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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