Hospitality and the Stranger

One of the most memorable experiences I had, while serving as a volunteer English teacher in Morogoro, Tanzania, was receiving the gift of hospitality. I traveled from Morogoro to Kenya by bus with Vivian, one of my fellow African teachers. There was a woman sitting behind us who, after talking with Vivian, realized that the two of them had grown up in the same area in Tanzania. That connection created an instant bond of sisterhood between them. The woman, Joy, now was living in Mombasa, Kenya, where Vivian and I had to transfer to another bus to get to Nairobi.

When we arrived in Mombasa early in the morning, we had to wait until evening for the transfer, so Joy invited us to her home. After feeding us lunch, she encouraged us to bathe and rest until we had a traditional evening meal. Then the entire family walked us to the bus station and waited until we were safely on our way.

When we began our journey, Vivian and Joy had been complete strangers, but Joy took us in and cared for us. I experienced this extraordinary hospitality, not only on this trip, but throughout my entire year in Tanzania. Nan Bader, Luther Memorial, N. Syracuse, NY There are opportunities today to experience hospitality like this in many countries. For young people there is the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program.

There are also short term and long term missionary opportunities for people with special skills. See the global mission section on the ELCA website for more information, and you can become a stranger who experiences the hospitality of others, or if interested in helping with our synod team, you can contact Beth Walker, chair of UNY Synod Ministry at or 315‐945‐5539.

Katherine Neugent