This morning I attended our monthly staff meeting for Servant Partners. Toward the end of our meeting, we discussed a hope for the development of a “retreat house” ministry that would serve our different sites across the globe. I was unfamiliar with the concept, and so we spent a few minutes fleshing it out. The idea is to send individuals or couples overseas to live near to our missionary teams (and either work as tentmakers, or raise support as missionaries themselves), and to establish homes outside of the slum areas where our teams live and work that can be places of rest, recovery, safety, and hospitality. Colleagues from another missionâ€™s agency had shared with our leadership the ways this specific type of ministry had contributed to longevity for their workers on the field.
I was struck by how helpful this kind of ministry would be, and how significant. I thought back to my own experience as an urban minister in Chicago, and there were three families specifically whose homes served as my “retreat houses”: places I could go if I became severely ill; places I could go for a weekend to simply rest; places I could go for good food, great conversation, and cable :).
Here in L.A., Doug and I have been blessed to have a family from our sister church in Pasadena offer that same sort of hospitality. When they go out of town, they are quick to call and invite us to stay over at their house for a few days of quiet rest, and they are consistent in inviting us over for food and play. I don’t think I can begin to measure the blessing that this kind of hospitality imparts.