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I recently joined the Refugee Support Group's Furniture Donations and Home Furnishing Team where we have the opportunity to assist Community Members settle into their new homes or temporary residence with some basic furniture needs.

Through this ministry, I had the opportunity to meet several Afghan families over the past few months and gained a fresh perspective on what gracious hospitality looks like and what living in community means.  In my time with our Community Members, I’ve learned that a hot pot of tea is absolutely essential in every home, and that time seems to flow a little differently in their midst – I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one.

A family that often fondly enters into my conscious thoughts was one that I had the good fortune of experiencing a small taste of their great love for people.  To illustrate, this family got to know many of their neighbours that live around them in just a few short weeks after settling into their new home.  They prepared a welcome meal for a family that moved into a rental suite across the street from them just a couple of weeks after them.  They have a neighbour that speaks neither their native tongue nor English, so they welcomed them into their home and somehow, are now teaching them English.  

I experienced, for just the second time, what it means to have an open door policy with family and friends.  The night our team was over for dinner, they had a friend that showed up unannounced and when we spoke about that experience again a few weeks later, they indicated that they do not understand why Canadians need to set up gatherings days and weeks in advance.  Why can family and friends not just show up at our homes?  How do we live like this?

Although this family currently has little in what we may consider to be important material essentials, I came away from my interactions with them realizing that it is I who am lacking something that is way more fundamentally important and intrinsic to God’s intention for my existence, and that is, genuine and authentic connection to the many people that the Lord has placed in my life.

I am very thankful to God for revealing to me, through those I had intended to serve, that it is I who am lacking and have much to gain, much to learn and much to live out.

If you have been moved by this article and would like to take a next step towards walking alongside newcomers at Tenth, learn more here or fill out this short form.  Hubert is always looking for new volunteers that can pick up or drop off items, especially if you have a van.  

Pictured above is mantu, a favourite Afghan dish.  A couple months ago, our Afghan friends showed their hospitality towards us again when they taught us how to make mantu, followed by experiencing how delicious it was.