Bill and Ruth Wismer met each other in Cypress. Bill was in the Navy and stationed in Cypress; Ruth was living with her parents in Cypress at the time. They met at church, which was to become their home church after their marriage. That church also provided the foundation for their life of hospitality together. Hospitality was just the culture of the church there on the naval base. It was a close-knit community of people from somewhere else, who were Christian, and who had sought a church where the Bible is preached. Bill and Ruth hosted Bible studies and opened their home to some of the guys from church.
Ruth had grown up in Uganda where her father taught carpentry in a technical school. Her mother was a nurse and went into the homes to teach women basic living skills. She often was called on to aid in the birthing of a new life entering the world. Ruth’s parents were not missionaries, but certainly served as such as they cared for the people around them. By the time her family left Uganda when she was 10, Ruth had already absorbed a worldview of caring for people well.
Today Ruth and Bill regularly open their home in a variety of ways to anyone who has a need.
- Kim needed a place to live after leaving rehab following surgery. She was unable to care for herself at home. She stayed with Bill and Ruth until she had healed enough to provide for her own needs at home.
- David and Judy returned to the U.S. after retirement from their extended missionary work. They lived with Ruth and Bill as they adjusted to being back in the U.S. and explored what God had next for them in retirement. They had already stayed with the Wismers whenever they had been home on furlough.
- A student that Ruth had been mentoring reached the end of her studies. Her family came for graduation and stayed with Bill and Ruth.
- Ruth and Bill’s daughter went through a difficult time. She and her children lived with them until they could “get their feet on the ground.”
- They recently hosted Stephen from India. They had known and hosted Stephen’s father over the years as he traveled and preached. Stephen’s father is no longer living, but Stephen has a love for God and desires to continue in the work his father was doing. He was staying with Bill and Ruth as part of his teaching/speaking tour in the U.S.
Words of Wisdom from Ruth on Hospitality
- Your home is not just your own. It is to be used to extend to people what they need at a particular time.
- Hospitality is about wanting to make people feel comfortable. It is a welcoming and friendly place.
- Getting together with people is what counts. Hospitality can be as simple as ordering take-out Chinese food or pizza. Set it on the table and gather round.
- Watch for people who are lonely and gather them with others. Just this shows them that you care.
- Relax. Ask questions of people. Be interested in them.
- Ask God for energy and endurance when you feel that you are too tired to bring another person into your home.
- Ultimately you are blessed with deep relationships and joy as you care for others.
And finally, the Wismers recently took a couple of weeks away to celebrate their anniversary and to have some time of refreshment! That too is a necessary part of hospitality.