Monthly Archives: November 2011

Shelter from a Stranger

Glenn Highway in the Winter

Glenn Highway in the Winter

My husband and I lived in Alaska for several years. While we were there God placed many people in our lives who showed us hospitality in generous ways.  One family in particular I will never forget.  Today I would like to share the story of how they blessed us by their hospitality.

Will and I lived in Glennallen, which is about 200 miles northeast of Anchorage by way of the Glenn Highway.  We often drove to Anchorage for shopping trips or to go to the airport.  On this particular day in October of 2004 we were driving back home to Glennallen at night.  We left Anchorage around 8:00 in the evening and began the long drive home.  We soon ran into snow, but by the time we realized how bad the snow storm was we had no option but to keep going, so we did.

It was not an easy drive.  We were crossing a mountain range; the roads were winding and narrow.  Sometimes there were very steep drop-offs, and there were no guardrails.  I prayed constantly as we were driving, “Lord, please don’t let us go off the road.”

We continued on for many hours until eventually we could go no further.  The snow was too deep, and our car could not make it up the hill.  We knew that it wouldn’t be wise to spend the night in the car on the side of the highway, especially considering my fragile health, but there was no way to get home until the roads were plowed.

God was watching over us, and He caused us to become stuck in the snow very close to Victory Bible Camp, a Christian camp in the Chugach Mountains.  We decided that we would turn around, drive back down the hill, and drive down the camp road as far as we could.

There were many missionaries who lived year-round at Victory Bible Camp, but we did not personally know any of them.  We were going to have to ask a stranger for help.  We drove until we got stuck, and then knocked on the door of the nearest house.  By this time it was 2:00am.  A startled and sleepy man answered the door, and we said, “Hi; we are Will and Rachel Lundy from Alaska Bible College.  We’re stranded in the snowstorm, and our car is stuck in your driveway.  May we stay here for the night?”

This man graciously opened his door and invited us into his family’s home.  He told us that earlier that day his wife had put clean sheets on the guest room bed and clean towels in the guest bathroom.  We were welcomed to make ourselves at home.

Weary from the intense driving, we crawled into bed, grateful for a safe, warm place to lay our heads for the night.  We were so exhausted that we didn’t wake up until 9:00 in the morning.  We showered and dressed and nervously went downstairs to meet the family who was hosting us.

The man we had met the night before was out plowing the camp roads, so we never got to see him again.  However, we did meet his lovely wife and children.  His wife gave us breakfast and talked with us as if it was the most normal thing for us to be in her kitchen!  She said that we could come back anytime we needed a place to stay.  Wow!  How is that for hospitality?!

Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers…” (NIV).  How thankful I am that this family chose to welcome us into their home in our time of need.  They spared us from a long, cold night in our car.  I cannot remember the name of the family who opened their home to us, but I will never forget their godly example in showing hospitality to strangers in need.  I am so thankful for their willingness to give us a safe, warm place to spend the night.  Their hospitality continues to inspire and encourage me today.

Photo Credit: Kelsey Gray

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Serving Your Neighbors

Ever wanted to do something for the people in your neighborhood, but not quite sure what? Here’s a few ways you could serve your neighbors this holiday season:

1. House of Prayer: Ask neighbors how you can pray for them.

2. Schools: Volunteer to help for holiday parties, take Christmas cookies and verses to teachers.

3. Businesses: Ask how you can pray for the businesses; offer to set up the Christmas tree.

4. Community service and events: Volunteer to trim bushes or decorate common grounds.

5. Newsletters: If your community has a newspaper, write a Christmas article or story; invite neighbors to Christmas Eve services.

6. Block Parties: Host a party for your neighbors. Let everyone bring food. Add attractions such as clowns, face painting, water balloons, and games to encourage interaction.

7. Coffees or Teas: Open your home to a Christmas coffee or tea. Share the good news of Christ.

8. Gift wrapping party: Offer to gift wrap some presents. Let neighbors bring the wrapping.

For ways to be involved in servant evangelism, visit www.servantevangelism.com.

from Serving Your Neighbors at Christmas

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Christmas Pantry Stocking Party

Invite guests to bring a  bag of small boxes and cans of food to be donated to a homeless shelter, a ministry of your church or an adopted family in need.

Ideas might be: small bags or cans of tuna, chicken, meat with pop top (self-opening lids), Vienna sausage, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni and cheese, pinto beans, vegetables, chicken soup, fruit cocktail, and other items. Provide large, inexpensive stockings and bags of Christmas candy (candy canes or hard candy that will not melt are best.

