It's the evening and there's only dim light to fill the house. The front door is slightly too small for the doorway and there's no lock. Once you're inside, you could touch the kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and the bathroom just by turning your body 360 degrees. The entire shared space is at your arm's reach. Seven dogs and six people already share this space and "crowded" doesn't even begin to describe the experience. Then, they welcome two more people in.
They welcome me and Taylor into their home
Growing up, I was never allowed to bring my friends over because we lived in a small apartment So receiving such genuine hospitality from my host family who has less than a small apartment has made me question, "Why did they decide to host me?" When I finally asked this questions that bogged my mind, my Ate looked at me like the answer was obvious:
"Because God gives us."
Her short and simple answer has challenged the way I view stewardship. I realized that somewhere along the way, I have bought into the lie that says that we can't help others until we reach a certain level of financial security. But God is breaking down this lie and showing me that I don't have to have "extra" to steward.
My host family doesn't have "more" than others. But they have a deeper understanding that everything they have is from God and can be used for God's Kingdom. Their good stewardship has been one of the most intimate ways I've experienced Jesus' love here.
Praise God that He is the one who gives! And that we can help others to experience the Kingdom through the good gifts that we are given.
Melanie is a student at the University of Texas, Austin.