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The Blessing of Hospitality

April 1, 2005

Hebrews 13:2 “Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.” (Contemporary English Version)

In the Pentecostal Church of Chile, hospitality is a fine art. Recently, as we were preparing to receive guests from the United States, I was talking with one of the pastors from the church. He said to me, “please allow me this blessing,” which meant that he and his family would feel honored by God to be able to host the visitors in their home. To experience the hospitality of the sisters and brothers of the Pentecostal Church of Chile is to be welcomed at the door by all of the members of the family (even the teenagers!) with a warm hug and many smiles, to be fed heaping servings of delicious food, to be accepted as a member of the community, and to be invited to share from the heart. When a local church in Chile hosts a denominational conference for pastors or for youth leaders, the members of the congregation will prepare well in advance saving from their scant income to buy new sheets or a special cut of meat. Sometimes, two or three families might work together as hosts sharing the work and cost to make their guests as comfortable as possible. The sisters and brothers of the Pentecostal Church of Chile believe that they welcome angels as guests when they receive someone into their home and that the blessing of hospitality is a gift God has given them to share with others whether they are friends or strangers.

A simple table grace:
In English:
For health and strength and daily bread, we give thee thanks, Oh Lord. Amen
In Spanish:
Por este pan que tu nos das, las gracias damos hoy. Amén.

Shalom,

Elena Huegel

Elena Huegel is a missionary with the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC). She serves as an environmental and Christian education specialist.


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