Christine Hamilton has served 1,000’s of meals to guests in her house in Hawaii. She and her husband David have opened their home to many who have stayed as part of their family.
Below is a transcript of a video recording of Christine speaking on hospitality in September 2014.
God is hospitable and loves strangers.
We have been offering hospitality to guests for over forty years and whoever comes into our home becomes part of our family.
Our hospitality wasn’t so much about the food or how it is presented, but more about relationships.
I have been involved in hospitality in over 168 countries and our children have been part of that.
Listening to people and really hearing their stories helped our children glean from the life stories of missionaries from all over the world.
Some places we have visited gave us 5-star treatment and everything was fabulous, yet we did not feel welcome as they were more interested in making everything look good and not in us as people.
I try to focus on being welcoming, being interested in building relationship with our guests by listening to their stories, so I keep the food really simple.
My hospitality is low-key and I try not to do what I am not called to, but to welcome people to join us for our family meals and let them know that we want to be with them.
I am not out to show-off my hospitality skills but to show guests that I love inviting people to our home and our family have reaped the benefits of having them.
Not everyone has the same energy or capacity, so, over the years I have learned to do just what I was able to do, especially when the children were little.
As our children grew, I was able to involve them in setting the table, helping in the kitchen and serving food.
Our daughter could cook a five-course meal by the time she was 10 years old.
Our children have reaped the benefits of our hospitality and now they love to offer hospitality themselves. They all give us a welcome basket and a card when we stay with them in their homes.
For larger groups I generally do something simple, like a barbecue or a dessert night. At the weekend we would do both appetizers and desserts so that there were both savoury and sweet things to eat.
We would all sit around and do introductions and our children had the choice to stay all evening or just for the beginning. They often chose to stay and chat with our guests but sometimes would go off to their rooms.
I have received hospitality in YWAM bases all over the world and it is evident that it is a high value in the mission.
We like to write thank-you notes when we have stayed somewhere, as we appreciate all the work that goes into being hospitable.