Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quote of the Day:  “True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person. Henri Nouwen has described it as receiving the stranger on his own terms, and asserts that it can be offered only by those who 'have found the center of their lives in their own hearts'.” ― Kathleen Norris

We are living in one of greatest hospitality cultures on earth.  It makes "Southern Hospitality" look crude and rude by comparison.  It usually spills over into the other cultures who are living here, the "wazungu" or non-Africans, but not always.  When we first moved here, we had been living here for all of one day when the Baptist missionary in Musoma drove down to Bunda to invite us to our first Missionary Fellowship in Musoma the following day.  We went and were warmly welcomed by everyone in attendance.  It was one of the first signs that we were where we were supposed to be.  We truly enjoyed going and looked forward to it every month.  However, over the years, Missionary Fellowship changed.  Our first encounters were with many other long-term missionaries and about a half a dozen Peace Corps workers.  Now, the long-term missionaries have quit attending for the most part.  The Peace Corps no longer assigns workers to our area, and we haven't seen any of them in about five years.  Now, when we go, we do not feel welcomed at all.  Only one or two of the missionaries there will even come over to speak to us, and those are usually the older missionaries who have been here longer than most.  It is hard to go to a place in a culture where everyone welcomes you to one where you do not even feel welcome, yet we feel we must go.  We are here because this is where God has called us to be, and if that means going where we don't feel welcome once a month, then so be it.  It reminds us that we are not loved by everyone--just seems strange that we get that feeling more from American Christians rather than from native atheists.  Ah well.  God works in mysterious ways that I don't question.  
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