“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.”
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The grocery store that caters to the ex-patriots here has turkeys–if you can afford to pay the price they are asking. My team will be having chicken, but with the other usual side dishes. I’m making apple pie–for me it’s not Thanksgiving without it! Thursday will be just another day here, since Thanksgiving is a distinctly American holiday, so school and work will go on as usual, but with a nice gathering at suppertime.
But, Thanksgiving is more than just eating turkey or watching American football. Being here and all the reasons behind that, has made me stop and think about what I am thankful for and why.
At the top of my list are my faithful supporters, friends and family who are giving generously in several different ways. In thinking about this, I’ve been drawn to the epistles of Paul, where at the end of many of them, he mentions individuals and churches by name for which he is thankful. Here are some of the things he mentions:
- they have refreshed my spirit
- they shared my trouble
- they sent me help for my needs more than once
- the gifts sent were a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God
- they have been a comfort to me
With Paul, I can echo all of these. I am thankful for those who faithfully pray for me and the work I do here, thankful for those who provide financial support which allows me to be here, and thankful for those who send me care packages of things I like, but can’t get here. My “home team” of supporters is a great encouragement to me and top on my list of thanksgiving at this time of year.