Fellowship of the Least Coin prayer concern for May: DIVERSITY & HOSPITALITY
May 16 International Day of Living Together in Peace,
May 21 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
My late husband, Gordon, and I hosted international students beginning in 1976. They came from different cultures and had different religious beliefs, practices, values—and food! They started as strangers but soon became our extended family. We took them with us on weekend outings, to family reunions, birthday parties, Christmas and Easter celebrations.
When we hosted Iranian students, their parents were surprised that Christians would host their Muslim children. I told them that we regarded their sons as God’s children and were happy to have them in our home. We respected and accepted all of our students for who they are.
In 2010, Gordon and I traveled to visit our international family. It was our pleasure to meet their families and accept their hospitality. When Gordon passed away suddenly in 2015, I asked some of them to be pall bearers at the funeral. I felt honoured that they accepted my request even though, for some, this was their first Christian service.
My faith has been stretched, strengthened, and grown; my horizon has widened; and my life has been enriched beyond my expectations through these encounters with people of different cultures.
Our loving God and Creator, help us to show respect and establish positive relationships and share your love which we have experienced through Jesus Christ our Saviour with people of different cultures, faith and languages that we meet at work, in social circles, on our travels, and our daily interactions. May we follow Jesus Christ in all things and in all ways through the Holy Spirit who guides us. Amen.
Nettie Dueck, Winnipeg, MB.