Jun 5, 2024 Chaotic or Curious?

“Has anyone ever been to a mansion before?” Judy asked her kids during the evening meeting at the Smiling Hotel.

One little boy raised his hand immediately and said, “Yes, here! This place tonight is a mansion!”

Picture this: You’re a teacher for a kids’ program in a foreign country, and you can’t speak the language. Your classroom is an open-air room inside a 4-star hotel. Two steps away where you’ll be teaching is a massive crystal-clear swimming pool and clean, new restrooms—and 40 very excited and energetic children start flooding in.

“From what I heard, QHM leaders didn’t think we were going to have a lot of children show up to this site. There was even a possibility of having no kids because this site isn’t an established church like the other locations. All this on top of the fact that the main religion is not Christianity here, so we were expecting even fewer,” said Judy, the children’s program leader for the hotel site.

“I was so overwhelmed that first night,” Judy chuckled. “There were children jumping off the step right near the pool over and over again; they were going in and out of the bathrooms, they couldn’t sit still, they were talking the entire time; it was a mess.”

The morning after that first meeting, during our worship and reflection time, Judy shared with the team how the evening went. She expressed how confused and discouraged she was by everything and couldn’t figure out what she did wrong.

Judy didn’t do anything wrong; the children were just excited because they had never experienced anything like it before! The QHM mission team gave her ideas and prayers to help support her and the translators for the kids’ program.

Driving through the area, we noticed that some places seemed poor, but from what we could see from the streets, most people had a roof over their heads and a warm bed to sleep in.

But it wasn’t until the translators and gospel workers took the QHM mission team on foot to visit the community that they saw what the living conditions were like off the main roads. And that’s when everything clicked.

The children were so enamored with the pool because they had probably never seen such clean water. The pool of water they may be used to is the one right outside their door at home. Water that is so dirty and toxic it would make their skin itch profusely if they got wet with it.

Seeing where these children came from allowed the team to see why the kids seemed to have to go to the restroom every five minutes. Who knows how often they got to use a Western-styled toilet? Each community and country we minister to is unique, and what worked in another country may not work in the next.

“What that little boy said about being in a mansion, took me aback. And it was a really sad thought for me, that this was his reality, you know? But also, it was kind of cool that we were able to provide this experience for them,” said Judy.

During Jesus’ time on Earth, He spent time in the community with those He ministered to. He learned their cultures and customs, and because of that, He could provide them with a better hope.

The next night, thanks to Judy’s teammate’s suggestions, she took them on a tour of the hotel so they could see everything. After Judy was able to meet the kids where they were, they were able to sit and listen to the stories and learn of that better hope that they could find in their friend Jesus.

And with joy, Judy could share that Jesus is preparing a mansion for each and every one of us—we just need to accept His invitation!

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-3

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