We have been so blessed by the hospitality of people and know that it is a scarce resource in our Western culture. Hospitality is so much more than offering a bed for people, it is also offering your hearts, your time and making them feel like an honoured guest rather than someone who is an inconvenience at worst, or just putting them up. This doesn't mean that your life has to stop to accommodate someone but just making them feel at home with the little things, such as offering the opportunity to get washing done (which when you have been on the road for a month is a God send), or sitting around a table at mealtimes to talk - now that feels like church to me. I think Wikipedia sums it up nicely in the article on hospitality "Hospitality refers to the relationship process between a guest and a host, and it also refers to the act or practice of being hospitable, that is, the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, with liberality and goodwill. Hospitality is also known as the act of generously providing care and kindness to whomever is in need." Liberality and goodwill! How rich we can be and so poor in our liberality and goodwill. I wonder what our hospitality would look like if we really understood the verses from Hebrews 13 "Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it"?
Most of this last week has been with Ian and I joining a team to stand in prayer for the people
of the South Downs and as I said at the beginning it has been very windy and at times very wet but God has been so fantastic and the wind of his Spirit has flowed strongly. You can read about some more of it on our friend Martin's site but from a personal perspective we have seen what a looser church structure can look like and what it means to be church and not just be part of a church. We realised that when we left the States that church was going to have to look very different to us, we were going to have to be more committed to making sure we stay connected to the body of Christ without possibly "going" to church very often, that would have been scary to us a few years ago but now we feel more like Pilgrims "On the way" and journeying with our Lord and Saviour and that is exciting. I am sure we are going to make some mistakes along the way but that will be part of the journey too.
Spring is definitely here despite the wind and the rain and it something I have really missed while in Colorado and have been delighted to see and recognise the different Flowers that are now springing up along the road sides.
We also got to see our son Mark racing on Sunday morning, he did very well but we are not entirely sure of the result as some mistakes were made with the time keeping of the last few riders who were the best riders.
We didn't realise when we planned our trip that Mark would also be moving this weekend, he told us he was moving but not when but at least it meant we were free to help him shift some of his stuff.
Well it is a long blog this week but much has happened and there has been much to think about. We are perhaps no clearer on what we are going to be doing in Latvia but much clearer on the fact we are on a journey and the blog name seems more appropriate than ever. We are pilgrims in a foreign land and participating in a great adventure to see this world redeemed back to God - how great a privilege is that!