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Shall I put a kettle on?

David and Teresa Fittro are celebrating 32 years of ministry with CMF in England. They currently serve as leaders of EQUIP Britain International, an immersive, hands-on mission training opportunity in Birmingham, one of the most diverse cities in the world. Their time in England, living among the people they are called to serve, has taught them much about the art of hospitality.

When someone stops by for a chat, an overnight stay, or worships with our local church, the first thing we do is 'put the kettle on'. It is typically British when hosting people in your home to offer them a drink. Usually, that drink is tea or coffee. For service people working in your home, you usually make 'builders tea', which is milky with three sugars. Our home frequently has visitors, some who stay with us for a night or for several weeks. That means that our kettle gets lots of use. Tea has healing properties that are not found in its leaves. Rather, the healing properties are in the time spent together over the drink.

The kettle is a real symbol of warmth and hospitality in the UK. Opening your door to someone and making them a hot drink communicates acceptance, friendship, understanding, and compassion.

The kettle communicates encouragement

In our various relationships, there are people who feel alone, misunderstood, lost, or burdened. The kettle provides time when we can lend a listening ear and offer a word of encouragement and hope. For people who are dedicated to living life with Christ in Britain, loneliness can be especially painful. Being able to offer a word of encouragement and hope during a difficult season is best received with a cup in your hands, and dogs at your feet.

Many of our friends are striking out on mission to the local community in ways that are new to them. Their family, their finances, their health, and their confidence have all been under direct attack recently. These friends are dear to us. Please pray for a clear word from God and for the resources to keep going when God seems to be quiet, and life is especially hard.

The kettle communicates compassion

Some of our friends have experienced years of pain in abusive relationships, broken health, and family stress. While these folks were at first hard and blunt, over time, much prayer, and many cups of tea, they soften into friends. Their lives are still incredibly hard, but every time we meet, we start with a hug - and then the kettle boils.

The kettle invites worship

Our church usually meets in homes. Boiling the kettle is the first thing that happens as people arrive. There is a sense of family as people gather to chat and worship over a drink. New people are made to feel welcome. Regular attenders settle into a rhythm. Boiling the kettle is a simple way to live out the truth of Galatians 3:28: 'Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ'.

David and Teresa Fittro

Birmingham, church planting, David and Teresa Fittro, discipleship, England

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