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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Givens

Jesus in Ohio

Lately I’ve felt like a traveling salesman. Our family has been traveling nearly every weekend for the past two months, and then Rachel and I are coming home to our full-time jobs on Mondays. During this time, I have felt tired. All of us have, in fact. The boys are whiney; Rachel is crabby; I’m a little grumpy myself. During our travels, however, we’ve met some truly amazing individuals.

While in southern Minnesota visiting a church, we met a man named Arnold and his wife Grace. Arnold and Grace have been advocating for our mission at their church ever since we initially made the decision to go to France. Having been missionaries themselves, they understand very well the difficulties of support raising. We are extremely grateful for everything they’ve done for us so far.

We’ve also met Elisabeth and her husband Ramont. They have two lovely children who spent a great deal of time playing with our boys and taking them on rides on their ATV. We had a lovely dinner and conversation with Elisabeth and Ramont at their home as we waited out a tornado warning. I learned about Elisabeth and Ramont’s heart for missions. They were previously missionaries as well, and their kindness and generosity will be remembered.

While visiting a church in Ohio, we met Joyce and Tom. These two wonderful people opened their home to us, providing us transportation and taking us to and from the two hour drive to Columbus, where we caught our flight. We learned about their five children and numerous grandchildren. They obviously have a love of everyone they meet, and they were Jesus to us while we were with them. We hope we can be as hospitable in our own lives.

I mention all this to say that, while we are very tired, our travels and church visits have been beautiful experiences. We have been greatly encouraged by the number of amazing people we have met that we never would have interacted with if we had not undertaken this journey. We hope to get to know many more such people both here and abroad. These people are truly living the life of Christ, living out the words of Hebrews 13:1-2, “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” And Romans 12:13, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (English Standard Version).

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