I was a stranger.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35

I crossed the international border late one night and entered Nigeria on foot, but there were no taxis for the eight-hour trip inland to my home. I resigned myself to sit down on a log, literally, and wait out the night.

A group of drunken men headed my way. Maybe to them I looked like a defenseless, white lady, alone in the taxi station. They greeted me and asked for money. Thank God, after a while they left.

A short time later, a man, who didn’t stink of alcohol, approached me. “Good evening, madam. This is a dangerous place for you.”

I nodded.

“My wife and I would like to invite you to spend the night in our home. I’m the pastor of the Church of God.”

The man was a stranger to me, but without hesitation, I stood, grabbed my backpack, and followed him. And he wasn’t even of my church denomination.

The pastor’s wife cooked a supper of beans and rice and filled my thermos with boiled water for drinking. They provided a rope bed in a small mud house for the night.

Early the following morning, they bought bread, eggs, and teabags and prepared breakfast for me. I never asked them for anything.

They never demanded money or any other compensation for their hospitality, but when I left I handed them some cash to bless them for their kindness.

Years later, now I think of their hospitality and wonder, in today’s society, if we who call ourselves Christians, no matter what the denomination, are kind to strangers, hospitable, and share what we have.

It’s more challenging in our culture today with the high rate of crime to offer hospitality to strangers. Still, if we call ourselves Christians, we should attempt to make outsiders feel welcome. 

I was a stranger and you took me in.

May God bless your efforts to be hospitable.

Celeste

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About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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One Response to I was a stranger.

  1. Martin LaBar says:

    Leviticus 19:33 “‘If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.

    Matthew 25:34 Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. 36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’

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