Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Part 2

Yesterday evening we worked on some of the best "leftovers" from Thanksgiving dinner. My dearest Beverly always out does herself when she begins to cook special meals; she is the best cook in the whole world and this cherry filling topped cheese cake was proof of it. Mmmm good, yea!!!

A friend asked, "so how do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Nicaragua?"

First, it is not celebrated by Nicaraguans, but we enjoy remembering our blessings from the past year so we do enjoy the day.

This year dinner, eaten at 2 P.M., was baked chicken [this chicken was a bit different because according to what I found in the pot it had at least 10 legs], corn, mashed potatoes and gravey, stuffing [stuffed into a bowl instead of a turkey], acorn squash [instead of sweet potateos], bread , cranberry sauce and tea - a very tasty meal and worthy of eating a bit too much. Later in the evening we ate the pumpkin cheese cake mentioned in a previous blog.

Truly God has been good this year... that's not a measure of the food we ate, instead it is thankfullness because He has provided for all our needs, kept us healthy and moving forward, the minsitry has advanced and is preparing for new advances in 2008. Cheree visited China and the Dominican Republic, I made a couple trips to the States, and my mom is living with us and doing very well. We are very thankful for His grace, mercy and abundant blessing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Happy Thanksgiving

This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad init. Psalms 118:24

I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart! Psalms 111:1

My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord. Psalms 104:34

Happy Thanksgiving! Here's one of the pies Bev cooked for our dinner today and it was good. We'll eat the cherry cheese cake tomorrow and it will be even better. Bev's Thanksgiving letter continues below. Blessings and peace.

Today is one bit of American culture that we observe that is not included anywhere on the Nicaraguan calendar, although they celebrate more holidays than does the U.S. However, we believe the number of people here that recognize God as their source of life and give God genuine thanks for His tremendous blessings are growing in number. Here in Matagalpa we have so much for which to be thankful! After the devastating flood last month that destroyed so much, life has returned to a more normal schedule for the majority of the people. Electricity is off only about 2 hours a day now; water is off and on, but mostly on -- nice changes. Prices have drastically increased, but we praise God for His promise to provide our needs for every day. He is always faithful, and His faithfulness does not depend on the current market prices. We are so glad our God is bigger than that, and His provision comes in a myriad of ways. One form of His provision is His protection.

When the dust settled from the frantic days of reaching out to the panic-stricken and suffering people, it was an amazing testimony to realize that none of our people closely ntegrated in our church had major losses. God's hand of protection was upon them, their house structures, and even the majority of their household goods. God is so good! Losses amounted mostly to mattresses, clothes, paper items and other smaller items that were swept away with the rushing water. For those that would like to help, we need to replace all the mattresses we gave away (we receive our next team of people in Dec.) and we are also preparing gift baskets to replace some of the small items lost.

We also rejoice that our helping hands also have brought a few back to the fold. The goodness of God leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Helping them with their more severe losses has shown them God's love in a way that words could not communicate. We pray that this time they will "stick" and become true disciples to in turn be a blessing to others. We praise God for His gracious compassion, for His truth and righteousness, for His power to make us strong in weakness. We praise Him for our health, for vigor and excitement to complete His calling on our lives, for all our children all serving God, for our church leadership rising up in maturity and strength, for new disciples and growth in all our lives, for His direction and new horizons (Jinotega in 2008), for new friendships and for our old faithful friends who pray for us and support us, thereby serving God with us in impacting Nicaragua with God's good news.

Thank you, our dear friends. May God bless you greatly in this season of Thanksgiving and celebration.

We are thankful for His grace and content in His goodness,