Sharing Fellowship perspectives
Last week I was in mid-Missouri – a beautiful week to be on the road enjoying fall foliage and the rolling terrain of south central Missouri. As I entered Rolla I noticed a huge new car dealership beside the interstate – Kingdom Kia.
In conversation with a friend, I learned that Kingdom Kia had once been the home to a large bustling church. Along the way, tensions filled the church and eventually it closed down – with the building probably returned to a local bank for lack of payment.
A favorite recent movie is The BestExotic Marigold Hotel about seven “British retirees who decide to ‘outsource’ their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India.” The movie chronicles the exploits of the energetic young owner trying to make the hotel look as good as the brochure he provided his clients. It is also the story of new residents adjusting to a new place of living and how they cope with change. One of the seven eventually decides to return back to native England and expresses pride that when she boards the plane she will “turn left.”
On a recent trip to Atlanta I got bumped from economy class to first-class — this meant I also would get to “turn left” as I boarded the plane.
After my sabbatical this summer, our family decided to be more intentional about opening up our home to neighbors and strangers. An opportunity presented itself almost immediately; we were invited to host a high school student from Taiwan for a two-week exchange program.
By the time we picked up Allen at the airport on a Sunday afternoon, he had already been traveling for over 12 hours. He was friendly but understandably quiet and tired. Over the next two weeks, it was fun to see Allen become more and more a part of our family. Some significant things we shared:
Four years ago, CBF of Missouri provided me with the excellent ministry gift of a sabbatical. One of the components of my sabbatical was to experience “being a stranger in a strange land.” I chose to do this by visiting Bucharest, Romania.
The plan was that I would meet up with a guy I had never met before (other than via the internet). “Gio” would rent an apartment for me, he would show me around Bucharest, we would travel to Transylvania and visit the Peles Castle and Bran Castle (where “Dracula” lived), and he would take me to visit the Ruth School for Roma kids in the Ferentari sector of Bucharest.