Biblical Living – An Easter Dinner through Friends of Internationals

It was a typical Easter dinner. Splayed on my kitchen counters was a smorgasbord of home-cooked food as the guests picked over lamb, mashed potatoes, fruit salad, pie … more food than I can quantify. All the smells mixed together in the most wonderful way. This was one of the few sweet times each year when the local family can get to together at one time to share a meal. What made the day even more special was the ability to have a special guest become part of our family for the day.

Through Joe Pardo and Friends of Internationals, we were connected with a student from a Middle Eastern country. Easter dinner was the first time we could meet him, and we hit it off right away. This was probably the most fascinating meal our family has shared, as we were able to learn about his culture and his perspective on America. The things he appreciated about our country awakened me from my griping about its flaws, and rekindled my thankfulness for the country where I live. He even welcomed us to visit him in his country sometime, and the offer stands very tempting.

After lunch we introduced our student friend to slacklining—balancing and trying to walk on top of a ratchet strap connecting two trees—and he even gave it a try! In conversation, we found out he has traveled the world playing tennis for his country. He offered to teach us a few things, so we loaded up the car and drove to our local park so he could show us his skills on the court, and help the guys in the family develop theirs. We then returned home and took some really funny family pictures. Our new student friend fit in perfectly with our family and everyone loved him. We plan on hanging out with him again. He said he is very open to continuing this friendship, and I don’t think he was just being polite.

For a long time I struggled with feeling “stuck” in America, while so many people in so many nations have not heard of Christ. But finding chances like this to meet people traveling to and from their homes countries has given me a new perspective. It would be difficult to move away, and even more difficult to learn a new language and culture. These opportunities have allowed me to become aware of the unique, privileged position we as Tampa residents have to share Christ with the whole world.

The Great Commission is in reverse; may we love on the nations even from inside our own homes!

Hope Henchey

Posted on: April 28, 2014 - 8:44AM

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