As we celebrate PREP’s 10th anniversary, I can’t contain my excitement! There are so much to celebrate and reflect on. But the most important thing is this, from day one, our incredible host families have been the backbone of our business ministry, making everything we do possible.
As we embark on a new school year, some of you might be considering joining the ranks of superstar host families. But let me tell you, hosting is so much more than just providing a roof, meals, and rides. It’s about embracing a higher calling and creating a haven for students to thrive. In my own home, I’ve welcomed countless students, and their laughter and joy have filled every nook and cranny, even during the holidays. Hosting isn’t just a gig; it’s a divine opportunity to make a difference.
Reflecting on the past nine years, I’ve noticed three crucial factors that contribute to a successful hosting experience.
First and foremost, know your “why.” Embrace this adventure with a ministry-oriented heart. If you’re solely motivated by financial gain, you might find the returns underwhelming. But if you feel a deep desire to spread the gospel and touch lives, the rewards are truly immeasurable. Every day, you’ll witness the profound impact of your love and care as you become a vessel for divine purpose right within the comfort of your own home.
Above all else, remember that love is the key. Parenting is a significant responsibility, and hosting an international student comes with its challenges. You might think the ideal host family checks all the right boxes: devoted Christians, both parents involved, enough space for another kid, and experience with teenagers. But you know what truly matters? Love! Love never, ever fails. If you shower your students with genuine affection, they’ll feel it in their souls. Some of our students keep coming back to their host families even after they’ve moved on to college. Why? Because of the incredible love they’ve experienced.
Last but not least, remember that it’s a journey. No one expects you to be a perfect host family right from the start. These students, just like your own children, aren’t flawless either. They’ll make mistakes, and you might find yourself navigating some rough waters. You could slip up too – maybe forget an appointment or be fashionably late to pick them up. Life happens, right? But here’s the important part: it’s all part of the process. Our students are with you for a short while, so let’s make the most of it! If we can help them take one step closer to their journey towards greatness, then we’re truly succeeding. So be kind to yourself and extend plenty of grace to your students.
The next decade is upon us, teeming with promise and potential. Together, we have the power to touch countless souls, leaving an indelible mark on their journey towards eternity. I encourage you to embrace this calling with passion, knowing that the impact you create will resonate through the ages. Together, we’ll be beacons of love, illuminating the path for countless young hearts, guiding them towards a brighter future.
With every beat of my heart, I eagerly anticipate the next ten years, where our love and dedication will create ripples that extend across eternity.
In heartfelt anticipation,