"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Our International Matthew Dinner

On Friday night, June 15th our house church hosted our first (and it won't be the last) Matthew party. We took the name from the story of Matthew, in the Gospels, when he was so excited about meeting Jesus that he hosted a dinner and invited all of his friends to come and meet this life changing person. We decided to do the same but with a small twist. Because our house church is made up of so many different nationalities (Honduras,Uruguay,Bolivia,Brasil and United States), we decided to have an international dinner and bring a dish from our native country or, as some Brasilians did, from their ancestry. As we continue to teach and learn together, church doesn't mean a club where we go and stay comfortable with the same people. It means sharing the Good News with everyone we come in contact with. This is easier for some than for others. So to take away any discomfort from those who might feel uneasy in asking someone to come to something 'churchy' we decided to have a supper. Our house church, as is very much our nature, decided it would be very informal. It would be a time to invite people to interact with our church famiy and be a part of our church without even knowing they were doing so. Just be and show Christ to them instead of feeling like something needs to be said. We also decided to invite any foreigners that we knew as well as encourage our Brasilian friends to bring a special dish. Let's just say that God completely blessed our night. We had 40 people in our home and 15 were visitors. This was very encouraging as we even had 6 more of our regular house church members who weren't able to be there because of work and sickness. We had exactly the right amount of chairs for everyone. We had visitors from Russia, Germany, Peru and of course Brasil. The night started with Benay, Bronwyn and Ansley taping different countries names to the backs of every person. It was then that persons job to walk around and ask everyone else (only one question per different person)a question about their country (i.e. "Do we speak Spanish in my country.....Is my country in Asia?"). It was a great ice breaker and really got people talking and interacting. Our brother Silvio then led a prayer for our food and thanked God for everyone in our house, especially our visitors and then we enjoyed hours of eating and fellowshipping with our new friends. We enjoyed food from Brasil, United States, Uruguay, Peru, Russia, Germany and Denmark. Each dish was labeled in Portuguese as well as their native languge. Benay and I feel very blessed to have been a part of this night as we were able to see this baby church really be Christ to the lost people of this city.

Our U.N. summit consisting of 2 Russians,

1 German, 1 Brasilian and 2 Americans.

Carys getting ready to attack.

Garrett and Carys with Aaron and Kjeld.

Our sister Miriam (sitting in front of the man with the red shirt)

enjoying her meal with family and friends.

Where there is a cook and food, there are men!

Bronwyn enjoying her meal with members of our

house church as well as visitors.

Bronwyn and Silvio are ready for the game.

Photos of everyone playing 'What's my country?'

Benay's contribution of sweet potato casserole

or Batata Doce Assada.

One of our Russian desserts.


Busy Mummy said...

Hey, my name is Roberta I am from Sao Paulo but live in New Zealand with hubby and 3 kids. I came accross your site through the BuddyMapping website for Ethan Powell. I am just so happy someone in Brazil is praying for him as well. Anyways, I enjoyed reading your blog and will add you to my favorites. My email address is robertagowans@gmail.com

Jewell said...

I love the Matthew dinner idea. You guys are so creative and hospitable. You would probably make good missionaries. Oh wait, I forgot, you've already made five.

Matthew said...

Looks good