Life Changing Hospitality: Hosting Exchange Students for Jesus | with Janell Wood

Jul 18, 2023

Dare to dream about living a big life for the glory of God! That is our theme today, through seemingly mundane examples of daily faithfulness and stewardship. Today, Stephanie welcomes Janell Wood, who was inspired to host exchange students and turn it into a ministry. Hosting these students has not only impacted their lives but has also transformed Janell's life in the process. Stephanie was a foreign exchange student from France when she was 17 (30 years ago this year!) and, as you may know, she gave her life to Jesus at the end of her  year there. She is a living proof example of the power of faithfulness when a family welcomes a student in their home and shares Christ faithfully--albeit imperfectly. Being real and authentic is what matters. Janell therefore encourages us to be authentic and to ask God for guidance in making decisions that might affect our lives. Together, Stephanie and Janell talk about faith and daring to trust God to live a big life for His glory. Janell also discusses the importance of exposing her kids to different worldviews and traditions through hosting exchange students. In her ministry, Janell interviews young women who have questions about God and belief, and they speak with various Christian apologists to address these questions. Janell emphasizes the importance of being faithful in one's spiritual walk, and of loving God and our neighbors.

Listen here: 


1. How has Janell's experience hosting exchange students challenged and transformed her faith in God?

2. Janell talks about embracing change and stepping out in faith. What are some examples of where you see this in your own life?

3. Janell emphasizes the importance of being authentic and seeking God's guidance. How do you remain authentic in your relationships and life experiences?

4. How has apologetics helped you to address your own doubts and uncertainties about faith?

5. What can we learn from Janell's approach to sharing her faith with others she meets in her work?

6. How has traveling and experiencing different cultures impacted your worldview and faith?

7. Janell's family intentionally exposes their children to different worldviews. Have you had conversations with your own family, friends, or colleagues about faith differences and how to love others well through those differences?

8. What can we do to "offer our lives" to God and be obedient to His call in our lives, even when we don't necessarily see the results?

9. How do you handle fear or doubt when stepping out in faith to do something new or challenging?

10. How can we seek God's guidance in making decisions that might impact our lives or the lives of those around us?


Janell Wood is a devoted wife and mother of four children who grew up in a Christian household and gave her life to Christ at an early stage. Although she experienced her own doubts and struggles with faith, she felt a nudge to go all-in for the Lord after reading Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love. Fueled by this call to action, Janell and her husband decided to do something extraordinary and ended up hosting exchange students from different parts of the world. Starting from the Netherlands, they now have hosted five exchange students and hope to host more! The experience has been life-changing for Janell, who now views this ministry as a way of opening her heart up to young women from different backgrounds who have never known someone who deeply loves the Lord. The journey has not been without its challenges, but Janell has found that God has been working in her life along the way.

Find Janell at

If you want more info about hosting foreign exchange students, go to

If you want to get connected with Janell directly on this topic, meet her at or email her at  [email protected]

Catch up with Stephanie's latest episodes on the Gospel Spice podcast!

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