My former student who is currently doing a PhD asked me whether I would attending next year’s Conference on the Bible & Hospitality. As it will be in Kuala Lumpur, costs should not be a problem though the schedule of ministry will determine whether I will make it or not. Hospitality is an important theme in the whole Bible. From Abraham and Lot in Genesis to Exodus and Numbers, God reminds His people that showing hospitality, not just to friends but also to strangers is part of knowing Him. God judges nations that refused to show hospitality to Israel in their wilderness wandering. When I travel I am a recipient of hospitality of those whom I visit. I thank God for friends and if there was anything I took from my Singaporean trip it was that from the first evening, then breakfast and lunch, friends came by and hosted me. One friend even offered to take me from the hotel to attend the Trinity lectures on both nights but seeing how far he had to travel from Jurong East, I turned down his offer for the second night. Taking the MRT from my hotel to the College took 40 minutes.
Returning to the College where I once served for 6 years always brought back sweet memories and two nights in a row I met with my former students and chatted with them. One student was about to go to UK for her doctoral study and it was nice of her to say that she would tell her NT classmates that she had met their former NT lecturer. I guess with social media it won’t be difficult to spread the news. Twice in recent weeks when I preached in different churches in KK, my former students texted me and told me about it via what they saw in their WhatsApp groups. I also met several of my TTC colleagues and it was gracious of the Principal to say that I could have stayed in the College for the lectures. I thanked him for that but the highlight was a meeting of a former colleague who asked me to pray for him which I will certainly do. All in all it was good to reconnect with a number of my former colleagues who were close to me during my 6 years there but as time passed unless friendships are renewed and maintained people just tend to grow apart. Even as Jesus says, “love will grow cold” and lack of hospitality shown to friends is a tell tale sign that love has grown cold. A number of my friends had also visited me in Sabah. Would I show them hospitality as they have shown me while I was in Singapore? Absolutely. I would have gone the extra mile and in my mission work in Ranau I had taken the trouble to drive to KK; in fact took time off work in order to host my friends and be there for them.