Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, it really is good to be given a reminder to stop and think about all the ways my life is ridiculously blessed. Don’t get me wrong, we do have hardships galore here, but that just makes it all the more necessary to occasionally step back and view the big picture and focus on the positive things instead of the negative ones. Jon said he’ll write an update later about the news and things going on here in the past month-and-a-half since our last e-mail, but I feel like just talking about some of the things I’m thankful for…
First of all, I’m thankful for my wonderful husband and all the adventures we get to share. It’s been a wild 3½ years of marriage so far, and I’m so glad to be blessed with a godly, humble, servant-hearted, talented, resourceful, and fun man to share all of life’s experiences with me 🙂
I am thankful for our precious little boy, Kyran, who has turned out to be the perfect little missionary baby. He sleeps well, eats whatever is put in front of him, travels without much complaining, and is very outgoing and loves giving people his biggest grins to brighten their day. Couldn’t have asked for better! (I’m also extremely grateful for the healthy pregnancy and birth I had with him!)
Speaking of health, I’m very thankful that all of us have stayed relatively healthy. We’ve had the occasional cold, but none of us have gotten malaria or any of the other horrendous things you can catch here.
On that same note, I’m very thankful for the ability to video-chat with said family! I can’t imagine doing mission work “back in the day” when mail had to be sent by ship and might take 3 months to get to us… I love that now we can even see each other’s faces and our parents can watch their grandson growing up.
I am thankful for our parents and siblings who encourage us in our work and keep us sane :-). It would be so much harder to have a family that disapproved of our crazy lifestyle, so the prayers and support are so appreciated.
I am thankful for all of the people and churches back home who support us and pray for us. We couldn’t be here without you guys!
I am thankful for the way God has provided for our every need, even when we’ve stepped out on blind faith so many times.
I am thankful for the friendships I have with the other missionaries on the base. We have so many good times with them, and they are life-savers in taking on responsibilities that were too hard or stressful for us last year, so that has made this year much better. We have started doing a missionary dinner night once a week, and those are great times of fellowshipping and praying together.
I’m thankful we don’t need to leave the country every single month this year…
I am thankful for Domingas, the sweet young lady who washes our laundry. I had to do all of our laundry by hand the first year we were here, so I really appreciate the help and the friendship as we get to chat a bit whenever she comes over to do the wash (and she is thankful for having a job, it’s definitely a win-win situation!)
I am thankful for our nice house on the mission base. When we originally imagined life in Africa we thought we’d be living in a mud hut with a dirt floor and an outhouse, but we have a great concrete house with tile floors and an indoor bathroom (with a HOT shower no less!), and it’s even bigger than the place where Jon and I lived when we first got married :-).
I am thankful for all the cloth diapers people donated to us after Kyran was born. To use disposables here would probably double our living expenses!
I am thankful that even though there are only 5 big grocery stores in the whole country of Mozambique, we’re close to one of them! There are lots of niceties we could do without, but it is, well, nice to have them. Speaking of which, I’m also thankful that said grocery store has turkeys, and that we’ll get to buy and cook one for our Thanksgiving feast this week! Even though we’re the only Americans on the base, we still wanted to celebrate with all the other missionaries, so we’re going to introduce them to our traditions and have a good time :-).
What are you thankful for?