published in Hope Spots 2024 on July 9, 2024

Hope Spot 25 – Philoxenia Soup – your Recipe

What are the ingredients for Philoxenia Soup?


here’s a photo of you serving soup.


No, it’s not your local church (like the one in the Barossa Valley SA, where we served soup just like this, at our ALWS Asante Event a fortnight ago) …


… but in Kharkiv, Ukraine, just 40 kilometres from the Russian border.


Shells keep exploding. Bombs keep falling.


At any moment you may need to run to underground shelter.


But for now, you’re serving soup.


To strangers.


Who you welcome as guests.


That’s why the soup you serve is called Philoxenia Soup.


Philo – the Greek for love. Xenia – the word for stranger.


The ingredients?


Love. Kindness. Compassion. Generosity.




It’s the word used in the Bible in Hebrews 13:2:


Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some people
have entertained angels without knowing it.*


You don’t just serve soup in these Heating Points.


As bombing targets electricity infrastructure, and power is often cut off …


… people can come in and get warm. Recharge their phones. Rest a while.


That’s not all you do for the people of Ukraine. You renovate apartments – aiming for 1,500 in 2024. You can see what that means to people in this 7 minute video.


NB: You may need tissues – it’s very moving seeing the impact you have.


You also convert underground nuclear shelters, and school basements, from this:



into this…



… classrooms for children who have missed ‘normal’ school since COVID, and the war that was started straight after.


So today, as we shiver in the very middle of winter, please know that the Philoxenia Soup you serve in Ukraine is warming not just bodies, but hearts too.


And that’s a blessing ALWayS.


Thank you!



* The verse that follows this one in Hebrews is the one that inspires ALWS:


Don’t forget those who are suffering,
but imagine you are there with them.


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