We've had a guest with us this week. He works with a missionary-sending agency and has had meetings at our church this week, along with about 10 of his colleagues. We were one family who volunteered to host and I'm so glad we did.
Gary spent years as a missionary in Africa with his family. He had stories to share about that experience, as well as dozens of other interesting tid-bits and jokes. On top of that, he was just a funny grandfatherly-type guy. My kids loved him from the start, because he engaged with them at their level. My daughter asked numerous probing questions about his life and his work, which he took the time to answer in depth. This kind of interaction and learning is something you can't get from books. I'm so thankful Gary took the time to invest in my kids, realizing his role as a teacher who could help expand their horizons, to help them consider other cultures, etc.
At the end of his week-long stay with us, he thanked us and prayed for us. He felt, and so did we, that his stay with us was a perfect fit.
Grace and peace to you, Gary, as you return home.
And let me encourage others to take advantage of opportunities like this to host missionaries and other visitors. What a great way to model hospitality for your family, but also to learn from others who have different life experiences than you do.