Here’s a “guest post” glimpse from Celeste Allen into the life of a Life Impact Oasis Hostess. Our ministries expand beyond guest services. As you see Celeste is also
connecting with and blessing the ex-pat missionary community, as well as being a member of the Eschol Community, a group of Care providers who run spiritual formation retreats for international workers.
Life is a funny thing. It seems to boomerang between extremes. That’s certainly been my experience in the past several months. Sit down with me with a cup of tea and read on.
Here … When last I wrote life was very quiet. Winter had settled over Italy, and The Oaks Oasis was sort of hibernating, too. Spring brought lots of activity both here and abroad. Damaris, a delightful young Swiss friend of a friend, came to help out at The Oaks for March and April. It was a pleasure to have someone helping with the cooking and cleaning in preparation for the months to come.
The Oaks also saw a return of guests in March. Folks from India, Gabon and Switzerland enjoyed the beauty of the area and found rest and refreshment here. I also began hosting a monthly meeting of ex-patriots ministering in central Italy. So life has been very full in the best possible way.
There … Mid-April to mid-May I had the joy of visiting with lots of folks across the USA – pretty much non-stop for five weeks. What with traveling to six different states (9 airplanes, a bus and a rental car), the trip was pretty tiring, but what a great time it was seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
Five days of my time in the US was spent at Life Impact’s second international conference, connecting with the rest of the staff, meeting new staff and sharing tips and tools for better hosting our guest houses (“Oasis” as they like to call them). It was a real treat to see how the organization has grown: ten functioning Oases in six countries as opposed to four in two countries at our last conference in 2010.
Just to give you a snapshot of the Life Impact “family,” one of our hosts coming from Zambia had his luggage stolen en route. We got him outfitted with some clothes on the first day. Then over the course of the week we took up a “secret” collection of the 30 folks present. On the last morning we were able to present him with a gift of over $1000 to replace the lost items. I think he was a bit overwhelmed. But that’s what the family of God does.
And Back Again… Since my return I’ve already had two lots of guests—including part of the Eshcol Community, gathering for our core-team retreat and prep for this summer’s open retreat for missionaries.
Looking forward, summer promises to be hopping. The Oaks is booked from mid-May through early September (including a missionary family who will come for a week when I’ll be in England for the Eshcol Community retreat). I’m encouraged that so many folks in ministry will have the opportunity to take a break in the gorgeous surroundings of The Oaks Oasis.
Another joy of the summer will be a five-week visit from my niece Christina. I’m so looking forward to Tina’s time with me. She’ll help me with all the tasks of running The Oaks – cooking, cleaning, facilitating retreats, and just hanging out with our guests. . .”
(Life Impact exists to strengthen missionaries and pastors in hosted Care Centers, we call Oases. Our Staff are called and equipped to both host them and help them process issues of interest to them. Please encourage your missionaries to visit one of our Global locations.)