Today I celebrated Thanksgiving with the Hortman's and their friends. What a way to start the week of my goodbye's and last times! This morning I returned to Ajung Siy Jy's church in Chang Sean. When I first came the field was filled with green rice shoots and today they were harvesting.
I have attended this church three times and every time they have treated me like family. In fact, today this church surrounded me in prayer for my trip, for my plans for the future, and for revival in America. What a wonderful gift from God not only to hear individuals praying in their heart language all at the same time, but to hear them pray for me! It still gives me shivers of happiness!
(even the dog smiled!)
Koi then took me to the Hortman's and I met new people and visited with those I've met briefly or for longer. It was such a good experience because, although the food was delicious, the fellowship was the main thing!
Sometimes I think holidays can become such a chore that we forget that each holiday gives us precious time with family. It clears our schedules to make time for fellowship and to encourage one another. I don't know about you, but I find myself every year at this time thinking too much about the gifts, food or scheduled events.
Don't get me wrong though- I was definitely excited to taste real American food!
But to watch and talk with my new friends that I have made was so sweet! To receive an encouraging word from Ajung Chalau (I don't think that's spelled right) and her husband Neal was another gift.
To see the Pennington's was another gift: they were the first ones I met when I arrived and will be the last ones I see before I go.
To see Lynn holding a red-haired baby, knowing that I will be able to hold another red-haired baby when I get home- a gift that has been prayed for!
Mother's holding their children and the other one's playing together. All sounds of Thanksgiving that I never stepped back and took notice of before. And even though we didn't go around the table and say three things we were thankful for or ate some of the dishes that have been in the family for years, I think I am more thankful to the Lord this year than any other year. I am thankful for a family who has been praying for me and have sought the Lord's wisdom in their lives. I am thankful for the daily blessings of water, food, blankets, nature, and bug spray! I am thankful for new friends and the opportunities I have had to learn from individuals. But most of all, I am thankful because this year the Lord has taught me the value of daily thankfulness. That His love is behind each and every gift and that joy can be experienced when we recognize it and open our mouths to thank Him for it!
Tonight I was watching a Dr. Quinn episode called Thanksgiving and Johnny Cash sang a really neat song. If you aren't a fan- that's fine- but the words are precious because it looks at the small blessings and important ones. Click this: Johnny Cash- Thanksgiving Song if you want to watch it.
Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!