"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. We worked day and night in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." 1 Thessalonians 2:8-9

This blog is much more than our family and our crazy antics. After being overseas in Haiti for 4 years we prayed about coming back to the States and just still felt like God was going to use our family overseas...so here we go again. The big move to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and now the school growing and moving to Barbados. We just can't seem to rest until our family can love as many as we can to relationships with Christ. We always feel so blessed to meet the many people we get to serve with overseas, and of course love that you are reading with us as we serve in a new culture!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Missing Thankfulness

Gratitude - an extremely hard subject to talk about.
We have a job where because people give, we are able to serve. We are so grateful and yet there are times we forget to be.  But, it is easy for me to overlook those in myself.
Someone sends support and we are thankful and we write a thank you note.  Our family often prays for our supporters and their needs.  We constantly feel so overwhelmed by others love and yet...
We lived and taught in a culture where people begged for things, as they had nothing.  You gave them something and they would ask for more.  You could start a mob in seconds by handing out pieces of candy. 
We are still in a Caribbean culture surrounded by those that have less than what is typical in the American culture.  We have groups visit and hand out things and still people here will take and say nothing. Secretly I know inside they are thrilled with the gift, so I don't understand why they mask their emotions?
 I was raised always saying thank you when given something. How easy is it for us to obtain a package of thank you cards for $1 at the store and drop a note of thanks in the mail?  Although, nowdays I hear the columnists say you don't have to write thanks anymore.  So maybe it is everywhere.
 But sometimes in my heart I think where is their thankfulness?  Why can't they say thank you....do they realize people might not give to them again because they showed no gratefulness or may not want to support here?  For me personally, it is no fun to give when the other seems to not care.
I am no expert on the new culture we are in or have lived in Haiti, so I may be missing it.  But, I started thinking about it.  Every time people come and visit and they share with you.  It's such a wonderful thing whether material gifts they leave or their gift of serving alongside you and encouraging you....that after a time, do we forget to cherish it?  Have maybe we witnessed it so much that we take it for granted and feel it is due?  (Certainly there is a lot of debate on this with the government in the States- but I will stay out of that.)  Or is it more than the idea of feeling it is due you, is it a feeling of pride to show gratefulness?  I realize most can't get access or afford the costs of sending a card for each kindness, but is saying the two words of "thank you" just not done anymore?
Looking at me and our way of life, do I take for granted all the people who sacrifice material things so we can live here, do I write the thank you but truly forget to be thankful, do I accept your help and seem like it is due?    Can I look at others and wonder why they aren't thankful when in my own life I take it for granted?  As we tend to focus more on Christ's sacrifice for us all now, I can't help but think of how we take for granted all He did for us too.  To give your son's life for our sins, unfathomable.
And yet, as we were reading Exodus16, God led His people out of slavery.   And were they thankful?  No, they complained for food after having their lives spared!  No gratefulness there.  But, did He abandon them and say as I sometimes think, "No more for you, since you weren't grateful."  Nope- the Lord said, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you."  Still He gives to them. The story goes on and later there is still more complaining.  But, God does not give up.  He keeps teaching them and providing for them and disciplining sometimes when needed. 
We're praying for you and thankful for you!  We're praying to always be so grateful.  And we are praying when days seem a bit discouraging or others are missing it or complaining (this could be us too) that we keep teaching, providing, encouraging thankfulness, and disciplining and learning when needed.

1 comment:

  1. Very well written. As "Americans", we often think of the world in our own view rather than look at things from the perspective of God. We are so blessed to have been able to spend some time there with you and will continue to pray for your family and the work at WISE. Thanks!