Last spring my son came home from school with some trinkets from an exchange student who shadowed Casey for the day. Casey told me about the boy then said we should host a foreign exchange student. Although I thought Casey was just bidding for that brother he’s always wanted, it really bothered Casey that most of the students had not even heard of Jesus. I semi-jokingly told Casey the Jesus card wouldn’t work this time and I didn’t think about it again.
In July while reading the school newsletter, I unfortunately saw they were looking for families willing to host Chinese students. Ugh. Why did I have to see that? It was tricky enough having a rental son for six weeks last year, how would we do it for ten months? My list of mental excuses mounted, but I resolved not to worry about it. If it was supposed to happen God would work it out. When I brought it up to Chris he seemed surprisingly okay with it. When I mentioned it to the kids they were thrilled. We have an extra bedroom, the kids knew most of the returning Chinese students so we wouldn’t have a complete stranger and I’m not working or taking classes this year.
I didn’t want to.
My home is my retreat. Sometimes I have to run through the house in my skivvies to the laundry room to find a clean outfit. I’m very particular about my stuff. I don’t want to be quiet when I’m working out because someone is in the guest room. More laundry, dishes, driving and cooking? Four teenagers? And it’s our last year as a family of five before Hannah starts college. Again I say, ugh.
Over the last several years I’ve been learning some things about what I say I believe. I say I believe in Jesus, that he died on a cross and was raised from the dead. I say I love Him and want to help others believe in Him so they can live forever in paradise with Him. I say I believe if people don’t believe in Jesus Christ they will be eternally separated from Him in a horrible place of suffering and torment. But when it comes down to actually living out what I say I believe, I am reluctant, I resist and I refuse to love the people Jesus came to die for. I have asked myself many times recently if I really believe what I say about Jesus and if I do, am I living life differently?
Jill Briscoe says we love people by doing the obvious. In my quest to discern if God wanted us to host a Chinese foreign exchange student, I almost missed the obvious. We have been blessed with a house to easily accommodate this child, my family is ecstatic about having him and we say we are followers of Jesus. What should we do? The obvious.
Welcome to the family, Cedric.