This is the view from my balcony, looking out at the back of Harding's campus in Greece. My eyes take in beauty and fun, and my heart enjoys the HUGers' laughter that carries up through the sliding door at the living room of my Greek home. The Scholars Abroad students arrived today and were welcomed in no less than a tunnel through the front door accompanied by cheers and shouts (think of the Rhodes Field House on Harding's campus when the cheerleaders invite the basketball players onto the court). If these recent high-school graduates were sleepy from their overseas flight, they were wide awake upon arrival to our campus! Most of these folks will be college freshmen at Harding this fall, and seeing familiar HUG faces will probably be a welcome sight for them as they make the Searcy campus their new home in August. They are our guests for a while, so we have fun activities and events planned to entertain them (and to entertain their faculty, sponsors, and us). I hope that the Scholars Abroad students feel welcome and comfortable here and can make our campus their "home-away-from-home" like our HUGers already have this summer. After a traditional Greek lunch by Natasa, the students went on a walk around town to learn of their dwelling place. They have had orientation, time for the beach and sea, prep for classes beginning tomorrow and for day-trips that are planned. Tonight they'll settle in at HUG for a bit and make it their own. Meanwhile, the current HUGers are providing a wonderful example of practicing hospitality.
Hospitality is done well by Thud and Emily Hill and their family, and they've influenced many. When I hear the word hospitality, I think of them and their work at Timothy Hill Children's Ranch on Long Island. When you have a moment or two, investigate the life-changing work going on up north with the Lord as their focus. We love the Ranch and are inspired by all of the people there. That's a lesson - we're not with Thud and Emily daily, but the Ranch's focus on giving hospitality stays with my own family. We've purposefully "improved our serve" in this area and are hoping the current HUGers feel the same way. Their actions prove that they do. I'm proud of them already, and I've only known them for a month. I can't wait to see how we all continue to stretch and grow this summer together as we look to Him as our guide.