Welcoming Paralympian 'Strangers'
'Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.' (Hebrews 13:2).
The paralympic team from Burkina Faso didn't have the British welcome they expected ... they found themselves stranded. When payment from their government didn't come through, they were denied accommodation and training facilities. Thankfully, Liam Conlon, who had met them to transport them to their residence, took them in. He brought the men to live with his family in Essex, whilst the women were lodged and fed by nuns nearby. This is a great example of what the bible says about loving our neighbour and feeding and caring for those in need.
It hasn't been without risk - one of the team put the electric kettle on the hob and turned it on to boil the water - nearly burning the house down! Yet Conlon wanted to help ...
During the two months he spent in Burkina Faso through the government's international citizen service scheme, he witnessed hospitality like none he'd ever come across. People with virtually 'nothing' were willing to give 'everything' they had.
A local school provided training facilities, their pupils raised money for the team, and a company called Quest 88 ordered a bike from France when the team's own didn't fit the specifications.
The Burkina Faso team are said to be 'overwhelmed' and would welcome 'like family' any of those who've helped them.