Over the last couple of weeks, we invited anyone who was interested to come to two open events hosted by the Welcoming the Stranger small group. Both events were a great combination of being challenging and a lot of fun.
On October 30th, Dawnielle Miller shared how she and others founded Casa Chirilagua. It was so helpful to hear her perspective on the practical ways that she responded to God’s call to welcome the stranger and the ways that God has led and provided for them over the last several years. If you feel led to reach out to internationals but aren’t sure where to begin, the folks at Casa Chirilagua have done a lot of hard work to provide venues and opportunities to do so. Check out what’s going on at www.casachirilagua.
On November 6th, James and Faith Cha, of the Crescent Project, came to tell their story of being welcomed to the U.S. as kids, particularly the simple yet life-changing ways that members of local churches reached out to them. They also shared the ways they’ve found of sharing the Gospel with the people they come into contact with, especially people from different cultural backgrounds. Two things stood out to me:
1) One way they challenged us was to be more spontaneous. We can miss opportunities to love the people around us (in all sorts of ways, not just limited to evangelism!) because we’re so intent on getting to the next thing on our list. Having even just a little flexibility in our schedules can go a long way towards being open to respond to the people that God brings across our path.
2) A second challenge that I found convicting was to simply be bold. It’s just not that big of a deal to tell someone you’re a Christian. It’s not that big of a deal to invite someone to church. It’s not even that big of a deal to offer to pray for someone on the spot who isn’t a Christian. It is remarkable how much more open people are to us expressing our Christianity than we might expect, especially those who come from highly religious cultures.
Thanks to those of you who were able to join us. Our small group will be spending the next couple of weeks thinking and praying about how to build on the conversations we’ve been having this trimester, and particularly what the next trimester will look like. If you’re interested in being part of this aspect of our church’s life, we’d love to have you. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.