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A. Let me tell you about a whole town that epitomized this scripture

B.. Gander, Canada

1. population 9,600

2. smack dab in the middle of Newfoundland

3. Canada’s eastern most province along the Atlantic

4. it had a community center, an aviation museum, 4 city parks, and the Gander Mall

5. average town for most of history

C. That is until September 11, 2001.

D. That day 52 trans-Atlantic flights were redirected to the Gander International Airport

E. Many passengers spent that night on their planes

F. The next morning a convoy of buses took the passengers to the terminal

1. People were told to relax and the would be notified when their flights would be redirected

2. That call came 2 days later

G. This is what I am to tell you about – those 2 days

H. This community and surrounding area showed great hospitality to strangers

1. All the high schools in the area, meeting halls, lodges, churches became places to house people

a. some had cots, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows

2. All elderly passengers were given no choice – they stayed in private homes

3. Families were kept together

4. At least one pregnant woman was housed in a private home across from a 24-hour Urgent care

5. All high school students were required to volunteer some where.

6. Phone calls and emails were available when requested

7. During the day, passengers were given excursion trips on boat trips or to see local forests

8. Local bakeries made fresh bread for the “guests”

9. Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the “guests” or were taken to local restaurants

10. They were given tokens to the Laundromats

11. One flight attendant put it this way, “Passengers were crying while telling their stories. It was absolutely incredible, when passengers came on board after their stay in Gander it was like they were on a cruise.”

I. Sidelight – over $40,000 was collected on just one plane to fund scholarships for the high school students

J. Why, tell you this?

K. Because some people in a far away place were kind to some strangers, who happened to drop in on them, literally.

L. WHY NOT?

M. If you’re looking for a good definition of hospitality, I think you have just heard one.

N. I guarantee the residents of Gander and surrounding area were changed because of their hospitality

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