Thad just called from a youth meeting at church. He said that our 19 year old daughter Julia told him we are going to have someone staying with us for a while -- not sure how long, but starting tomorrow afternoon! You see, Julia has been to Entre Rios, Bolivia, twice on mission trips and loves the people there. She is very fond of a twentysomething single lady missionary named Angela who has ministered there in the rural areas for many years. Angela is in Miami and was going to fly back to Bolivia, but apparently there has been violent civil unrest there and I think the airports have been seized by rebels -- or something like that. The CNN headline reads Bolivian 'State of Siege' Declared. So she is taking the train to Orlando and she'll stay with us for the time being! Yay! No, this kind of hospitality on short notice does not bother me at all. Hebrews 13:2 says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." In my mind, it is an especially high privilege to host someone who selflessly serves the kingdom of God. It should also be very educational for all of us.
The irony is this: "B is for Bolivia"! Let me explain... My sister Barb gave me a prayer shawl for my birthday last week. (Click here to read more about that and see a picture of the shawl.) At one end it has twelve beads, one each for Thad and I and our ten children. Each one has an initial on it: T, V, M, J, R, J, L, A, M, N, B, and M. I decided that beyond praying for my own household, I would "recycle" each letter as a reminder to pray for someone or something else starting with that letter. And a mere five minutes before my dear hubby called to let me know about our impending guest, I had decided that B would be for Bolivia!
Do pray for Bolivia! Things have been really hairy there for years. When Mary and Julia went in 2005 (has it been that long?), the rioting and uprisings were spiking up, and things weren't that much better when Julia went back last year. It is all more complicated than I can understand, but at least I can pray to the God who knows it all.
Note on September 24: You can read an update to this post at: A is for Angela.