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Meet Emily Sanders

Eight years ago my husband, Ethan and I set out to build a house.  Eager to break out of the world of deed restrictions, we found a few wooded acres and made a plan.  As we labored over the design of the house, Ethan’s vision from the Lord for our new home was clear: the house was to be used as a hub for ministry.  In the beginning, I had no idea what that would look like.  I was not the type who could whip up a pie for visitors on the spot and with many young sons running around, the place was usually a wreck.  And what did it mean to just open our doors perhaps to people we barely knew?  But as the months and years have gone by, God has faithfully fulfilled the vision He gave Ethan and graciously changed the way I view His people.

I’ve discovered that I tend to like to put people in one of two categories: those who are following God “well” and those who are not.  The life that looks neat and clean stands in sharp contrast to those who wear their sin proudly on their sleeve and in pride, I often place myself as judge over those who are “messy”.  But as God has flooded our doors with people … camp counselors for a week at a time, missionaries from Haiti, camo-covered kids with airsoft guns, youth group students, young married couples, student ministry staff, sports teams, high school small group guys and college kids who drop by unannounced & stay late … what I continue to learn is this: Grace covers.

People are messy and sin is pervasive but God’s grace gives us the opportunity to embrace people where they are.  To love them, know them and be known … and not just despite all of our sin but actually in it.  The person with sin’s stains streaked across their face is no different in God’s eyes than the one who hides a prideful heart.  The blood of His Son has covered both.  As we open our home the Lord continues to teach me to look past peoples’ weaknesses, give grace and to see them like Jesus does: Children of His who are in process of being sanctified just like me.
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