Shiney Deel grew up in the arms of hospitality. She was born in India but moved to Saudi Arabia when she was very young. Her family went back to India to visit with relatives frequently. These visits involved going from the home of one relative or friend to another, always with Indian snacks, a lime beverage, tea/coffee, and cakes.
At home in Saudi Arabia, Shiney observed her parents opening their home and expressing hospitality in fellowship with their Christian community. After their move to the United states when Shiney was 11, her parents continued to express hospitality to many in their home. The mark of that hospitality came out of their culture, certainly with food, but always showing care and respect for each individual who came to them.
Shiney branched out on her own as a senior in college when she shared an apartment with friends. There she continued the practice of hospitality that she had observed from her parents.
Those early years of marriage, getting careers established, working so that Michael could be in medical school, living with her parents and experiencing their hospitality as a family, the arrival of first one and then a second child, residency… those were busy and overwhelming times. There was neither the practicality nor the bandwidth to provide hospitality to others in those days. Even in moving out of her parent’s home to a different community for Michael to continue his medical training in residency, doing life with a young family was about all that was manageable. However, they thoroughly enjoyed hosting a church small group at their home for a while just before their third child was born.
Michael and Shiney moved to Chapel Hill around six years ago with their three young children. They moved into a small home, had another child, the rigors of medical training and practice continued. But slowly their family life moved into a different season. The children got older and required a different kind of care, Michael’s career became more established, and the Deels were able to take a deep breath. They looked for a larger home for their family, and the years of experiencing hospitality influenced the search for Shiney. They decided on a home that provided space for their family and potential for hospitality.
Making hospitality a priority began slowly in the life of the Deel family. Their new home, the CHBC women’s retreat on rest and a focus on hospitality, becoming part of a life group with Don and Karen Ellis and observing their hospitality, hosting that life group during the months that Don and Karen needed a break because of the adjustment to a new child in their family… these events hoisted them into the practice of hospitality in a large way.
There is another aspect of hospitality that is particularly important to Shiney. She is especially grateful to be able to be at home and extend hospitality to her own children. She appreciates the opportunity to care for them, to serve them, to train them to serve with a loving heart, to teach them about the Lord, and to lead them by example, just as her parents did for her.
There are a few point that Shiney feels are important in a discussion about hospitality:
- It can look different for different people.
- It can look different in different seasons of life.
- It is about caring for people well.
- It is about using your home and possessions to bring glory to God.