May 13, 2009

Home for Ministry

One of the most exciting thing in life is to be able to live in your own home which you can do anything you want in it. My dream was to have a cosy home and welcoming to guests. I am not great on interior design and even though I like to see homes that are tastefully done up, I know that it will never be my home... I think because I am generally a practical person.

Anyway, now that hubby and I have our own place (we started out marriage with this current place), we hope to and have been putting on our hospitality hats to use our place, not just for ourselves and our family, but also a place to minister to people. We have had quite some people over for meals, hang out, catch up and we aimed to do this at least once a month (sometimes we 'entertain' 3-4 times a month!). We are most glad to see how such gatherings foster relationships and gives opportunity for people to be part of our lives by knowing us at our own home. Other than cooking for people, we also recently had our bible study group meet at our place for those who live in the south of Brisbane. An average of 6 of us would gather together to pray and study the Bible weekly.

Other than 'opening' our place for fellowship and people, there are also other areas which we need to think about when we have people over. One recent and good example was our dining table. We were blessed by a whole lot of second-hand furniture and kitchenware that we bought for a really cheap price. One of the items was a round glass top dining table which sits 6-8 people (we once tried to squeeze 9). From the time we opened our place for bible study, it seems that table is too small for our dinner fellowship and definitely it is too small for us to just host our close family of 9 adults and 1 toddler to sit on the one table. Hence we decided to see if we could sell our round glass top dining table and buy a cheap/second-hand rectangular expandable table, so that we can expand seating capacity when required...

Round glass dining table

After about 4 months of posting up for sale, we finally sold our round glass top dining table for $100 :) We had to sell that table before we bought a new table as our place has no space for 2 tables at one time. Thankfully we had the use of a really small round 4-seater dining table to use (which was used and given to us and we have been putting it in our patio). In the meantime, searching for a good-priced, long lasting, expandable table was not easy. I went to Ikea for about 3-4 weeks consecutively to look for a certain Bjursta table if they went on sale at the discount corner. Most times, those tables on sale are in a fairly good condition with just a couple of scratches. My trips were in vain... not until last Friday, there was a Bjursta selling for $167 (U.P. $279) and also found another good contender, the Leksvik of which all of them (not just 1 or 2) were on sale for $199 (U.P. $399)! After some deliberation on the phone with hubby, we decided that the Leksvik would be a wiser choice (even though we have been kinda eyeing the Bjursta for some time) as it comes in a flat pack, brand new and best of all, it is made of solid wood throughout. The only little problem I had was resolved when the friendly Ikea staff helped me to load the 42kg box onto my car. We were really excited and thankful for this good bargain that we managed to find (after my frequent weekly visits to Ikea), and we only missed a proper dining table for one week exactly. God answered our prayers on this as we prayed for us to be able to get a suitable table in time before our next family gathering for 12 people in about 2 weeks' time.

Bjursta table at its smallest. This seats up to about 10-12 people when expandable (2 extensions are kept below the table.

The Leksvik that we bought! Both sides open up to be able to fit 10 and squeeze 12 persons. This is a much easier mechanism to expand and close up the table.

My thoughtful hubby also thought of buying a portable airconditioner (we cannot afford the proper reverse type) for ourselves to use in summer (last summer was really hot!). We managed to get one off ebay for $200+... and some time later, hubby won another bid on ebay for a similar portable airconditioner for just $100+. So now, we have one portable airconditioner downstairs for guests and we can put in the other one to cool our living room and dining room for larger gatherings.

Today, I saw someone who have been selling her used but cleaned toddler toys on scoodi. 1-2 of them caught my attention and I thought it would be nice if we could have some kids toys made available at home so that when my nieces or friends' kids come over, there is something to keep them entertained. Currently I have only got my toy-like mini cooper car to keep up to 2 kids happy. Thankfully the owner offered me $10 for the 10 items (instead of $12 initially posted).

We deliberately bought a 3 bedroom place so that we could have a guestroom to have people (overseas or not) to stay over. Hopefully even when we have children later, that room can still be kept for guests (and our books :p) only. Many months ago, we managed to get a student desk for free (only a few scratches) so that the guestroom has a decent desk for guests to use.

Hmm, any more ministry suggestions that won't cost a bomb? We are hoping and seeing if we could get hold of a cheaper or 2nd-hand Wii set and also hoping to buy the new Big Taboo so that we can have people over for games and fellowship... *hint hint*

Praise God for providing us a home that we can share with others. It is such a blessing! :)

5 other thoughts:

Nadia said...

It's always nice adding personal touch to your home.

Juliana said...

that's great to dedicate your house to the service of the Lord. I'm also thinking of getting a larger place so that i can have gatherings and an extra room so that i can have pp stay over.

Anonymous said...

if you have more (be it room or something else), it's certainly good to be able to give / serve with more.

if you don't have more, you can still give of / serve with what you have.

the application may look different when you have less (eg. guests may need to be content with sleeping on a sofa bed instead of having their own room), but the principle should still apply.

eleasa said...

i find it so inspiring that you desire to serve God with your EVERYTHING, especially with your intentionality in spending money wisely, in order to beautify & furnish your home with things that can aid your ministry to others. i want to aspire to your Godly intentions in my future home!

island said...

juliana: yes do it since you have the resources to :)

anon: agreed. sometimes also trying to be contented to share what i already have and not hoping to have more to share.

eleasa: its encouraging that you want to do that. i'm sure you can :) we had others who were good role models for us too!

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