As guests arrive, divide food donations into piles of protein, vegetables, starches, and other items.

Have a Christmas card-making table and let everyone make cards to go into stockings with food. Cards can be as simple or creative as one desires. Provide markers, glue sticks and old magazines for card-making. Bible verses can be provided to paste onto cards.

Have guests take a stocking and fill it with food from each pile, candy, and a card. Stockings can be placed in a decorated box to be taken to the shelter or family.

Serve refreshments and share the message of Christmas. “Bethelehem” means House of Bread, and the Christmas story reminds us that God sent His Son to us to provide the promise of eternal life.

Thank everyone for their donations and pray that God will bless these families who have given and those who will receive donations.

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Ministering to Lost Family at Christmas

Most of us have family members that don’t know the Lord. With the holiday season upon us, we have more opportunities to spend quality time with family members we may not see regularly and share the love of Christ.

Here are a few ways to minister to lost family members:

1. Give the Message. Post on verse cards, gifts, recipe cards, placemats, Facebook, etc.

2. Get right with family members. Confess your sins. Ask forgiveness. 1 John 1:9.

3. Put to death the behavior listed in Colossians 3:8-9: “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices” (ESV).

4. Exhibit the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (ESV).

5. Pray for each family member by name and pray verses for each one.

6. Pray for God to give you an opportunity to speak Truth to them.

7. Be ready to give an answer, “…Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15, ESV).

8. No matter what happens during the holidays, LIVE the message of Jesus.

Never give up on your family! We all need Jesus.

from Yikes! My Family is Lost

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Christmas Gift Exchange

A fun way to celebrate the season and spread the message of Christ with friends is by hosting a Christmas gift exchange. The women’s ministry at my church hosts one each December and they are a lot of fun! The gift exchange can be done in a church group or in a home with neighborhood friends.

Karen Cheong generously gave us detailed instructions for hosting a party in your home. The format follows pretty much the same for a church event.

Directions for

How to Host a Christmas Party.

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Good Answers to Tough Questions

Have you ever shared your faith with someone and they ask you a question you just don’t know the answer to? Or perhaps you’ve been hesitant to share your faith, because you’re afraid you won’t know the answer!

There are tough questions when it comes to following Jesus. There are times we won’t know the answer, but that’s okay. We don’t have to know the answer.

But when you don’t have an answer, what can you say?

How about one of these:

  1. I have no idea. Let’s try to find the answer together.
  2. That’s a good question. Let me do some research and I will get back to you.
  3. When I get to heaven, I’ll ask God that question. What would you ask Him?
  4. Tell me more. What interested you in knowing the answer to this question?
  5. Are you interested in God’s answer? If so, I think we can find a Bible study that will help us find the answers to lots of questions.
  6. I don’t know the answer to that question, but what I do know is that Jesus is real to me. Share how Jesus has changed your life.
  7. I know the answer to your question; but, if I answer your question, will you listen to my question?

Remember,

…do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Matthew 10:19-20

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Good Answers for Tough Questions was a round table discussion at Koinonia Christmas. These answers to tough questions came from that session.

Every Tuesday and Thursday in November and December, we’ll share more of the great sessions from Koinonia Christmas on planning parties with purpose and evangelism.

Stay tuned!

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Planning Parties with a Purpose

We had a wonderful time at Koinonia last night!

We wish you all could have joined us, but if you couldn’t make it we’re planning on sharing the wonderful tips and ideas for planning holiday parties with purpose and the evangelism round table discussions.

There were a lot of great ideas shared by faculty wives and we appreciate all the planning that went into the event.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays in November, we’ll be sharing a sampling of the ideas and discussions from Koinonia Christmas.

Parties with Purpose

Christmas Traditions Party

Happy Birthday, Jesus! Party

Candy Cane Lane

Ornament Exchange Party

Christmas Pantry Stocking Party

Christmas Gift Exchange

Christmas Recipe Exchange Party

Cross-Cultural Christmas

Reason for the Season Party

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Evangelism Round Table Discussions

Good Answers for Tough Questions

Yikes, My Family is Lost!

Conversation Starters for Sharing Jesus at Work

Serving Your Neighbors at Christmas

How to Have a “Mary” Christmas

Gifted2Go: Sharing the Good News

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