For most of our life together, my husband, David, and I have been in the ministry. Consequently, we have well-defined economic limits. By all rights, radical hospitality should have been an impossible burden. We have generally been given some expense remuneration, but our ministry far and away exceeds that allotment.
To say the least, I have learned to be frugal. When we were living in the city, one of the daily papers published a scale of income rated per number of children and showing financial aid given to dependent mothers. I discovered that, for a family of our size, I was feeding us for less than what a mother on welfare was receiving for food.
I realized, of course, that I had paddings that many on welfare did not have: summer vegetables from my father’s garden, which we eventually learned to can for the winter; shared food from someone else’s bounty; even the academic know-how to live economically.
But, even with this help, our continual open house should have been a strain. Yet we were managing well due to some creative approaches that we were employing.
What were they?
More than at any other time, I learned how the Lord infuses His grace into our physical limitations, particularly when we are seeking to serve Him. How often, with a minimal supply and increasing demand, I can testify to His creating enough for all from fishes and loaves. Inspiration would come in that moment when I stared at the bare cupboard—“simply nothing to fix”—and suddenly! If I combined such-and-such with this-and-this, I would have an original and tasty company dinner.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.