I feel lucky to share this really special hosting story today, a young family with young children opening their home to a teenager this Christmas, full of unknowns. Here is a peek a their time together:
Tell us a little about Hosting an Orphan
What were your feelings about hosting prior to meeting your host child?
I was a jumble of emotions. I was so excited and so nervous and so scared. On the way to the airport I kept saying to my husband, “What did we get ourselves into?” We were hosting a teen girl and I felt like I knew nothing about teenagers. We have two young daughters (17 months and 4 1/2) so I was feeling very inadequate. I kept thinking of 2 Corinthians 12:9 where it says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” I knew that we couldn’t do this alone and that God was going to give us exactly what we needed when we needed it…
Tell us a little bit about hosting, what were small joys you experience?
Our small joys were watching our girl light up. Watching her hard exterior melt away. Hearing her stories. Seeing her be free to be herself. Watching her observe our extended family and then connecting with them as she spent more time with them. We also found ourselves spending more quality time together as a whole family during a time that we would normally be so busy.
What stands out to you overall about your experience hosting an orphan?
The humility and realness of it all. When you tell people that you are hosting an orphan during the Christmas season a common response is,
“Awwww, an orphan? For Christmas? That’s so sweet!”
For us it wasn’t really sweet but it was real and raw and tiring and amazing. We did some fun things but the best part was just being a family. Watching Lisa observe us in our normal lives and then participating with us in this life. She watched us intently as we disciplined our children and loved them right after. She did devotions with us each night and finally, just days before she left, she began to participate in our bedtime prayers, praying aloud in her language, that was a very happy day for us. We bonded with her over games of Uno and afternoon cups of coffee and silly dance games on the TV. In hindsight I don’t know what kind of difference we made in her life, but I know that for 30 days she knew the love of a family, she watched how a family who loves Jesus treats one another and how we value our time with the Lord and with each other. For us, we learned more about unconditional love. Loving someone when it’s not always the easiest thing to do, giving up your “me” time to love on someone else, hugging someone when they shy away, making eye contact when it’s uncomfortable, the list could go on. I realized in all of this that I can be very selfish, but during this time we were all in and we saw just a glimpse of how Christ loves us, wholly, completely and sacrificially.
Describe your all time favorite moment in hosting, what made it special?
One late night it was just L and I sitting on the couch. We were looking through photos on Facebook, and talking about bits and pieces of her life in her country. We sat for over an hour just looking at pics and chatting as best we could. We had a few moments of laughing so hard we were crying and by the end of the night we had a handful of inside jokes that carried on throughout the time she was here. It was something so simple but it really bonded us together.
Now that they have gone home, do you plan to keep connected/host again, etc?
We are definitely staying in touch. There’s a ten hour time difference so it hasn’t been easy but we have been able to chat on the computer a couple times since she’s been home. Will we host her again? We are in prayer, seeking the Lord’s will. We love her lots and would be happy to have her here for summer but we are praying for the Lord’s direction and financial provision.
We had wondered if God was going to give us exactly what we needed when we needed it.
Thank you for reading L’s hosting story. You can follow along with Alicia’s blog here: www.motherhoodinthetrenches.com