Hospitality is a kindness recognized the world over. On every continent, to be invited into someone's home is a special honor, and more so, to be invited to share table fellowship around a warm meal.
In a closed world, where people are less and less involved in one another's lives, table fellowship and hospitality is fast becoming a lost art. Even families have been fragmented by busy schedules, broken marriages, and unrealistic demands, such that time spent in leisure around a table is unknown for very many people.
And if hospitality is fast disappearing among friends and family, what then can we expect of the ancient practices of simpler times where strangers were welcomed into the home to share a meal or spend a night out of the cold in the midst of a long journey? This is almost unheard of in today's suspicious, crime-ridden, and isolated society.
In the last several months, Melissa and I have learned that there is one place in this world where hospitality is alive and well. In Pateros, Washington and in Jonesboro, Arkansas, we were invited into the homes of people we did not know at all. Within minutes of shaking their hands in fellowship, we were given keys to their homes, free access to their refrigerators, and even access to their cars. The bond of trust that existed between us? Only that we shared a lord and master in Jesus Christ and were working to serve Him. I found it simply amazing the reception I have received by Christians from around the world, every age, denomination, and cultural background. Such giving, such trust, and such kindness extended to those hardly known, this is a mark of the church universal.