Room for one more

Don’t get me wrong, we love to have house guests. We look forward to down time with folks from all around the world…here for different reasons…just to learn about them and their work, family, culture. We have a guest book that is rapidly filling with names that stir up wonderful memories. Some folks are adopting couples. Some are missionaries en route to some place else. Some need a place to rest a head while doing quick business in Kyiv. Some are teams who have come to serve God through medicine. Some are teams who have come to serve God through camps.

This morning at 4:00 we sent off two visiting missionaries who came to be part of a fabulous international medical student conference in Ternopil. Jim and the student team have been working on this conference for months! Four hundred attendees and 31 speakers representing 11 different organizations. Wow! We loved have Dr. Smith and Dr. Kuhn with us upon arrival and shortly before their departure. We laughed, we dreamed, we prayed, we teared up. We encouraged each other. We had much more we could have talked about before they left the country.

And yet Jim and I looked forward to a dinner for two — nothing fancy, just the two of us. We have lots to consider these days and we need to be sure that we’re on the same page. We prayed together early this morning and set about our tasks for the day.

During my Ukrainian lesson, my teacher asked me about our house guests. I told her that they had left early this morning. Trying to help me use specific verbs, she asked if we were expecting any more guests in the near future. I told her no, but you never know!

Twenty minutes later, Jim interrupted the lesson to let me know that a student from the conference had missed his plane to Siberia today. He was at the airport and had rescheduled his flight for tomorrow. I smiled. And then asked Jim what time he was coming over.

Yes, our dinner for two still happened (while our guest was in the shower…he arrived after already eating dinner. Crazy kid. We had prepared plenty for him as well!) What a pleasant young man! He is now sleeping comfortably in a bed — not an airport chair — and will be leaving our flat at 6 tomorrow morning.

I always pray that if our own children were stuck somewhere — not to mention if WE were stuck somewhere — that someone would be there to offer a pillow, an encouraging word, a smile. How could we offer any less? I’m thankful this student was comfortable enough to call Doctor Jeem…he really didn’t know anyone else in the big city!

We thank God that He provided us with a flat that accommodates guests. (When all five of us lived here, we were a full house. But now we have spare space!)

Interesting place…Siberia. Just might have to take a trek up that way sometime…I know where we can stay.



  1. kristin Fisher says:

    Your ministry of hospitality touches so many… makes me smile to hear when you are as blessed as your guests!

  2. You inspire me, mama Marianna! how wonderful that you’re using the gift God gave you and are such a blessing to those in need. It makes me think of your Thanksgiving dinner tradition, too. Love you!!!

  3. Even with all 5 there you managed to have room for guests! I thank God for your open hearts to anyone that needs a respite and soft pillow for a night (or two or three or …). ;~)

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