters writing this. (Has anyone been to Temple, by the way? So good).

 

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I think Temple Coffee Roasters is my dream coffee shop. Exposed beams, patio seating, nitro cold brew – could it get any better?!

 

My experiences these past couple of weeks have been enlightening, to say the least. I heard God speak prophetically in many ways (which I won’t get into right now – but feel free to ask me about it, if you are interested). In fact, I feel pretty strongly that God is calling me into a time of acting in the prophetic, which both scares and excites me. I received some of the clarity I was hoping for in a previous blog post, and many things that shouldn’t have happened did, because God has a canny way of working things out. Again, that’s another story for another time.

I am starting to emerge from a dark time and a dark place; I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. What I failed to mention in my previous blog about clarity was that I seriously questioned if I was depressed during December and January. I felt bleak. I felt like life had been drained from me. Clearly the Enemy was at work. But God gave me hope, and I clung to it. Looking back, I can say that during those months (the past year, really) I learned in a new way how to wait well (becuase, unfortunately, I wait a lot). My experiences in Sacaramento and Redding confirmed this for me and gave me the peace and momentum to continue pressing on.

 

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I spent a lot of time at Bethel’s prayer house…and I didn’t realize the bushes spelled “Jesus” until just now. Funny.

 

Now, I want to share my tips for waiting well with you. 

Wait With Anticipation

Elijah is a prime example of this in the book of 1 Kings. Let’s take a look at his story in 1 Kings 18:41-46:

41 Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of rushing rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; there he bowed himself down upon the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” He went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” Then he said, “Go again seven times.” 44 At the seventh time he said, “Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea.” Then he said, “Go say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” 45 In a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind; there was a heavy rain. Ahab rode off and went to Jezreel. 46 But the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; he girded up his loins and ran in front of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Ok, some context is needed here. Elijah has just finished going head-to-head with the prophets of Baal, one of the many pagan gods. Short version: God came through, while Baal did not. Go read the long version in 1 Kings 18.

The people here have been in the middle of a drought. They desperately need water. So Elijah intercedes on behalf of the people by praying to God for rain. This is where our story begins.

At the beginning of the chapter, God told Elijah He would bring rain. Now Elijah begins to pray for the rain to come. As he is praying on top of Mt. Carmel, he tells King Ahab (the current wicked king of Israel) to go look and see if the rain is coming.

There is no rain.

So, Elijah continues to wait and pray, knowing God will bring the rain. Again, he tells Ahab to look for rain. Again, there is no rain. This happens seven times. Eventually, the rain does come, as God said. But Elijah did not wait passively for God to act. He got on his knees and prayed continuously, looking up along the way to see if God had answered yet.

Waiting is active, not passive. 

Elijah actively waited and prayed for the rain, anticipating God would fulfill His promise. Are you questioning that God will answer you, or are you CONFIDENT that God will answer you? Wait with anticipation.

There are a couple different words that we translate as “wait” from the original Hebrew, but in general, they mean “to wait in ambush; to wait eagerly for.” Again, the verb implies an active posture towards waiting, not a passive one.

This is the process of prayer: bow your head and pray, but don’t forget to look with anticipation for God’s movement.

 

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Take me back to San Francisco. The Bay Area is beautiful!

 

Expect God Will Work While You Wait

Isaiah 64:4 says this:

From ages past no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
    who works for those who wait for him.

Waiting will be a part of our lives as Christians.

Sorry, you can’t get out of it. What you can do is choose how you are going to wait. Will you wait willingly and patiently, or will you choose to follow your own path and go your own way? Will you wait even when it gets difficult? Painful, even? Will you allow the waiting to grow you?

The good news is that God works when we wait for Him.

Did you catch that? God works when we wait for Him. If God is working, it probably means that we are doing a good job of waiting (even waiting with anticipation, perhaps). Now, that’s not to say that we will wait perfectly; we will definitely screw up many times along the way. But we keep waiting, knowing that God will answer us.

Let’s confirm this with another scripture, Lamentations 3:25:

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul that seeks him.

Again, we see God works when we wait. And when we seek Him while we wait. This is key – are we pursuing God’s heart while we wait for His answer? Or are we just sitting around, passively waiting? Not to hit you over the head with this point, but wait with anticipation. This is key.

It’s hard, but when I catch small glimmers of God at work on my situations, it gives me the courage to pray with anticipation.

Wait Patiently 

This is easier said than done, I know. I am incredibly impatient. But as I continue to wait, God gives me increased patience.

Habakkuk 2:3 tells us that we might be waiting a while. It reads:

For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
    it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
    it will surely come, it will not delay.

God knows what we are waiting for, but the answer has an “appointed time” when it will come, and it might take a while. But if our answer seems to “tarry,” we need to keep waiting.

Because God will answer.

And when He answers, He answers quickly and “will not delay.”

In January, I hit a point where I was done with waiting. I was drained. Totally wiped out. Mentally and physically exhausted from following. This week in California, God encouraged me and spoke that He will constantly fill me with fuel to keep waiting. I will not run out of energy. He will revive me. And He will do this for you, too. If you’re impatient like me, He will give you patience for the long haul. Keeping praying for that patience, and keep praying for your answer. It will surely come.

If you struggle with patience, I encourage you to find another believer who has experienced waiting a long time for something. Ask them to share their story, and share how God gave them patience. I have been blessed to have friends in similar situations who can encourage me while I wait. I hope you do, too.

