June 3, 2009

Home for Lodgers

Using our home for ministry is not restricted to having guests over for meals and fellowship... it is also having our place available for people to stay over, a place to put up when they need. When hubby and I began our search for our own place, we wanted to get the minimum of a 3-bedroom place, so that we (hopefully) have a permanent guest room available for stay-over guests. This should last us up to 2, maybe 3 children (if and when we have) as they will share a room and leave the 3rd room for guests. God did provide us with a great 3-bedroom townhouse we are living in now... and it is hence time for us to fulfil what we had set out to do.

God blessed us with our home just in time. We got our house settled and keys handed over, 8 days before our wedding day. We moved in the next day, a perfect timing as M arrived from London to attend our wedding and she could stay at our new place together with us (instead of only me and then-fiance in the same house. M and I shared a room until she had to leave). Over the next few days, my parents and siblings also arrived and stayed at our place and M had to leave and stay at my in-law's. So those were our first guests, even before we really had the chance and time to settle down and call it our own and before we become man and wife.

Our 2nd batch of visitors arrived in Feb last year (3.5 months after we moved in). E, his wife, his parents and his little daughter arrived in Brisbane and Gold Coast for a 2-week holiday and they stayed with us for a week. The 3rd was E & W from Toowoomba, who stayed for a night some time last year. The 4th was my folks, who visited us for a week and left back to SG last week. This week, we are hosting my brother and his 2 friends who are also here for about a week.

Yesterday I received an email from pastor's wife M that her friend's son is arriving here on Friday and hoping to get a temporary accommodation while he search for a permanent accommodation nearer his uni. His parents hope to find him people who will be able to give him good Christian support and to settle him in a local church. I became the 3rd alternative link as the 1st and 2nd choices were not available. Thank God for providing other people to help out. We have guests staying in until next Monday and we will be away this weekend. Managed to get my SIL to put him up for the weekend and bring him to our church on Sunday (where there are many people from his hometown). God also provided someone to be able to pick him up from the airport on Friday.

It is a bit overwhelming for me (I think hubby too) with the many stay-in guests one after the other. I thank God for giving us joy in doing so but I pray for more and continued joy in doing that, especially when I am physically and emotionally tired and I get easily grouchy and tempted to want to retreat to my comfort zone and not having to serve nor interact with anyone else other than hubby. At the end of the day, I am reminded that the Lord is the provider of this house (there is a big amazing story behind how we got this place) and we have committed our house to the Lord to be used for His glory and ministry. The same God will give us the strength, energy and resources to be able to provide and minister to His people.

I think this is good... :) we have another 2 guests checking in in August for a few days and potentially a few more others who are visiting from SG (because of cheap air fare) for the rest of the year. I pray that our house will continue to be a blessing and ministry to people in throughout all phases of our lives and we be joyful and available to serve our guests.

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