This passion for hospitality has been my cup of tea for as long as I can remember!
My parents regularly encouraged my twin sister Michelle and I to invite friends over, preferring to have the kids at our place where they could keep an eye on us. My mom worked on making our home a fun place for our friends to hang out by hosting different creative events. We even had a Chinese dinner once (back then in South Africa we didn’t have much access to Chinese food, so my mom cooked her own and we decorated dry twigs with tissue paper blossoms to make our African living room look like an Asian garden!)
As teenagers our home became a meeting place for friends, and my dad used to wryly comment on the budget he needed just to keep up the supply of coffee in the kitchen. Youth group meetings happened there, school friends came to relax around our pool and neighborhood kids found our home a safe and welcoming place where they could sit around on the floor and build friendships.
When I was in college, a couple came to our church and shared how they used a section of their home for a “ministry of hospitality”. People who needed refreshment were invited to come and stay in their home for a while and left strengthened and encouraged. Their story caught my imagination and my heart responded with a deep desire to use my future home as a place of welcome for others. I too wanted hospitality to be a big part of my life. Years later, after we had been living in the States for 3 years, I mentioned to Brett that we had already hosted over 60 staying guests and asked him if he thought I now had the ministry of hospitality!
I would never have imagined back then, as a teenager living on the southernmost tip of Africa, the places I would call home and the nations I would be privileged to visit and explore. I would not have known then about the countless hundreds of people Brett and I would host in our home and the passion I would develop for sharing with others the concept of generous living and true hospitality!
I am so grateful for my parents, Brett's parents and the people around us who taught us how to be hospitable from a young age. It is my desire that this rich heritage may bear fruit in the lives of many others through Heartistry.