First, here is a “DUH! Big Red Truck!” statement: Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Okay, great! Now here’s a “You Didn’t Think We knew That?” statement (aka “DUH! Big Red Truck!”): We are not in America anymore!. I (Bill) just wanted to get those statements out in the open to set up this update. When we moved here in January we knew we would greatly miss the holiday season.
Why wouldn’t we? We had traditions with family & the church we looked forward to each year; not to mention our annual “In Between” celebration that fell between Christmas & New Years that we would begin working on right after Thanksgiving & would keep us busy all through December. We so enjoyed decorating the house to the 9’s, setting the warmest ambiance & opening the doors for 6 hours to watch adults and kids filter through over that duration devouring the homemade delicacies Debra labored long hours over (with my assistance) along with fantastic chocolates. We would have up to almost 140 one year! Of course we dearly miss all of that. But……. We are very….. Thankful…….
Thanksgiving…….. It is not just a state of mind we should have one day a year; it should be daily no matter what is going on around us. Throughout God’s Word we are shown that being thankful should be ingrained in us.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4)
I was telling Debra this morning during our prayer time that I think I am more thankful this year than I have been in past years. One would think after getting rid of all the nice things and comfortable life we had, that the opposite would be true. But it isn’t! We know that our calling was from God & we have seen His hand in everything & every step of the way both getting here and since being here.
I am humbled beyond words at how amazing the Lord is! I am ashamed to say that I took a lot for granted! What are you thankful for? What do you maybe take for granted? Knowing that our friends & family in America have just endured a very grueling & shocking presidential election, many are thankful & some are not! But is our gratitude dependent on who sits in the White House or Who sits on the Throne? We have some very difficult days here with various struggles in ministry. Unlike our careers in the professional world where we dealt with customer service; here we deal with human lives & their wellbeing. It is a whole new ballgame!
Our Ugandan friends & family suffer from many difficulties that are in some ways foreign to Americans. Obviously we all have troubles & trials; it is part of the human condition.
As I reflect on the past year, all I see through the struggles, tears, pain and heartache is God’s greatness; His awesome power & His love! I can be thankful today that we have a home, friends, many of whom we consider family here as well as an amazing church family. I am thankful for the technology to talk with friends & family back in America & stay connected on social media. I an thankful that I have an amazing wife who I get to partner with & do life here.
We are very thankful for our supporters, both financial & prayer warriors. But most of all, we are thankful for Jesus, our Lord & Savior, His forgiveness & Grace & His purpose for us to live & serve here.
As you in America gather today to celebrate Thanksgiving, there may be those who don’t look forward to this time of year after losing loved ones & other factors. Take heart that the God of the Universe knows you by name, knows the hairs on your head & loves you more than you could ever know.
We just finished having Thanksgiving dinner (we are 10 hours ahead per MST). Debra, of course, did much with little. 2 whole Chickens (cooked like a turkey), stuffed with spices, mashed potatoes & gravy, veggie melody, NICE salads, dinner rolls, homemade cornbread muffins & of course pumpkin pie. I am stuffed! We had over Claire & Paul & our guard Enos. Small gathering, small get together, great fellowship. Today & EVERY day, we are Thankful! Happy Thanksgiving to all!