Encouragement as Hospitality

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

There is a neat tradition at Heritage Christian Services. For over 15 years, the individuals at all of the day habilitation programs in the Buffalo, New York area set adise a day to intentionally go out and encourage someone in their neighborhood or faith community. This day of encouraging is in addition to routine volunteering that they do on a weekly basis in the community with Meal on Wheels, food shelters, animal shelters and much more.

One year each person made a care basket for their faith community leader with yummy cookies, music and gifts. The individuals at their work places boarded their vans and traveled to each of their faith communities. When they reached someone’s church or synagogue the person rang the door and handed the basket to their pastor, priest or rabbi. They shared with them how much their faith community leader had encouraged their faith and thanked him or her as they handed them a beautiful basket. One Pastor almost cried and said he had a difficult week and how much this act of kindness made his day!
Another pastor said she saw her friend walking up to the door of the church and felt like sunshine was coming her way. She had just lost her dog the day before.

There is nothing like surprising someone on an ordinary day and letting them know how much they mean to you.

This group of individuals were able to bring hospitality to the very people that share it with them every week and it was a delight!

After their day of encouraging the people from each day program got together with each other to tell their stories, share a meal, dance, sing and have a devotion of thankfulness together.

Contributed by Diane Sturmer, Spiritual Life Coordinator, Heritage Christian Services, Inc.

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