Just four days after moving into this apartment, I was the recipient of local hospitality. Hannah Grace and I went downstairs to the park located on the apartment complex grounds. A mother and her four year old son were already there. Feeling extremely unconfident with the language, I smiled and said spoke, not being entirely sure if I was saying "hello", "good morning", or "good afternoon". She smiled back but didn't speak. My first thought was that she probably took me for an idiot that didn't know how to speak correctly, so I sat down and watched Hannah Grace play.
After a few minutes, she walked over and asked where we were from. (Now that she's heard Hannah Grace and me speaking English she realizes I'm a foreigner, rather than an idiot.) We talked for a while, and she told me which apartment she lives in, and that I could come visit anytime. I told her the same. I think.
When her son was ready to go back inside, she turned to me and said, "Come on, let's have some coffee at my house." I went, and we talked some more, laughing whenever my Turkish was so bad that we couldn't communicate at all.
Later, I spent some time thinking about hospitality. Not Martha Stewart-style entertaining, but the love of strangers (which is the literal definition of New Testament hospitality). Seeing a foreigner that can barely speak the language, and bringing them into our homes and serving them coffee. It's the sort of hospitality that can be uncomfortable. Yet God's Word teaches us that we should not neglect showing love to strangers.
My new friend, Jana, didn't show hospitality because of her love for Christ; she doesn't truly know and love Him yet. She was motivated by loneliness. Her family moved to this part of the city less than two months ago, and she hasn't made many friends. How much more should I be willing to open my home, when I do have the light of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit at work in me?
Please pray that I will be a good friend to Jana and that her loneliness here will soften her heart to the love of God. Pray also that we will get unpacked and settled quickly so that we can begin having new friends and neighbors into our home.