Happy Canadian Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
Here we are on the second day of my ‘Africa musings’. Read the first day here.
Gen 12:1 says Go to the place I will show you.
So I heard and I did. Gathered. Fundraised. Put on my best flip flops and travelled (flip flops not recommended 😉
During our fundraising activities a well-meaning lady told us that short term missions trips were a waste of time indicating that they did more harm than good.
What I love about visiting Living Waters is that we were not arriving there to take over and wave our magic wand of the West but rather to join in with the ministry and bless all that is already taking place – supporting teachers, and staff and simply being with the children.
Ensuring them all of a group of people in a faraway place, actually, a 14, 130km away place – who regularly pray for them, love them and think of them often.
‘Go where your best prayers take you’ says Buechner.
‘Put willing feet on your red letter verses and go’ says Me.
Isaiah 52:7 ‘How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that God reigns!’
This became a relevant verse as we climbed to many mountaintops to share good news stories. Personal mountains, fear filled mountains and blatant ‘I cannot do this’ mountains.
What did that look like? Where did those beautiful feet take our team?
They danced with African congregations (the first time I had danced the conga around church) these feet skipped over ropes and walked African streets sharing good news.
They dodged scorpions, dragged themselves through airport corridors, and kicked own self at times.
They stood in front of hundreds of people – as the team shared painful stories, of loss and redemption, testimonies of God’s goodness and grace.
They stood strong – supported by team members cheers.
They they chased bubbles and dogs and wore Converse with Sunday best…
They climbed from under a mosquito net during the night and paced a room in prayer as fever peaked and darkness raged.
These feet worked hard…
Each step we took was one of intention, digging our cracked heels into dusty soil.
As grateful passion was ignited to a burning flame because of our feet on the ground.
And now we are home, the all important question ‘How was it’?
A poignant question to ask this Thanksgiving weekend and I am reminded again to convert gratitude from Thanksgiving to Thanks-living.
I love Anne Voskamp’s thoughts on this ‘What if the question around holiday tables wasn’t –What are you so grateful for? But rather how are you changing the world because you are so grateful? What if gratitude always meant a question mark — asking how will you let your gratitude to Christ mark the world for Christ?… Thanksgiving is a verb – a way to walk, to respond, to give, to do, to change the world.
Buechner also says ‘Generally speaking, if you want to know who you really are, as distinct from who you like to think you are, keep an eye on where your feet take you.’
Let us find a way to walk this out.
One thought on “Walking in Thanksgiving”
Thank you, again, Michelle. We have also experienced those remarks, however, we believe it’s more about “presence” than it is in doing. We do not do this alone; we are simply coming alongside the church there and joining in the ministry already happening. And when we leave they are in good hands. How blessed we are to be involved in this way, and as a bonus, we are so much richer.