Thanks Giving

Posted on: May 16, 2017 Written by
Thanks Giving
Photography by: AndreyKrav from iStock          

I stood at the sink washing dishes and listing all the reasons why I don’t like being a global worker in Ukraine. Only a partial list, mind you, since it would take too long to review everything. Stress on the family. Separation from loved ones. Inconveniences. Unexpected outages of water and electricity. The sense of being out of control. I sometimes miss the normal life where you get what you earn.

The sound of the television interrupted my thoughts–the girls were watching a video in the living room. That video was a gift from someone we’ve never met. The team which came last month brought us two big suitcases loaded with loot. Much of it was from people we don’t even know. Our monthly financial report records the generosity of so many. We are privileged to have daily prayer support. We’ve done nothing to earn these gifts -there’s nothing we can do to repay.

Gifts of grace. Grace is something you don’t earn–can’t earn. It goes beyond salvation. We have health. Adequate food. We have friends who love us, here and abroad. Nicholi gave us a gunny-sack of potatoes and wouldn’t accept payment. Tanya earns only $40 a month, but spends her paycheck buying treats for my girls. I’m humbled by their generosity. Normal folks get what they earn. They have their feet squarely on the ground and feel some sense of control.

Living by faith has me dangling from a parachute…or something up there. Someone? The cord is strong and when I’m grateful, the view is fine. I stood at the sink listing my gifts of grace. Only a partial list, mind you, for it would take too long to review everything.

“Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings by counting your troubles.” Maltbie D. Babcock



This article is a classic originally published in our early print magazines. 

View the original print magazine where this article was first published.

About the author

Janice has served in Ukraine with her husband, Cory, since July 1995, with Christian Missionary Fellowship. While she hauls produce from the market, battles cockroaches and homeschools their two girls, he works alongside local leaders, training church planters. She is the author of Five Loaves and Two Bowls of Borscht and its companion Bible study guide , Finding Strength for the Journey (see sidebar). She enjoyed reading In the Presence of My Enemies , by Gracia Burnham, “It shows God's faithfulness in tough situations.”

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