by Katherine Kehler
â€œThose who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shameâ€? Psalm 34:5
As we drove to Davlekano, Russia, I was filled with mixed emotions. This was the place where my mother had spent the first 15 years of her life. But during the Russian revolution, her family had fled to Canada and no relative had been back since then. I prayed that the Lord would connect me with someone who would remember our family. He answered in an amazing way.
At one of our meetings in Ufa, Russia, we were introduced to Romano, a pastor who offered to drive us to Davlekano and show us around the town. As we came near, he invited us to have lunch at their house and we readily agreed. First we stopped at a local store and bought a gift for his wife and found a bag of homemade cookies that were just like the ones my mother used to bake.
When we came to their house, Tanya, his wife, greeted us with a very friendly smile. She radiated Jesus Christ. Three years before she and her husband came to faith in Christ and their love for Him and others was very evident.
Tanya served us a wonderful lunch of salads, cucumbers, brown and white bread, potato soup, cookies and tea. The table was wobbly and the house was old, but clean. And it was obvious she worked hard to prepare for our visit.
I learned a lesson that day. It is not the beautiful home or elaborate preparations that make a person feel good about being in anotherâ€™s home. It is the spirit of the people living in the home.
She was radiant and very welcoming. This woman, from another country, welcomed us like Christ would welcome us – like a mother welcoming us home.
We didnâ€™t find my motherâ€™s house, but we found love.
Father God, free us from the competition when we invite guests to our homes. Help us to welcome people with warmth and love. Help us to radiate and reflect You. Amen.
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