Our Thanksgiving this year looked very different. We are usually surrounded by family, eating familiar foods, talking for hours, and playing games. This year we were surrounded by about 30 friends from 6 countries enjoying a potluck of delicious foods. I had such a wonderful time. And then we got home I got to Skype with my parents, brother, and ALL FOUR of my grandparents. I was struck again by the paradox of living overseas. Yes, I am happy here and I love it, but at the same time my heart is breaking with sadness.
I am thankful for many things this year, but here are a few:
- I am thankful for Betty. I truly don't know how I ever managed a household without her. She makes it possible for me to entertain so often. And on top of that she is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever known.
- I am thankful that there is a large ex-pat community in Mbale. We spend the most time with our mission team, but we have all sorts of other friends here. Its very diverse but there's a great chemistry and I think we all just enjoy fellowshipping together.
- I am thankful for all the good foods we can get here such as mangos, bananas, pineapple, and imported favorites like heinz ketchup and pringles. There are still a lot of things I miss but I know there are lots of people who wish they had as many choices as we do.
- I am thankful for our home. It's spacious and comfortable, and I'm thankful that all the work on it is finished. God has given it to us for a purpose and we often have it filled with happy faces and voices.
- I am thankful for technology. How amazing is it that I can Skype into my old playgroup's halloween party? Or text pictures of the kids to my parents and in-laws every day? Keeping in touch has gotten a lot easier.
- I am thankful that God has given us the opportunity to do something exciting for his kingdom.
- I am thankful to have two happy, healthy, thriving kiddos, who also just happen to be the world's cutest and sweetest. :) And for a husband who loves the Lord and strives to be a good father. It's all about dad right now for Graham!
- I am thankful for all the gifts we've received in the past 5 months from the states. We've gotten lots of packages and gifts from visitors. I don't think I can describe to you how exciting and meaningful it is!
- I am thankful for our dogs and our guards. We lay our heads down every night in perfect peace knowing someone we trust is looking out for us.
- I am thankful for mercy. Nothing can compare to the power of Jesus' great name!