Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Still Finding Reasons to be Thankful

I spent Thanksgiving a little differently this year, and I am really thankful for the reasons why.  This year I was in Honduras (which you will know if you have looked at my blog and/or Facebook any time recently!).  I flew down to Honduras a few days before Thanksgiving, and after a few days in the capitol city, Tegucigalpa, I went out to Escuela El Sembrador with my field director, his wife, and one of our fellow missionaries.  

Being back at El Sembrador almost didn't feel real.  As we turned down the road to the school it felt very familiar.  As we drove through the school I saw that it was still same place, but that four years had past.  The year I was there was the beginning of a project to beautify campus, especially with plants.  Driving up to the school I saw how those tiny plants had grown and now provide shade and beauty.  School is out for the year, so most of the students were gone (a few such as the graduates were around).  

That evening was our celebration of Thanksgiving. The missionaries and volunteers went into town for a Thanksgiving feast, albeit a rather non-traditional one.  We had onion rings, French fries, plantains, salad, beef, chicken, sausage, and course, tortillas.

As I looked around the table that night I couldn't help but think of how thankful I am for the people that I will be working with.  We all come from different places, and we aren't related, but we are family.  We are all God's children, and that's the most meaningful bond I can think of.

After supper we went back to El Sembrador for dessert.  This part wasn't traditional either.  People who work at El Sembrador and their families came over to one of the houses for cake and ice cream. A lot of people have big Thanksgivings with lots of people, but this was over 80 people!  And it was cake and ice cream, not pumpkin pie.  But once again- it really felt like Thanksgiving because the spirit of the holiday was very much present!

I started a blog actually on Thanksgiving to write down just how thankful I am, but I couldn't finish it because I just couldn't put into words how much gratitude I have in my heart, and I can't even begin to count the reasons.  Words still haven't come, and the reasons remain uncountable, but I have share just how thankful I am.

I am so thankful for:

Friends and family- thankful that God has put you in my life.

Purpose and direction- I didn't know for a few years where God was leading me, and I am thankful that He has begun to show this to me.

Those of you who support me. - whether in prayer and/or financially- I couldn't follow the call to go to Honduras without you.  I will never be able to tell you "thank you" enough.

The team of people I will be working with in Honduras - both missionaries and Hondurans.  You are my friends and family too, even those who I am just getting to know or haven't even met yet.  I'm thankful for you!

God's provision-  God meets my needs.  I may not be able to go on shopping sprees, but God has certainly provided.

But what I am most thankful for is Jesus.

Over 2000 years ago God sent a tiny baby to change the course of human history.  Holding nothing back, God sent us His only Son, wrapped in human flesh to become the sacrifice needed to make us right with God.

Because of this I see Thanksgiving day as sort of an "opening day" of Thanksgiving season.  Isn't the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ the ultimate reason for thanks?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Last Full Day

I'll have a few hours here tomorrow, but my trip has pretty much come to a close.  Today I was able to see what my friend Gaby Umbaugh has been doing.  A month ago I posted a notice on Facebook that I was collecting blankets and hats to send to Honduras for a project called "My First Warm Christmas".  Today we went to hand out some of the things that were sent.

In the morning we prepared sandwhiches to bring to people in the hospital.  In the children's ward there are families who have spent their money getting to the hospital and do not having any money for food and lodging once they get there.   For families in this situation there are no choices.  They sleep outside even if it is raining and very cold.  If they have no money for food, there is no choice but to be hungry.

So we made sandwiches to hand out to the children and their families.  We handed those out, along with Christmas themed activity books and some Gospel tracts for the parents.
After that we went to the maternity ward to hand out the blankets, hats, and clothing that has been donated.  Many of the women who come to the hospital do not have things like blankets, clothing, and hats for their babies. (Yes, Honduras gets cold, especially this time of year!).  There were many women, but thanks to the generosity of many we were able to give something to help all who needed it.