More Than Nice

24 Nov

This morning to celebrate Thanksgiving I am being finger printed.  Not at church, there are no services…at the federal office.  It is part of the routine.  Not the Ethiopian Thanksgiving holiday, their process for residency.   Getting a residency card eliminates the need to present a visa when you go places.  It makes living here and traveling back and forth much easier.  You can only get residency if you have a work permit.  Yesterday my work permit came through, so today Susan and I officially have a job.  We are giving thanks.

I tried to explain our unique American holiday to our Ethiopian administrator justifying why I would only be at work in the morning.  He was polite but not completely impressed.  He didn’t say anything at all, but if he would have I imagined I would have heard, “That’s nice,” or something equally beige.

But it is more than nice.  I awaken early and started accounting for our reasons for giving thanks.  So much has changed since our last Thanksgiving.  In broad strokes:  family, church, vocation, home, and country.  God and His promises have not changed.  More than ever we are aware of His presence on His throne in our hearts.  Do feelings intensify in the loss of proximity?  Our gratitude for you has.  None of us realize how much we take for granted in relationships.  Thanksgiving is all about relationships.  You know…Pilgrims and Indians.  The more a relationship goes past, “That’s nice,” the more thankful we SHOULD be for it.

So here is my list of things, More Than Nice, that have filled our cups with blessing from the Father today sharing hope with our hearts:

  1. Our children, grandchildren and family.  We rejoice in the love you have brought into our lives.
  2. Our church brother and sisters.  Your fellowship in body and spirit has given us a rich heritage.
  3. LSM.  Each of the staff and all who provide financial support have made it possible for us to team with you in a new work in our lives for the glory of God’s kingdom.
  4. Our new residence.  Through the changes of the past year, God has given us a keen awareness that this earth is not our home but the love that makes a home is not bound by walls and roof.
  5. Our country.  When you live in a foreign country and experience the raw edge of contrast it forces you to look past criticism and complaints.  We are citizens of a blessed nation.
  6. The unchangeable relationship we have with Our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ the Son and the ever-present Holy Spirit.


3 Responses to “More Than Nice”

  1. Carol Klopfenstein November 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    I needed that after a few stress filled days in HHC- thanks for sharing- and a very blessed Thanksgiving to both of you-Carol

  2. Sarah Fiechter November 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    Happy Thanksgiving to both of you as well!

  3. Erin Drayer November 28, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    Feeling intensify in the loss of proximity. I can relate to a bit of what you are going through. We spent a Thanksgiving in MX away from family. Praying God’s power will be evident in the work in Ethiopia. Thanks for sharing!

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