By Hannah Varberg – HCC Communications Coordinator
When I lived in Spain for a semester, there were a few days that I got really homesick. It was like my heart was crying out for Minnesota: for the Fall weather, the warm carpeted indoors, sweatshirts, scarves, hot cocoa, macaroni and cheese, Taco Bell, my friends, my family, even my dogs.
Then I got hit in the head with a resounding truth that I know came from the Lord. In my moment of homesickness on the bottom bunk of my bed in Sevilla, Spain, a voice echoed within me, proclaiming “I’m your home.”
Praise God; my homesickness ended there.
International Chinese students are often in America for longer than I was in Spain. Their homesickness often lasts longer than a few days. Their hearts are often crying out for their homes: family, friends, pets, comfort food, and a certain familiar climate.
HCC seeks to be a home to international Chinese students, scholars, and their families. We want to create a home where they won’t just have a temporary warm welcome but a permanent community. We want to provide them with warm meals, transportation, classes, inclusive events, furniture, and most importantly deep-spirited friendships.
We want them to know they have a belonging with us.
Because they do belong with us. Our multicultural family may not share ancestors, culture, or even language, but we are united by our mutual humanity. They are welcomed into this home because they are people: intelligent, cherished, beautiful people with whom we just want to share our lives. In this foreign land where they are temporarily residing, we want to build a home.
But sometimes we get so wrapped up in this task of building a home for them that we don’t even acknowledge that this home has already been built.
It was built thousands of years ago by a man named Jesus when he gave up his life. This home is for our international guests.
It wasn’t built by brick nor stone but by love. It wasn’t intended for one family, nation, or race; it’s for all. This home isn’t designed for flawless people; it’s for the broken.
There was nothing more comforting to me than being across the world and knowing I was still home. There was nothing more peaceful than knowing my home was Christ, and that was better than any physical or emotional home on earth.
As a hospitality center, we need to continue building a home for our international Chinese students to belong.
But we need to acknowledge that their true home, our shared true home, has already been built.