This is the essence of hosting.
And it is such a joy.
Yes, sharing your home with someone isn’t always easy. They might leave their shoes in the wrong place or use up all the eggs when you’d planned to make omelette for dinner.
But, oh, the joy of loving someone exactly as they are and then watching them blossom into the person they were made to be is worth all the piles of shoes and missing eggs.
Survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking are vulnerable.
They’ve had all their decision-making rights removed. They may be very fearful. They may be isolated, not knowing anyone in the country other than their traffickers. They are likely to have endured horrors that we can’t even begin to imagine. The memories of the trauma might pummel their brains at night, making sleep impossible.
On leaving their safe house, they are not entitled to any government support. No money. Nowhere to live. No help. No community around them to envelope them and ‘get them through it’.
This is how they arrive with us.
But what we do next isn’t complicated. It doesn’t take an expert.
It takes someone who can love.
Our role as hosts is to love someone as they are. We love them when they are too afraid to join us for dinner. We love them when they try to do the washing up even though it’s not their turn. We love them when they can’t speak in case they cry. We love them in simple ways like making them a cup of coffee and showing them they don’t have to clear up after us. We love them by telling them, over and over again, that they are worth loving.
We love them as they are and we become the family enveloping them.
And we see them blossoming. Like the first spring flowers, we watch them becoming who they really are. The first tentative smile, the first hug, the first belly-laugh, the first time they make a joke during a meal time. These are precious moments which speak of a deep healing.
And that healing, that sense of being someone worth loving, results in them holding their head up high. They can make their own choices. They can take the bus themselves. They feel safe enough to sleep at night. They have friends. They have family. They can show love to others.
It’s a true privilege. And one that enriches us as much as our guest.
Want to join us in this?
Contact Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07877 447341 for more information.