George Campbell Biography, Evangelist to Newfoundland - 11 - THE CHALLENGE OF HOSPITALITY



?Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread.... Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither

II  Kings 4:8a, 10

?Preacher?s wives have to be on their own a lot. Often they have to make major decisions without the benefit of being able to consult their hus­bands. They are as much a part of the Lord?s work as their husbands, only in a different area of service. The open home, the counseling of sis­ters in Christ and the raising of children are all-important needs met by preachers? wives.


A preacher?s duties may take him away from home for weeks at a time. I had to do this often and am thankful for the kindness and hospitality shown to me by the Christians who took me in and helped the Lord in meeting my need of a place to stay. God will bless them. The Shuna­mite woman is a good example of this. I want to encourage young people in being ?given to hospitality? in this way.

I recall many years ago, going to L?Anse au Loup and staying in a home. There was an old oil lamp, a bed with a feather mattress, a stool and a table. This same family, a number of years later, was able to get enough money to build another house. I was away when they finished the house and moved in.

When I came back, the dear woman, Mrs. Earle, who kept me for many years, said, ?Here is your room, Mr. Campbell? It had a stool, table, feather bed, an oil lamp and a few hooks on which to hang clothes

I said to her, ?God bless you, you Shunamite woman, for your kind­ness and care??

I stayed in many similar homes in Labrador and God will bless them all for their kindness and hospitality.

On my last visit to Labrador in May 1984,1 stood looking out through a window of Francis Barney?s new house at the bay in L?Anse au Loup. As we stood there, Francis said, ?I decided that this is going to be your room. The old-timers have done their share of caring for you and now it s time for some of us younger ones to show the hospitality that goes with Christianity??

My first recollection of Francis was a ten-year-old boy with a little cap on his head. He received the gospel at this young age before any of his family. He suffered persecution and was finally excommunicated from his church. But he moved on for God at a steady pace, responding in any way he could to the desires of the elders. His caring heart towards the young people and his willingness to show hospitality are some of the rea­sons why he is one of the guides in the assembly today.

Another thing a preacher needs is time. When he is away in his room, he is working for God. He might be studying, he might be praying or sometimes he might be writing.

The preacher away from home also has his home duties. Letters to his family are essential to keep the lines of communication open between his wife, his children and himself, He gets lonely, too, and his family misses him. This, combined with tremendous powers from Satan, causing peo­ple to resist the preaching of the gospel, could cause him to terminate his meetings sooner than he should.

The discipline and nurturing of his children must be carried on, so his wife has a vital role to play. Some never hear of it, but these heroic women continue day after day to play the role not only of mother but of father as well.

Some say a preacher shouldn?t be away from home that much. Well, I don?t know how a preacher can do pioneer work or minister among assemblies without being away from home. It is impossible to remain with one?s family and still reach beyond the area of assembly influence. There are costs to pay in evangelizing. It would be easy, staying in one area, to slip into a pastoral role unintentionally and actually hinder the ulti­mate purpose of an assembly.

There are great rewards with this service. Souls get saved. New areas are opened up that wouldn?t be unless someone was prepared to go and spend the time there to see assemblies planted.

The preacher is under a lot of pressure Remember, if you are a young couple with a home, nice or ordinary, open it up. Show hospitality. You will never be sorry. God will make it up to you one hundred fold. You not only show the kindness of Christ to his servants, but you also may bring in a person who may be able to help you in the Scripture, comfort you in trouble or guide you through a trial through the help of the Holy Scripture.

Related scriptures: II Kings 4; Romans 12:13; I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Peter 4:8-10