An Unexpected Gift

The Amani women were scheduled to go to VA to see their US warehouse the day after the show, but that got canceled. We knew they wanted to go shopping so plans were made for us to meet at the church and caravan to local thrift stores, Chick-fil-A and Target for the day. Here they are with their wares in front of the Dollar Store.

I only lasted about an hour. I was so tired!! We also had family coming in town for lunch on their way to a wedding so I went home to meet them. After eating at Panera, I headed home to take a little nap. Just as I was getting ready to lay my head down, I thought about how tired the Amani women must be. They didn’t really have anywhere to go other than lunch and shopping since host families had been told to meet back at the church at 6pm. It was only 3:30.

That’s when another gentle whisper from God’s heart went through my thoughts – “Invite them over here for afternoon tea.” All 10 of them and the tour team? “Yep, all them.”

As tired as I was, my soul flooded with a “yes” to the thought the thought of our home being a resting place, a refuge from the wear and tear of ministry and shopping. I envisioned blankets on the lawn for them to lay on and tea in their hands to sip. And God made it so.

It didn’t matter that I didn’t have enough cups nor any snacks to serve. It didn’t even matter that dishes were in the sink.I no longer wanted to sleep. I wanted to have my new friends over. I called Hannah, their coordinator, and offered the invitation. To which she sighed relief and started making plans while I made my way over their to meet them.

That afternoon they filled our home with their beautiful smiles, infectious laughter and tired soles. It was another beautiful and unexpected gift from Him.

Another fun part of the afternoon is that their “road crew” came with them. These three amazing guys work who for Samaritan’s purse and lived in the Sudan for 2 years, served as part of the Amani tour by driving a U-haul filled with all of their costumes, stage set, boutique set and products – from Missouri to Tennessee to Florida to Texas to North Carolina to Washington, DC and then back to TN. My boys had so much fun hanging out with them. They showed them the woods out back and invited them to shoot their bb guns. Are they cool or what?

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. In giving we receive.

    Ah my friend, how I love reading of your conversations with God. I love how specifically He is speaking to you and how you are listening and immediately obeying!

    I’m guessing that although you were weary, God caused you to mount up with wings as eagles as you served these precious new friends. What a beautiful afternoon gift you gave to them as well…and so impromptu – what a lovely surprise! And…look what fun your boys had too!

    Your total surrender and abandonment to God’s plans and purposes is blessing my socks off!!

  2. Renee, you have such a servant’s heart and it comes out in everything you say and do. Thank you so much for sharing with us about your adventures with the Amani women. It sounds like such fun. I’m enjoying reading and looking at the pictures.

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