As missionaries to an unreached nation, we understand the importance of food to our ministry. Food is central to bonding. I think you’d agree that some of your best conversations have taken place over a good meal or cup of coffee. When we really want to get to know someone, we invite them into our home and share a meal with them. Something about it just opens up the soul. You feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable when that basic need is being met. That’s why a big part of our monthly budget goes towards food and hospitality. Our donors make it possible for us to set aside that money to welcome people into our lives and share a meal with them. Doing so opens doors to deeper places in the heart. Then, beautiful things happen.
A few days ago, we invited a friend to our house. We had spent most of the day with her and a few friends, eating, talking, taking photos. Over a bag of seaweed chips and three bottles of nestea, she told us about a job decision she was facing. Then she opened up her heart. We talked for a while, then invited her to come to our house later. She was happy to. That night we talked more. Then, we asked her if we could pray for her. She smiled and nodded enthusiastically. Jacki prayed for her and we closed in Jesus’ name. She thanked us and told us she had a great day with us. She is Buddhist and it takes a lot to get to a place where you can genuinely introduce Jesus to a Buddhist and not turn them off. This was a huge step.
Now, you might be saying, “I think you’re reaching a little to make your point, Andrew”. Not if you consider that our entire relationship with her was because of food. She runs a nearby restaurant. One day we were looking for something to eat and we wandered into her shop. We immediately connected, but the restaurant was a little more expensive than other options around the area. We decided that she was worth it, however, and continued to trust God to provide for us. He did. Our donors were faithful and new donors joined without even knowing the investment they were making in this precious friend. A few months and a few meals later, she is beginning to open up to us. We are thankful to all our partners who make it possible to make these simple, daily investments in the people we love so much. Jesus said that if you give a cup of cold water to a thirsty child, you will not lose your reward in heaven. I’m pretty sure he’d say the same about helping Jacki deliver a handful of, now “world famous”, truffles to our neighbors. Thank you for investing in us and for making our relationships with the lost possible. We love you.