I seem to get myself into such odd situations. Take for example Friday. I spent a full day (9AM to 3:30 pm) home schooling. Then I took the girls and mom to play violin in the children's ward of the hospital. (Among other children there is a 9 year old boy there extremely sick with AIDS.) After playing at the hospital I took off in our untrustworthy SUV to pick up some friends to spend the night. (Some Bible translators who vacationed up the hill from us had a 12 yr old girl named Anna. Hadiah and Anna became friends and so they are spending the weekend together. Anna spent the night here Friday, then Saturday Hadiah spent the night with Anna's family in a village about 2 hrs away. Since we already had 1 girl spending the night, I invited 2 other missionary kids to spend the night. These are other girls, ages 6 and 9, who live about an hour away and have become friends with Hannah and Miriam.)
So I had 10 people in my house for the night- which many might think is enough. In addition, as I left to pick up the girls, I said to Dasen,"I don't know what we'll have for dinner but we'll think of something simple." Well, about an hour after I returned from picking up the girls, an African well-dressed family showed up at our house. This is a family we know and love. The father is a surgical resident and the wife is in a prayer/discipleship group with me. They have 2 children, and speak French mostly (but the dad speaks English.) I didn't realize why they were there until about 10 minutes had passed and we had served them tea. Then I remembered that at discipleship group I had set up times to host all the residents before we leave; in my mind I hadn't confirmed this; but they were right to come b/c I had indeed talked about it.
So, thankfully we hadn't eaten yet. I ran into the kitchen and scrounged in the refrigerator. Dasen had been making French toast and I added to it a fruit salad, dried dates and cucumber slices. As I grappled in the refrigerator, I said to Dasen..."I'm so glad I didn't know about this 2 hours ago because I would have been so stressed, as it is now, I just think it's funny." We sat down to dinner, all 14 of us, and I eyed the girls as if to say "Don't you dare let on that French toast and cucumbers aren't normal American fare for dinner." We ended up having a lovely visit and learned a lot about the Congo, geographically, economically, and personally. They left around 9 pm and as Dasen drove them home, the surgical resident said "I sure wish you would stay here."
When Dasen drove the 1 mile back to our house (it is very difficult to walk on uneven muddy ground on a dark night) he brought 3 short-term Westerners with him. They were on their way to our house anyway as I had invited them for dessert at 7 pm to say goodbye as 2 of them were leaving Cameroon the next morning. We enjoyed home made brownies and story telling until midnight when they left. I was so tired by then. As we collapsed into bed after checking on the 7 girls, Dasen said "It's through these encounters that people feel loved." And I agree, the level of hospitality we've been a part of here in Africa has stretched and enriched me, and I can only pray that in our home the Kingdom of God in the fullness of His love can be realized.