So much to be thankful for

Do you ever have those moments in the day, when your thoughts make you stop to think and evaluate your life?  How you're spending your time, who you're spending it with, and why you're doing what you're doing?  I had several moments like that today.  Thanksgiving is often a reflective day for me.  

Today, my thoughts were directed towards thanksgiving.  Not necessarily the holiday, but the actual act of giving thanks.  I had to take a moment to sit in the goodness of the Lord, remembering all that he has done for me, for my family, for my friends, and give thanks where thanks are due.  I was overcome with thankfulness as I took time to thank God for the things he is doing in my life.  The fact alone that I have a husband that loves the Lord and his family, and that we have 4 healthy children is enough to bring any mama to tears of thanks.

 

Our crew.  So thankful they are mine, and for their good health.  Thank you Lord.

Our crew.  So thankful they are mine, and for their good health.  Thank you Lord.

As human beings we too quickly neglect to see and appreciate what is before us.  In our fast paced materialistic culture, we are often anticipating the next thing on our calendar (the next promotion, the next vacation, getting a bigger and better house - the list could go on).  We anticipate it so much that we miss everything in between.  I don't want to miss out on these moments.  I don't want to go throughout a day, failing to give thanks.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians  5:16-19 

I am thankful today, for a laundry list of reasons, one of which is the fact that Mike and I have the opportunity to go to El Salvador together in December on a week long trip.  We are going with a team of individuals from our Latin America regional team to facilitate a youth Bible conference. We try to facilitate at least 3 of those a year, offering opportunities to learn God's word, really challenging them to critically evaluate the world around them so that they could be positive agents of change in their local communities.  

Top: In November, Mike, along with two other Latin America team members, embarked upon a 5 day trip with two main objectives: continue developing the youth (6 of which are pictured above!) by teaching the Bible and providing skills development, and to build a gazebo on our property which will provide another meeting venue for the various ministry programs we are involved in.  Mike's grin, as you can see, is indicative of the way he comes alive working alongside these youth, teaching them skills, laughing with them, and doing some good ole' farm boy hard work!  BR: Orlando is 17.  He grew up in rural El Salvador, and farms with his family.  He recently had a very serious abdominal surgery, that he is still recovering from.  We are thankful that God preserved his life.  The fact that he still shows up to learn God's work, and to learn new skills with construction, is a testament to what God is doing in his life! Please pray for him when you think of it.  

Top: In November, Mike, along with two other Latin America team members, embarked upon a 5 day trip with two main objectives: continue developing the youth (6 of which are pictured above!) by teaching the Bible and providing skills development, and to build a gazebo on our property which will provide another meeting venue for the various ministry programs we are involved in.  Mike's grin, as you can see, is indicative of the way he comes alive working alongside these youth, teaching them skills, laughing with them, and doing some good ole' farm boy hard work! 

BR: Orlando is 17.  He grew up in rural El Salvador, and farms with his family.  He recently had a very serious abdominal surgery, that he is still recovering from.  We are thankful that God preserved his life.  The fact that he still shows up to learn God's work, and to learn new skills with construction, is a testament to what God is doing in his life! Please pray for him when you think of it.  

 

In addition to the youth conference, we will be continuing our efforts with empowering local teachers.  We will have the chance to evaluate past experiences together as well as brainstorm new ones.  We are trying our best to give these teachers hope, making sure that they know that we value them and that their roles in the development of young people are so important!  We hope to be able to gift all teachers in attendance a year's worth supply of school supplies.  If you would like to help meet that goal, please consider how you could help.  (Check out the link above in this paragraph).  Any size donation would help make this possible.  Please stay updated on our blog and on our organizational website as we will be updating our supporters as soon as we are able.  And please continue to pray for our efforts!  (If you would like any more info, please let me know!)

Thanks for reading.  I hope that you are finding yourself 'giving thanks' in new ways, after all, it is more blessed to give, than to receive.