We have guests at Central these days. Five delegates from our partner churches in Njombe, Tanzania are here for a week. They have been seeing all kinds of places and things and activities, plus they have been participating in the life of our church as much as possible.
Yesterday we got to hear a presentation on the work we're doing together in their parishes, and then we got to hear some of their perspectives on what they've been experiencing. One question they asked us is, how have you learned to be so welcoming, so hospitable?
A couple of our church members took a stab at answering. One talked about learning together from God's word, being in relationship with others within our church, and how that has shaped and formed us. The other talked about the relationship we have developed with the Tanzanians over the last twelve years and how that moves us to want to welcome them.
Isaac, the leader of the Tanzanians, said, yes, it is all about relationships-- and I have been in your homes, in your pastorates, and I have seen how you have learned by digging into God's word together that you are to be in relationship with each other and to care for each other. It is that care that we feel extending beyond your groups to welcome us!
One of the side benefits of investing in pastorates that are rooted in God's word and digging deep into relationship with one another.