Thanksgiving, [way] down south

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, we haven’t had our turkey and stuffing yet! And yet, we’ve still celebrated Thanksgiving and had a really good week. Well… for the most part.

Wednesday, Brian came down with a 102.4 fever! Goodness. He was incredibly, awfully achy, but that was about it! He had a fever until Thursday night when it finally broke. That stupid fever fluctuated all the way down to 99 then would shoot right back up within the hour. His throat is killing him, but other than that – he feels just fine today! He actually went over by the airport (about 2hrs away) to customs to pick up a package somebody sent for us. So, praise God, he’s feeling better and it didn’t get any worse.

Other than that – I worked every day in getting my kids practicing a little skit they’re going to do next Friday for their family and friends. And then, I worked on getting all the little details done for the big, annual Thanksgiving program in the Bible school that we had last night. It went off really well!

I came up with the idea to make it more of a celebration/party/spring feel and less of a typical U.S. fall feel (since we don’t get “fall” here anyway!). Lots of balloons, streamers, and fresh flowers decorated the cafeteria:

The idea of the night was that everyone – all 80! – were to share something God has done for them this year that they would like to give thanks for. They were all given little slips of paper and during supper, they were to write their *short* statement of gratitude on them. After supper, I explained what would happen to the slips of paper:

There’s like “groups” here in BCM: kids, 1st, 2nd, 3rd year of Bible school, Ministry year, missionaries, and those who work here. One person was chosen from each group to come and share a longer testimony up front. Then, the rest of the group was invited to come up and share what was written on their slips of paper, then tape the piece of paper inside one of the letters of the word “Gracias” on the board. In this way, we filled “Thanks” with our statements of gratitude. Pretty cool, huh?

Everyone participated – from the kids

– to the missionaries –

– to all the students in the Bible school.

I really wanted people to see how God is working in everyone’s lives. We had a big variety of testimonies – from the typical “Thank you, God, for my family,” to the more unusual – “Thank you, God, that my dad didn’t go to jail this year.” The missionary woman, Martha, who shared the longer testimony did a fabulous job. She shared about their trip to Tarapoto a month ago and how God provided her and her husband their own partitioned-off room in a family’s small (dirt-floor, rat-infested ceiling) hut after it looked like (when they first arrived) they would share a room with the entire family for sleeping. God is so good to us, isn’t He?

I loved hearing people’s testimonies – the funny, the serious, and the genuinely sincere. We have so much to be thankful for – I’m positive this sharing could’ve lasted hours longer.

Becky and I sang a duet and as soon as the video is up on the computer, I’ll see if I can’t upload it to here. Becky’s husband, Adam, wrapped up the evening with a short devotional.

I couldn’t have pulled off the night without the help of all the people who decorated and did music. It was a genuinely lovely night. I got home and found out that Brian and Elena had stood in Elena’s room with the windows open and listened to our duet. 🙂 Gotta love living in the valley and hearing everything resound for miles and miles.

At the end of the night, it was really cool to see the word “Gracias” completely filled with statements of gratitude:

Tomorrow, we’ll head over to Adam and Becky’s for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Can’t wait!! Saw pictures on Facebook of everyone’s dinners and read all the talk of leftovers and all I could think was, “Wait! We haven’t had ours yet!!” SO looking forward to tomorrow!

Hope your Thanksgivings were wonderful and thank-filled!

 

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Brian & Lisa

We are missionaries with Bible Centered Ministries International, living and serving in NEPA.

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