Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance should I schedule?
of g bAre meals provided?
Have a question that isn’t included above
Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How does it work? A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network is a voluntary association in which members open up their homes to one another for a conversational dinner and/or an overnight stay of 1-2 nights. Members access other members in the location they are traveling to or through via an email generated through A Candle in the WindowHospitality Network’s communication network. Contact information (last name, address, phone number) is never posted to the site. Members are identified by membership number and city. A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network provides member listings but only members themselves can provide contact information to other members once suitability has been determined via reviewing member’s profile (and reference if requested) and communicating online.
Are references available? Yes, if requested. Beyond reviewing a member's profile and any feedback, some members may desire to review a reference before requesting a visit or accepting a guest. If you are interested in this optional step, follow these instructions: Locate member in Private directory in location you intend to visit. Review their profile and feedback, if any. Then scroll up to the top and click "send message". Identify yourself by member ID number, type "reference request" in subject line, write a brief note requesting a reference and then send. A Candle in the Window Hopsitality Network encourages all members to have a brief reference available (a pastor, teacher, small group leader, elder or deacon, missions associate... someone who can vouch for the member's character if requested). Be sure to include contact info (phone or email) for references. References are not listed on the site but it is noted on profile whether or not member has a reference letter on file with A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network . In the event that a potential host or guest receives a message requesting a reference, he simply replies to the sender's email, attaching his reference (an attachment is preferable, as the reference can be saved in member's documents and used repeatly for all requests). Type A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network in subject line when responding to messages..
If I join, do I have to accept all requests? No. A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network is a voluntary association of members. We all know that busy schedules, illness and “life” happens. Members are under no obligation to accept any request at any time. Furthermore, members in certain locations may receive more requests than others and may need to limit their acceptances; however, we do ask that our members prayerfully consider each request and ask that God would bring whom He will and as often as possible, welcome them in Christ’s name.
What if I make a request and am turned down? As previously stated, members are under no obligation to accept any request at any time. If your request is turned down, don’t take it personally. Most likely it just wasn’t a good time for your potential host. Find another suitable location and try again!
My house is not very large. Can I still participate? Yes! “If there is room in the heart, there is room in the house” (old Danish proverb). You do not have to have a large home or be Martha Stewart in order to practice true, biblical hospitality! Although today we boast of an entire hospitality industry, throughout much of history travelers were dependent on the hospitality of others, often strangers, to put them up at night, usually in very humble, simple homes. And while our times may be different, we can still make ourselves available. Folks aren’t coming to inspect your home, they are coming to partake of something divine, “biblical hospitality”. Be realistic about the number of people you can accommodate, but beyond that, a fresh, clean bed and a pleasant meal are enough!
How far in advance should I schedule my trip? Schedule your visit as far in advance as possible, out of respect for your host, as well as having the greatest opportunity to reserve your desired location and date. If at all possible, give your host’s at least a week’s notice. Of course, in the event of unexpected travel, such as a funeral, etc, by all means go ahead and contact the potential host. Just know that there is less likelihood of their being available on such short notice.
What if I don’t need overnight accommodations, or cannot host overnight guests in my home? Can I still participate? Yes. As long as you can host conversational dinners to members traveling through your location, you may still join. And as a member, you can still contact other members to set up visits.
How long is an average stay? Although all details concerning visits are worked out privately between members, A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network suggests an overnight stay of 1-2 nights. Hosts are under no obligation to house guests for more than 2 nights.
Are meals provided? Yes, a simple breakfast should be provided for overnight guests and, if at all possible, a “conversational dinner” (a meal when most of the household members are present) is highly recommended. As we have already said, it’s not just about saving money! As God engineers your path, we pray that new friendships might be forged and the stories of God’s faithfulness recounted around countless dinner tables.
After I pay the annual membership fee, are there any more costs? Do I “tip” my hosts? No. A Candle in the Window Network’s low membership fee covers all costs for one year. You should not “tip” your host; however, a small host or hostess gift (perhaps something indigenous to your own locale) would be gracious, though not expected, nor required.
How do I pay? Is my financial info safe? Members are encouraged to pay safely and securely online through Paypal (Paypal is free to set up and links to either member’s bank account or credit card).When members pay through Paypal, A Candle in the Window has no access to member’s financial information. If members pay by cash or check in person, or through the USPS, payment is deposited asap. Once payment clears, the member receives (via email) profile information to fill out and is ready to start practicing hospitality!
Is my personal contact information posted on the website? No! We value your privacy. Members are identified by membership number and geographic location. Personal contact information (name, address, phone) is for the sole use of A Candle in the Window administrators and is never posted to your profile either public or private. Even other members do not have access to your personal contact information unless you provide it to them after communicating via A Candle in the Window’s Network’s email and deeming the suitability of the host.
What are my obligations as a host?
"...to impart to each one that crosses our threshold something of the presence of Christ"
1) Prayerfully consider each request you receive.
2) For Conversational Dinner Guests:
* A pleasant, preferably home-cooked meal. Try to schedule the meal when most members of the household are present.
*You might prepare a list of questions, or “conversation starters”; encourage guests to tell “their stories"... ask about their growing up, their families, their coming to Christ and examples of God's faithfulness in their lives.
*You might also conclude the meal with prayer and/or a reading from the Bible or other worthy book.
*Some households enjoy a song at meal's end.
3) For Overnight Guests:
* A fresh, clean bed (or sleeping bag for overflow guests)
* Towels and access to a bathroom
* A Conversational Dinner (with most members of household present if possible) and a simple breakfast in the morning.
*You might also assemble a folder of local attractions, restaurants, coupons, etc…
* Having a “treasure trove” of good books and peaceful music available would be an extra blessing!
In addition, both potential hosts and guests are asked to have a reference available that can be saved in member's documents and can be used repeatedly for all reference requests (for more info, click the "Feedback/References" button on the left
*Try to be a blessing to your host…
*Contact potential host as early as possible. As soon as possible, tell them when you are planning to arrive and depart.
*Arrive on time, or call to update host.
*Honor the host’s home and convictions.
*Keep small children under control.
*NEVER leave children unattended in host’s home.
*If your stay is 2 nights, you might offer to bring dinner home, take your hosts out or have dinner out on your own. (Host is only obligated to provide one dinner for guests)
*A small host/hostess gift, perhaps something indigenous from your home locale, would be gracious, though not required.
*Leave things tidy.
Inside pets will be listed on host's profile. As a courtesy, guests who travel with pets should obtain explicit permission ahead of time from host. Don’t just arrive with Rover and Fifi! Hosts are in no way obligated to accommodate pets. Each host home will have its own guidelines. Honor the host.
To help kick things off, we are offering a FREE lifetime membership to the first household in each state or foreign country who joins A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network. Hurry!!!
A small token of our appreciation to them for their faithful service! Our family has learned so much from the missionaries who have passed through our homes and lives. We want many of you to have this same blessing!
Click on the “Join Us” button and follow the simple instructions. Within minutes, you, too, can be a member of A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network, a growing network of Christian households Delighting in hospitality!