Mi Casa es su Casa
Some of my childhood memories consist of sharing meals with very important people as seen through the eyes of a child. Some of them were dignitaries, famous singers, and evangelist like T.L. Osborn and Daisy Osborn, who sat and shared a meal at our table in Hermosillo Sonora Mexico.
Living as a Missionary kid, in the State of Tabasco Mexico, we ate with the indigenous people of that region, ran barefooted with their children and shared a meal of Iguana with eggs, Yeah! Iguana.
My life happened around a fancy table with china, or on a dirt floor with plates of pottery.
But one of the things that I remember from my childhood house is how there was enough food for everybody, and there was always room for one more at our table.
When I got married, we traveled with our 3 kids to my husband’s Country, Quito Ecuador. We did life there for 4 wonderful years.
We did missionary work, and as we traveled around the country, we had different experiences with rare but very tasty food that was presented to us as a most special dish, like guinea pig. It reminded me of my missionary years as a child. The best times, the best laughs, and the best lessons always happened around the table.
When we came back to the States, after been gone for four years, a lady by the name of Fozia Basharat welcomed me to the neighborhood that we had just moved into. She had come to the States from Pakistan on a lottery Visa with her husband and 3 kids.
She thought I was new in this Country just like she was, so she welcomed me to America.
The U.S. and Mexico had been my home since birth. But her welcome made me feel like I was back in Latin America.
I explained to her that we were Missionaries in South America, that I was a Christian, and that I loved Jesus with all my heart…we became friends. I used to give her cookies, and she gave me curry.
But the Morning of 911, everything change for all of us. That Tuesday morning, we watched the news with disbelief of what we were seeing on the screen, and not knowing exactly what was happening. It brought confusion to all of us.
The next week I heard a knock on my door. It was Fozia. She asked me if I could walk with her to school to drop the children off. Immediately I said, “Of course.” She was afraid to go out with her “Salwar Kameez,” her attire from Pakistan. With her British accent she said; “Can I ask you something?” Do you think I should change my son’s name? His name was Osama.
I said, “Of course not. That’s a name that you and your husband Mr. Basharat chose for him. Just because a bad man has the same name, it doesn’t mean your son represents the same thing.”
We arrived to school, and I sat with the Hindus, the Arabs, and the Pakistanis. Some of the ladies from Pakistan started speaking to me in their language and I said, “I’m sorry I don’t speak Urdu. I’m from Mexico.” They looked at me a bit puzzled. I looked like one of them.
You could see the tension in their eyes and feel it in the air with everything that was going on. I wasn’t one of them, but I decided to become of them that day.
When you open your life, your house, and your table to people of different cultures and traditions, and beliefs, you are bringing them into God’s territory.
I learned at our missions training that “It’s not right or wrong it’s just different”. And we need to treat everyone with respect.
Why do I say that they enter God’s territory when they come in contact with you? Because you are exposing them to His presence through you, to His compassion, His acceptance and most of all to His love.
A year later I moved out of that neighborhood. Was Fozia saved? No, was she expose to the Lord through my life? I hope so, I often think of her, it’s been 18 years.
I have learned very precious things from other cultures. Great lessons of life, value, and moral. They have given me the best of them, and if I’m a child of God, why shouldn’t I offer the best of me to them? And that is JESUS!