This week is Thanksgiving in the Sates. I knew this would be a difficult week from before I started support raising. Thanksgiving was hard for me the first time I was here. Some of my favorite traditions and memories are from Thanksgivings in the past. It is also the week that we lost my grandpa 3 years ago. So many things come to play in this week. Instead of being sad that I am missing out I am going to be thankful for the things I do have this week. They are as follows…
Arepas and café con leche: this is what I have for breakfast most mornings with my two wonderful, kind and caring teachers, Ana and Luz. It means that I am not only being taught by them but have become part of the family and they take care of me every day.
Women’s bible studies: There are two fabulous women’s bible studies that are weekly praying for me. I get e-mails from them and encouragement that reminds me of the many people who love and care about me.
E-mails: This is another wonderful thing that encourages me daily. The people who send thoughts and little pieces of the US to me. It may not be a long letter but I know they were thinking about me and send love and support.
Videos and pictures: Along the same lines as the e-mails this is a way that I can watch some very special children grow. I am thankful for them and their parents everyday.
The broken leg of an 8 year old: One of the kids here in La Ceiba (Ismael) broke his leg several months ago. This makes me thankful for Sait and Laideth and the love they have for the Lord that is shown through the way they take care of people. Ismael is now staying with them and they take him to therapy everyday. They love him when no one else would take care of him. It is a joy to watch. I even was a recipient of this love when I hurt my leg and Laideth helped me go to the doctor and get medicine for the infection. I am thankful for them all.
Mistakes: I may not always be thankful for this one but in the end I will be. It keeps me humble which is a hard thing for me to learn. It also has been a fun way to interact with people here. Everyone loves to share funny things Alicia says with others. It is all in light hearted fun. I don’t hardly ever make the same mistake twice and everyone is more than willing to help me learn. Mistakes also mean that I am learning. People have been telling me for months that my Spanish is getting better. I am thankful that God has given me more grace and understanding in this area, looking forward to the next year of learning more.
Memory verses said way to fast: Every Thursday I have the joy of going to La Ceiba with a group from the church. We have a service there for the kids in the evening. For a long time I have felt like I wasn’t really “needed” there or that I was even noticed. A few weeks ago one little girl came up to me and said something to me so fast I had no idea what it could have been. I asked to to repeat herself. This time I realized she was saying a verse when I recognized “Efesios” at the end. This touched my heart not only because she had memorized her verse but because she wanted to share it with me. Since then another little girl has picked my lap as her choice place to sit, I may have sore legs at the end of the lesson and don’t understand everything but I now know that I belong to this group and I am very thankful for each and every one of those kids!!
Supper with friends: One Saturday we had a group of people over to bbq and celebrate my apartment. All 9 of us crammed into my little kitchen and shared a meal together. Sait told me how thankful they were to God for me coming to help them in the ministry here. I told him how thankful I was for all their help in learning and getting to know the area and culture. Not only am I thankful for their help for for their friendship. They have accepted me in to their group so quickly. They are all more than willing to help me with any thing and do an awesome job of explaining things to me when I don’t understand. Laideth’s love for the word of God is so big that she does her best to explain all sorts of things to me that she is learning, some of my most Spiritual conversations have been with her. Thankful for friends!!
A God that speaks English: There have been many a time in the last 5 months that I have not had the words in Spanish to express an emotion or feeling fully, this is a very difficult place to be. However, no matter how happy or sad or frustrated I am I can always tell God about it because he understands and for that I am very thankful!!
THANKFUL for each and everyone of you who read this and pray for me. Praise be to God!