Skip to main content

Thankful for the Story God is Writing

There's a reason I'm not writing the story and God is.  He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means.
Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts

Monday -- About a year ago one of our missionaries, Linda, began looking into a ministry that helps those who have gone through trauma.  She had no idea where all it would lead, but stepped out in faith that this was what God wanted her to do.  To make a long story short, she and another missionary attended a training last September (not sure the exact date). After that training, they chose dates in February (I won't specify the dates for security reasons) to hold a training session for pastors and Christian workers to train them in helping those who have been through trauma.  Suddenly we have families who have been traumatized in losing their homes and all their belongings, pastors traumatized by losing their churches and who still need to lead their flocks, church members traumatized by losing their churches, and children who can't make sense of any of it.  Can you see God's perfect timing in giving Linda this vision and planning this training for February!!  I'm thankful  for Linda and for the very hard work she and others are putting into providing trauma care for pastors and church members.  Can you be sure to pray for Linda and the others this month?

Tuesday -- My neighbor had some sheets and blankets and kitchen stuff that still had a lot of good use in them but that she was no longer using.  She divided them among the three families at one of the churches that had lost all the homes on the compound.  I was able to buy some clothes and my neighbor's daughter bought a piece of cloth with her own money to give to one of the ladies.  Later that week as we prepared a house for a new family coming we discovered the previous occupants had left behind a bunch of stuffed animals and some other things that we'll pass on to the two year old and five year old children of one of the families.  We also have a jembe (drum) that we gave to the church. The kids at the missionary school have brought in clothes and pieces of cloth to be donated.  I heard today of people in another country who are sending over donated items. I'm thankful we can participate in a small way in restoring what these families lost.

Wednesday -- This is broccoli.  That might not be anything special to you, but we can only get it for about four weeks of the year.  In September John and I bought a small freezer which means now we can freeze veggies when they're in season and pull them out during the time of year when very little fresh stuff is available.  I'm thankful for broccoli and a freezer so we can save some for later.

Thursday -- John's birthday was on Thursday.  I made him a chicken-broccoli casserole and a cheesecake for dessert.  I discovered that another missionary who is new in town had had her birthday on the 27th, so I invited her to join us and to celebrate her birthday with John.  She brought along the strawberry sorbet.  I'm thankful for my husband!!!

Friday -- I'm thankful for these purple flowers.  I have no idea what they're called, but they sure are pretty.  (Notice the layer of dust on the leaves!)

Saturday --  I felt so tired all day and took the opportunity to snooze with Queen of Sheba.  It's no wonder I was so tired....I spent most of Sunday in bed with a fever. I'm thankful for my little furry friend and that I recovered quickly.

 Sunday -- We were able to go to one of the churches that had been burnt.  The church building wasn't too bad other than the ceiling and that one wall.  But the store room behind had a lot of damage and the three houses on the compound are in terrible condition.  This is a simple church and all they had before were benches, a few plastic chairs, a pulpit and a communion table.  In the past two weeks they'd already gotten a new pulpit.  I'm not sure if they bought the chairs or rented them (you can rent these plastic chairs here for your special occasions).  Oh, and a clock. :)  No fans,no electricity....pretty simple.  I'm thankful that we could worship together with those who have been counted worthy to suffer for Jesus.

Thanksgiving is the evidence of our acceptance of what He gives.  Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our Yes! to His grace.

The act of sacrificing thank offerings to God...prepares the way for God to show us His fullest salvation from bitter, angry, resentful lives and from all sin that estranges us from Him...  Our salvation in Christ is real, yet the completeness of that salvation is not fully realized in a life until the life realizes the need to give thanks.

Ann Voskamp
One Thousand Gifts


podso said…
Enjoyed this post so much. I think that's a pansy, which we grow here in our moderate winter climate. Summer is too hot for them but they grow up north in the summer. Not sure about the leaves, but the flower looks just like ours.
I loved Ann Voskamp's book. I read a new one that reminded me of hers.. somewhat... called, Mundane Faithfulness. In fact, I believe the two women are friends. I enjoyed our post.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.

While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…

Happenings in November

Well, here we are, more than half way through December, and I'm just now getting around to telling you about November.  It was a fun, busy, and eventful month.  We were still on vacation and we got in a lot of good family time during the month.

We were still in Ohio with Suz and Theo at the beginning of the month.  Suz and Theo were working hard to get Hezekiah to gain weight.  He kept losing weight for the first few weeks of his life, but he's doing great now.  We tried to spend as much time as possible with Tera so Suzanne could concentrate on adjusting to the new baby ... but mostly just because we wanted to and we enjoy her so much.  

We also tried to get in as many baby snuggles as we could.

Whenever we are in the area, my dad's cousin, Jeanne, invites us for a meal. She is actually closer to me in age than to my dad, so I've always just considered her a cousin and don't try to figure out if she's a second cousin or a first cousin once removed.  Whatever the …