A Lesson about Hospitality

Written by summer intern Ariel Anib

There is a proverb that says, “Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even though you wish they were”. You can bet that oftentimes that is the mentality of those of us from the United States. We say things like “Make yourself at home” while still breathing a sigh of relief when our guests leave.

Through the internship with Mission Adelante, each intern is matched with our own immigrant family to whose house we go once a week for dinner. For the past month, I have been invited Erika’s house. She is a single mother of two children, Natalie and Kevin, and her friend Ana also resides there. At first, I was nervous about going to eat in a stranger’s house, anticipating forced conversation and awkward silences. However, this fear was soon proven to be unnecessary. The first week, I was there for a straight three hours. Even after that long of a time, the family was still sad to see me go. Don’t get me wrong, I had my share of what I like to call “Lost in Translation” moments. For example, I asked Erika if she would bring her kids to the cannibal instead of the carnival, and I probably said "repite, por favor" ("please repeat") over 100 times. Through it all, they remained patient with me and listened. I can be sure that they were listening because they next week, they made my favorite dish, chiles rellenos.

Overcome, by the heart that this family had shown me, I promised to take them to the pool. With only one public pool in their city, the kids never got the opportunity to take swimming lessons, let alone swim at all. So, I took the kids back to my apartment pool in Olathe, along with Erika and her friend’s child Edmond whom she cares for during the day. After a couple of hours, we went across the street to meet my mom. Erika and my mom instantly connected, since they are both mothers by profession and shoppers at heart. On our way back to KCK, I realized that I had left my cell phone somewhere and turned around to go back. I ran out of the car and was quickly followed by both of the kids to help me search. They did not even have to be told. Once again, I was amazed by the purity of heart these children had!

This past Sunday, I opened the door to Mission Adelante and was met by Kevin and Natalie running into my arms. I was shocked; although the children go to Kids Adelante weekly, their mother Erika had never been to our church. With a smile on her face, Natalie said, “We came to support you while you give your testimony in Spanish today”. My heart swelled at this beautiful depiction of 1 Corinthians 13. The next day at dinner, Erika told me that seeing the people of Mission Adelante on the Leaders in Training camping trip over the weekend and the joy on her kids’ faces after Kids Adelante testified to the work that Mission Adelante was doing.

So, I leave you with one last challenge. The next time you are looking at the clock, wondering when your guests will finally leave. I encourage you to stop and think of Hebrews 13:1-2, “1Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unaware”.

In other news:

  • A group of about 30 L.I.T. students, family members, Mission Adelante staff, volunteers, and interns spent last weekend at a state park in Kansas. It was an enormously valuable time for them to leave the neighborhood and just have fun. They swam in a lake, played a game called Mafia, devoured s'mores, and slept in tents, but perhaps the best thing afforded by the trip was the opportunity for the volunteers to bond with one another and with the kids.
Prayer needs:
  • A team of six from Mission Adelante are traveling to Qba today to spend about a week strengthening the sense of unity between our ministry and the Raices ("Roots") ministry there, with whom we partner. Please pray for their arrival there this afternoon to go smoothly, and that the Lord would use our team powerfully as they participate in some Raices ministry functions this week.
Current needs:
  • Two refrigerators, which have been requested by immigrant families. If you can donate one, please contact Molly at 913-961-2984.
  • Molly needs volunteers to help her sort and organize donations to our Resource Center, which helps channel resources such as clothing, household items, and food from donors to immigrants with specific needs. Please call Molly at 913-961-2984 to arrange a time to come help.
  • Many of the immigrant families we serve have a need for the basics, like food. Help provide staple food items for neighborhood families by hosting a Canasta Basica Assembly Party! Find all the details by clicking here!
Important dates:
  • June 28-July 4: Summer break. No Bhutanese or Latino outreach programs. The Mission Adelante office will be closed June 29-July 4.
  • July 8th at 7:00 p.m.: All are welcome to join us for tea, coffee, and dessert, and to meet the two new staff members we've added to the Bhutanese Outreach. You'll also hear about their calling to this ministry and the financial needs that we have to make them full time staff members. Join us at Larry & Barb Stetler's, 5814 W. 84th Street, Overland Park, KS 66207. Please RSVP by clicking here.