This afternoon we are going to an American Thanksgiving here in the city with about 80 other missionaries. I realize it is not Canadian Thanksgiving…but despite the somewhat rough year this has been, we still have much to be thankful for.
Here are a few things that come to mind that I am thankful for, or in some cases, looking forward to.
I am thankful that I was able to attend WOP this year. This is the Women of purpose retreat, where men and women come from the States to host a time away for the missionary women. They sacrifice a lot to come here, leaving behind their families and jobs to pour blessings into the lives of women here. It’s a time of encouraging where words of life are spoken to some who just may feel like giving up. Those who attend walk away feeling refreshed, renewed, valued and loved, that they are not insignificant or invisble. They are not alone. The worship is amazing, as is the teaching. And there is chocolate! Everything was so planned out and so lavish. A great time of blessing. I can’t adequately put it into words.
I am thankful for the expansion happening in the ministry in the new year. Ten new schools in the area! I’m thankful for the men that God has brought into our lives at the right time. Men that love the Lord and have a passion for teaching children the Word of God. For Corina as well. She will be teaching the kinders. It amazes me how it has all fallen into place. That God has blown the doors wide open!
I am thankful that January we will have a couple weeks to focus on our Spanish. Dale and I along with Kathy will be taking an Español intesivo course Monday to Friday. Believe me, this is so needed. Not being fluent and just getting by isn’t cutting it. I so long to be able to communicate better and be able to minister on a heart level…not struggle to be understood and understand. I realize that a two week course is not going to make us fluent, but it will improve what we do know significantly.
I am thankful for the upcoming missionary retreat put on by our sending agency; the PAOC. It is for all the missionaries serving in latin America. This year it will be in Florida .How great it will be to see and connect with other missionaries we have not seen in a long time. Some of them we will be meeting in person for the first time. Dale is looking forward to going to Cracker Barrel for the food. I am looking forward to possibly buying a Gooseberry Patch cookbook from their store. I used to have a few but I sold them before moving down here.
I am thankful for the ladies Bible study I have been attending. I recently switched to a new study here in the city and I am enjoying it. We are doing the Psalms of Ascent by Beth Moore and it´s really good. A couple times I have gone out for lunch with the ladies afterwords, and that has been good for me to get out and socialize a little. It’s helped with the loneliness that sometimes comes. I can’t afford to do that every week, but I will when I can because I really enjoy it.
I am thankful for Abby. As you know our sweet Reuben died suddenly this year, and it was a really, really hard time of grieving for our family. Abby has not replaced Reuben. We still miss him. But she has brought some of the joy back to our house and helped to ease the heartache. Also, while she has not learned any tricks., ( Reuben was a quick learner) she has not destroyed any of her toys, chewed anyone’s underwear, or toothbrushes)
I have written about this before, but I am thankful to live across from a community that I am safe to walk in. I talk to God a lot on my walks. I love talking to the neighbours there. Many of them I have come to know because of their dogs! I love it that the boss of the watchmen sits at the gate reading his Bible outloud and the other guards listen. I love having a mountainous view when I walk.
I am thankful for answered prayers! I can’t go into that one a whole lot right now, but God is moving in my family. I love being able to stroke answered prayer off my prayer list!