I have observed several jaws dropping and eyes rolling when I've shared that we will be hosting two female, middle school age, Chinese students for two weeks beginning this Friday. In truth, I have wondered if I have finally bitten off more than I can chew. It was one of those decisions that was made instinctively, no logic involved (story of my life most days). Now that we are just a few days away, the panic is starting to lift and I began to reason there are so many advantages to this situation:
1. Every famous Christian author writes about hosting exchange students and loving it. I have never once read that they regretted doing it or the kids went wild. So, I figured when I sell my first book it better contain a true life account of being a missionary or hosting someone from a foreign country or it just won't seem legit. And, anyone who knows me knows that as soon as there is a Caribbean cruise ship missions trip, sign me up. Until then, I prefer being the hostess.
2. My garden needs weeded.
3. I'll have a good excuse to hit the mall, I hear Chinese girls like to shop!
4. I've been trying to get rid of my cat. Chow time!
5. I enjoy challenging myself in awkward situations with a language, age and cultural barrier.
Obviously, I'm kidding (except about the cat, who is free to a good home!). I am taking my role seriously and I know I sound naive, but I want this to be such a life changing experience for these girls. I don't want them to just remember our culture, I want to demonstrate what an imperfect family in love with a perfect God looks like on a daily basis. I want to demonstrate to my kids the gift of serving and hospitality, even when that is not always an easy thing to do. We are all a little nervous, however we are excited, too. My anxiety comes mostly from the idea of upsetting the already delicate balance of time management in our home. To be responsible for two more teenagers seems a daunting task. This is where faith and endurance get put to the test and we will come out stronger, if we allow God to lead us. So, that's basically the plan and has been since the day we filled out the host family application. Not our will, God, but Yours!