Do not neglect hospitality, because through it some have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:2). Joe and I have never, in our forty years together, invited someone we did not know to stay in our home. From time to time one of the kids would bring home a college friend, and that was always fun, but we never until this summer hosted someone that none of us knew before.
One morning in church the announcement was made that a young theology student from Europe was going to be spending three months this summer on a field placement in this area. She would be serving at our church and at a nearby retirement center. The call was put out for families to house her during that time. It struck us both at the same moment: "We could do that." With just a bit of apprehension, we offered our home for two weeks.
Anna Maria moved in with us last Sunday. It has been such a joy to have her here! She is just delightful. Her home is in a village of 2000 people (approximately 1800 of whom are Lutherans) in Serbia; it is called Hlozany and is pronounced "Hello, Jonny." She is a theology student in Bratislava, Slovakia. Eager to help, eager to learn, she has fit in beautifully. Even our cat, who sometimes doesn't seem to like even us, is smitten with her, crawling into her room to share her bed for an afternoon nap.
She had to give a presentation on Hlozany to the residents of the retirement center. She practiced it on us. We learned a lot about a part of the world that is totally unfamiliar to us. She has to give her very first sermon to the same retirement center residents tomorrow. She practiced on us; we were reminded gently but emphatically that humility is more acceptable than pride.
Anna Maria will be with us for probably one more week. We'll be sorry to see her go.