There really are over 100 houses where we have been welcomed. In heaven maybe we can give you a proper introduction to these fellow Christians, but here’s a little tidbit to whet your appetite.
Paul’s sister Joy has welcomed us many times with a fire blazing in a romantically lit room, artistically arranged and so cozy.
There was a little cabin next to a dam outside of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I was sick and discouraged when we arrived, and after a week in that rustic beauty, complete with donkeys to play with, I was perky and ready to go again!
The Klopfenstein’s in Alabama took us into their beautiful home when we were newlyweds, and remain one of the very few families who have ever shared their family devotional time with us.
Deb H. in Indiana inspired me with being one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. She and her husband would welcome us to their huge farm, treat us like kings, and manage to help family and neighbors at the same time.
In Standing Rock, New Mexico, the Foerster family took us on a memorable hike, mostly down in the bottom of a deep gorge. It felt like a step back into a Western movie, complete with Indians! The Foersters are missionaries to the Navajo Indians, so some of the Navajo kids came on the hike with us. The rock formations were stunning, and our whole family was thrilled with that experience.
The Wescos in Indiana invited us into their big home, where the mom sat and talked while some of her ten children prepared a huge meal for about 20 people. That bit of hospitality gave me some higher goals for our own children.
In Whiteville, NC, we love the Southern hospitality of the pastor and his church members. They make us laugh as well as take good care of us.
In Bloomfield, Pennsylvania, the pastor’s kids took our kids fishing and four-wheeling while Dad and Mom relaxed under some tall pines. Ahh!
At Calvary of Charlotte, the church keeps a house just for missionaries. One of the perks of that one is that there are handy thrift stores right nearby! Plus a walk to a huge purple jungle gym that our kids love.
The Barnes in South Africa welcomed us into their big, beautiful home, and then took us on a tour of a golf course at sunset where we saw game animals running free. Mr. Barnes let each one of us pick one of his walking sticks from his collection for our daily walks. A walk takes on a different quality when a polished walking stick is swinging jauntily in your hands. Just let a dog dare to attack!
A mission in Shelley Beach has welcomed us so many times and we delighted in those special opportunities to be so near the sea. The last time we were there, the property was for sale, and our little Cherish was offered a job as a real estate agent for her animated tour techniques for prospective buyers.
In Mulango, Kenya, the Mulango Bible Institute staff and students welcomed us, and gave us our own house for several months. We loved life in Kenya. I had to learn to cook goat meat and wash clothes by hand. Paul sometimes had to hike with his big bag of chalk art equipment over dirt trails to get to the schools where he would preach and draw. Other times our friend Samson Katanga would give him a lift on his motorcycle. It was funny to see Paul’s long frame curl on to the back of a motorcycle, carrying his chalk equipment to appointments.
When Paul preached he would sometimes receive an offering of beans, bananas, milk, or, our favorite, a live chicken! One white one became a beloved pet, named Musungu which is what they called us, meaning “white man.” Life was hard in some ways. I lost weight and gained muscles without any gym time, which I consider one of the perks.
Missionaries in Mexico and Peru have welcomed us with a place to stay and a ministry to do while there. We have some wild memories of both places, and would love to return.
Umtata, South Africa was another place where a whole mission welcomed us and we so enjoyed staying there. That mission ministers mostly to Zulu speaking, Amazioni church people. It was our first place to receive hospitality in a home sealed with cow dung. That got my attention, but it wasn’t bad.