This was a long post, but I hope it encourages you to keep waiting and provides some ways to wait well. If you want to chat more, I’d love to hear from you. Find my email here or reach out on Facebook

Until next time, friends.

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loverae1

Hospitality | Faith

Hospitality Defined

As Dr. Peter Lim notes, “hospitality is the practice of attending to others (strangers and friends) through invitation, presence, embrace, conversation, and encounter…inviting others into community in such a way that they are no longer other, but family–an interdependent part of the community. Hospitality cannot be understood apart from being a receiver.

I love this. Hospitality is not simply the practice of blessing others – by practicing hospitality, we become blessed ourselves. We are blessed by those whom we sought to bless, and this may mean that we are receiving the hospitality we wished to give.

Hospitality is also inviting others into comfort through our personal vulnerability and transparency. Conde-Frazier writes:

“Hospitality creates a place where we are connected to one another. It is a space that is safe, personal, and comfortable. It is a place of respect, acceptance, and friendship. This required of us an openness of our hearts and a willingness to make our lives visible and available to one another. Hospitality calls us to enlarge our hearts by offering our time and personal resources. Hospitality as recognition involves respecting the image of God in others and seeing their potential contributions as being of equal value to ours. Valuing is of the utmost, for when persons are not valued, they become socially invisible and their needs and concerns are not acknowledged. Hospitality sprouts into compassion and, as with all the other gifts, is to be exercised in order to build up or edify the body.” – 171-173, Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, “From Hospitality to Shalom”

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Developing the habit of hospitality will lead us to serve people like Jesus did.

James Smith said we are liturgical beings, that is, “we are creatures defined by our loves, but those loves are shaped by formative practices.” Smith also said love is a habit, and that God gives us practices to “reorient our habits towards Him and His kingdom.” If we are defined by our loves, and love is a habit, then we are defined by our habits, and our habits need to be God-honoring if we want to be defined by God.

The Greek word for hospitality is “philoxenia (φιλοξενία),” or a love of strangers. It is more than just inviting someone into your home – it is inviting those you don’t know, those who can’t repay you for what you’ve done.

Hospitality Looks Like…

Hospitality looks like inviting others into your home, even when the toys are unorganized, the laundry needs to be folded, and dishes are still in the sink.

Hospitality looks like inviting others into your messy life + sharing the vulnerable parts of your story.

Hospitality looks like letting a friend borrow your car when their car has broken down.

Hospitality looks like praying for one another, together.

Hospitality looks like eating a home-cooked meal together around the table.

Hospitality looks like taking communion together.

Hospitality looks like serving others when they didn’t ask for your help.

Hospitality looks like serving when no one will recognize what you did.

Hospitality looks like sacrificing a few hours of sleep to listen and pray for a friend in need.

Hospitality looks like offering a friend a place to stay when he or she fought with parents or a significant other and needs to get away for a few days.

Hospitality looks like driving someone to the airport at 4am.

Hospitality looks like paying for a friend’s gas when he or she can’t afford it.

Hospitality is more than just having someone over for dinner – it exists both inside and outside the home.

Let’s choose to move from simply being hospitable to making hospitality a way of life. Let it embody who we are, and become an unconscious action. Let it be ingrained in the fibers of our core.

Hospitality Across Borders

I have been blessed to receive hospitality from people all over the world, and it has taught me a lot about what true hospitality looks like. Below are a few examples of international hospitality.

Israeli/Bedouin Hospitality

Israel is a very welcoming country, although the media does not often portray it as such. The Jews are quick to welcome strangers into their home, as it is a Biblical principle to invite nomads and travelers to stay for a meal and some rest. While in Israel, we stayed with a bedouin community, who were quick to offer us food, a tent to sleep inside, showers, and ride on their camels. We then met with one of the bedouins who explained the concept of bedouin hospitality to us.

Italian Hospitality

I was overwhelmed with the hospitality while on a trip to Italy with Fuller Seminary this summer. The shop owners of Orvieto placed a great deal of trust in complete strangers, allowing us to take our coffee and pastries outside, without paying, and then return to pay when we had finished. They trusted we would be honest and tell them what we ordered, not “conveniently” forgetting to pay for a pastry or two. The baristas sometimes came and sat with us at the table, striking up conversation about our day and sharing what they loved about their town. The entire town of Orvieto had the same sense of trust and invitation – I even received a bracelet from a shopkeeper as a thank you for helping her understand the English language. It was completely unexpected and filled with kindness. This is the epitome of hospitality.

Nicaraguan Hospitality

The people of Nicaragua have little that can be physically offered to strangers, as the entire country is living in poverty. Yet when we visited Nicaragua on a missions trip with Amigos for Christ (and to meet the Compassion children we sponsor as a church), the residents would invite us, complete strangers, into their homes for a meal. The Nicaraguan people would kill a fresh chicken and use it to make soup for our group – incredible! During the trip, I was seriously ill, and I received hospitality from Nicaraguan nurses (whom I had never met) who gave me an IV with fluids and checked on me throughout the week. I even received hospitality from fellow church friends who checked on me every hour of the night while I slept to make sure I was okay. The hospitality I experienced in Nicaragua was radical, and I left feeling that I had received more of the love I had expected to show the people of Nicaragua.

Christian hospitality should be radical. So let’s let it embody who we are, leading us to be more like Christ in all that we do.

loverae1

*This blog was written for Fuller Theological Seminary’s Practices of Community class with Dr. Peter Lim.