September - Welcoming

September 2004

My experience with welcoming the Nations began with one girl from India. It all started so simply-just like they tell you-by being willing to pick her up from the airport. All she really expected was a ride to her campus, a few directions, and a little advice about American taboos! All things that was very easy for me to provide. It cost me very little to begin a friendship with her and to open doors for God to work in her heart.

When I think of the role of a "welcomer" and how it relates to Matt. 24:14 and 28:19-20, I see several relationships between the two. As a welcomer I am reaching out to people of other Nations. People I might not otherwise have access to due to restrictions by government, my ability to leave home, or my own fears. The story of God's heart to reach the world with His Name is all about these kinds of relationships with people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. And they are here-in our own country looking for and needing people to help them in the smallest of tasks. We, as true followers of Jesus, need to extend to them our hands, hearts, ears and feet in order to also hand them the Truth they so desperately need. And, regardless of their response to the Gospel, we can know we have acted in obedience to the Lord. Those small acts of kindness can be the planting of seeds that may one day produce a harvest 30, 60, or even 100 times what was sown.

Jesus himself invited people of different cultures than His own to be in relationship with Him. Relationships were an avenue He used to bring others into the Truth-shouldn't we also be about the same thing? Welcoming internationals through building relationships with them, serving them, and shining our light before them is one of the easiest forms of Christlikeness.

My experience with one girl from a huge continent of people who need to hear the story of Jesus has fueled my passion and devotion to Christ. I've been renewed in my faith just through the simple acts of listening to Hindi music, eating spicy food, taking her shopping, having her over to celebrate holidays with my family, and driving her to places she needs to go. I did all of these things because her eternity could depend on it.

Are you willing to welcome the world just because they matter to Jesus?

by Kristi Hambrice