“Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:4-9
My kitchen is small, but not a small as the kitchen was in my apartment in Haiti. Here in Illinois there is a small pantry, a full size refrigerator/freezer and some cupboards above a stove and counter. There have been several school kitchens that I have visited, the most recent was at St. Peter’s in Columbus, IN and it was a large room with storage, appliances and countertops much larger than my home. The attached photo is the food storage area at a rural school in Haiti. There is a bag of rice, beans, two jugs of vegetable oil and two cans of tomato paste. The only two things that seemed to be missing was a box of Maggi and a tin or box of smoked herring. Thanksgiving is coming and when the time comes for you to say Grace at the table, please consider these simple elements that provide a huge blessing for children in Haiti. One other thing in the lower right side of the photo is a rolled up grass mat and many people in rural Haiti sleep on these on the floor until they can afford a real mattress. I know because I have slept on them before. When we plan for thanksgiving we really need to stop and really take an inventory of all that we have to be thankful for this coming year. I am closing today with the words from what I always consider to be the ‘Thanksgiving Hymn’; "We praise Thee, O God, Our Redeemer, Creator" that were originally written by an unknown soul from Holland in 1626 and later translated by Julia B. Cady Cory in 1882.
“We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator, in grateful devotion our tribute we bring; we lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee, we bless Thy holy name, glad praises we sing. We worship Thee, God of our fathers, we bless Thee; through life's storm and tempest our Guide hast Thou been; when perils o'er take us, escape Thou wilt make us, and with Thy help, O Lord, our battles we win. With voices united our praises we offer, to Thee, great Jehovah, glad anthems we raise. Thy strong arm will guide us, Our God is beside us, to Thee, our great Redeemer, fore'er be praise.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay