I think that word welcome has become a byword to us who speak American English. We use it habitually, but generally it is not genuine. The Kenyans, however know how to give a heartfelt welcome. Kenyans make me feel ashamed of my unwelcoming behavior.
I have to be honest. Sometimes when my doorbell rings, I sigh. I commute 45 minutes one way to work each day. I am a supervisor, so my days can be somewhat stressful. Not to mention I am a Pastor's wife, so often, my day does not end when I get home. Lest I fail to mention, I am also a student. I attend class one day a week and have a class online. I have every reason to desire some private time. I am naturally an introvert, which means that I DO NOT need, or crave people time. Don't get me wrong, I love people and I appreciate the relationships that God has allowed me to build. But, I am most comfortable and the most effective with one on one time.
When you enter a Kenyan's home each family member comes to greet you with a hearty "Karibu sana" or "You are most welcome". They don't stop with words. They are not satisfied until they have served you something. Traditionally, that would be Chi (tea) and some biscuits (shortbread cookies) or chapati (unleavened flatbread) at the least. During our stay in Kenya we were invited to more homes than we had time to visit. Some of those families hosted us for a meal. We were told on numerous occasions that when you have a visitor, you are blessed. "We never know if we are entertaining angels unaware", they proclaimed. WOW! "Lord, help me change my attitude". I prayed that prayer repeatedly. I still pray that prayer. I believe that God has sent me angels. Some of which were wrapped in the flesh of those visitor's knocking at my door. I wonder if sometimes, God is the one who is standing at my door knocking. Do I welcome him heartily? Do I see every visit as a blessing? Or am I so busy, that I sigh when I hear the door bell.