one of the surest ways I can share what I have received from the Lord is by opening my home
God sets the lonely in families’ – Psalm 68:6
When Dipesh Kundu went to Kolkata for higher education he was lonely: away from the comfort of home and family, in a new environment, with new people and new challenges. But God used this experience to bring Dipesh to himself and surround him with a new family.
Dipesh writes: ‘I became part of the UESI India family and was welcomed into the “open homes” of staff and graduates. For the first time in my life I came in contact with believing Christian families. I learned more about life by being in such homes than in camps and retreats! I saw how families resolved to spend time with me and many other students even when they were starved of time. I saw how husbands and wives communicated and related to each other, how they expressed their mutual love and respect for each other. And I saw how they faced difficult times in prayerful manner, how they set their priorities in life, how they gave their resources for God’s work and service even when they had little to live on.
‘These Christian families were united in mind, heart and priority in serving God and his people. Very often I had noticed the wife or husband preparing food for us in the kitchen while their spouse was leading a bible study with us. But they were so unified that working in the kitchen and taking bible studies were not separate activities but rather prayerful wholehearted service. Except for their very personal matters, their lives were open before us. We saw their strength, struggles, shortcomings… and learned volumes about the Christian life.
‘In these open homes I could openly discuss many of my questions: baptism, tithing, prayer, church involvement, career, handling peer pressure, relationship issues, work ethics etc., and I was always immensely blessed.
‘Sometimes I also freely moved into these homes and stayed on when my hostel closed for vacation or even just when I felt bored staying in the hostel. These were truly my second homes.
‘As I look back, I see how these open homes played a great role in shaping my life and personality. I often wondered how the Lord wanted to use my life! I realised one of the surest ways I can share what I have received from the Lord is by opening my home. Today my wife and I have opened our home. Students from the university come over for Bible study, prayer, counselling, meetings or even just to play with our children. We serve them with whatever we have at home. We have meals together, watch movies, talk for hours, celebrate birthdays. We get to know them, their struggles, gifts, talents and dreams.
‘These students have become part of our family. They bring tremendous joy and fulfilment as we see them grow in the Lord and serve him in future.’
What a challenge to all of us – to give ourselves to others, and in doing so, be part of what God is doing to grow stronger disciples of Christ.
Have you benefited from an open home, or from opening your home? Tell us about it in the comments below!