Despite the ongoing pandemic, Clair began working with a third family back in February. They have three boys, and Clair tutors the two elementary-aged boys in whatever subject they need that day. She also helps the parents improve their English skills and works on vocabulary with the preschooler. It’s only been three months, but Clair says, “We bonded very quickly and now consider each other as family.”
In every home, Clair enjoys watching smiles spread across the kids’ faces as they come to understand their schoolwork, and she celebrates their victories alongside them “when they overcome a barrier or finish an assignment they thought was too difficult.” And in every home, she finds herself learning as much as she teaches. Sometimes the kids teach her words from their heart language (then laugh when she mispronounces them). Sometimes, the family teaches her about their culture or customs.
Even when they speak very little English, the parents always model generosity and hospitality. Clair has learned that “love and kindness are universal languages.” Plus, she says, “Their hospitality is unmatched. The women are fabulous cooks and I have experienced food that I never would have. Some of it is now my favorite food.” Clair has tasted true, generous hospitality!
She has also “dished it out,” because hospitality isn’t only about serving food to others. When Clair befriends a family, when she helps their kids improve at school, when she enjoys a new food, she helps the new family feel like they belong in Knoxville…like they are welcome here.
Welcome. Isn’t that the foundation of hospitality?
READY TO GET INVOLVED?
Would you like to extend some East Tennessee hospitality to the Nations Next Door, either in your home or in theirs? Or maybe at the park, in a quiet room at your church, or sitting in a coffee shop? KIN exists to help you extend welcome to internationals in metro Knoxville. Contact us today to find out how to get started!
Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.