Last Monday I traveled to Vancouver Island at a friend’s invitation. Together with four other women, I’ve been staying in someone’s seaside “cottage.” This cottage is larger than my house by far, and the owners graciously lent its use rent-free for the entire week.
Tuesday morning I poured a cup of coffee and curled up with my Bible and journal. I looked out the picture windows at the white-capped waves, and my thoughts transported me to another time and place.
We lived in Washington state, my husband’s birthplace, from 1985-1996. Gene worked as a civil engineer during that time. His income, combined with a generous loan from his parents, enabled us to buy lakefront property and build a house on it.
From the get-go, we asked the Lord to make our home a place of rest for missionaries on home assignment. He answered our prayers, and we hosted Kingdom-builders from countries including the Philippines, Nepal, Japan, and Kenya. Taking it a step further, we designed the daylight basement so we could use it as a self-contained suite for extended missionary stays after our kids left home. But God had other plans.
He directed us into a career Christian camping ministry in 1996, which meant selling the four-year-old house. It also meant giving up Gene’s engineering income to live on faith support. That was 17 years ago.
We’re still in career ministry, currently directing International Messengers Canada. And we’re still dependent on faith support for income. Frankly, the thought of ever owning a waterfront home again, one that could provide a unique getaway for missionaries on home assignment seems, well, unattainable.
Sometimes I wrestle with that reality, and I pray for God to do the impossible. To work a modern-day miracle so I can again offer hospitality to His servants wearied and weathered by ministry’s stress and strain.
Tuesday morning I sat with Bible and journal in hand, recalling my dream to provide an environment where missionaries can find refreshment. And then the thought struck me: The tables have turned. I’m the missionary needing rest, and someone has opened her home to me for that purpose. I’m a recipient of the very gift I’ve always wanted to give to others. The realization moved me to tears.
A sacred moment, that was. A moment that awed me by God’s goodness. Imagine—several days in a beautiful home surrounded by beautiful friends of like mind. Exactly what my body and soul needed. A simple thank-you hardly seems enough.
Question: What gift has the Lord given you recently?