Every home on a foreign field, be it a city mission or rural posting, will have pastors, elders, families and other global workers often at your door. I am sure that your hospitality skills will be called on. The most basic form of hospitality in so many countries is a cup of coffee or tea or glass of soda.
Try to stock up on simple, colorful glasses and do find some new colors in stemware – plastics are fun! A good trick to keep the kitchen help careful is to say, “when I go back to my country, you can have these glasses for your own”. Suddenly they are very careful because they will eventually be theirs.
A good teapot or coffee pot is essential or both. Take at least eight to twelve teacups. A tea tray can be kept at the ready with sugar and creamer, cups, mugs and spoons. This is a very handy item. A LOT of hospitality at first as a new global worker, without language skills is shown through a gentle pat on the shoulder, warm smile and a cup of hot coffee or tea.
Making someone feel special and welcome is a must for all global workers. Also take a few small child-sized cups and saucers. Children will be delighted. Good conversation and patience with others’ children can be an open door for the Good News.
Never worry about what to serve with a hot beverage. If you have bread, cut it into quarters and serve simply beside the drink. Of course cookies and quick breads are best to keep on hand for the unexpected guests.
Keep your house sunny, cheerful and uncluttered and be an example of hospitality in this way. Always remember that we Americans are way behind in the department of hospitality. Other nationalities are able to teach us a lot – so we must listen to them, and learn.