Thursday, November 23, 2006

giving thanks

it's a strange thing to live as an american expatriate in quebec, a feeling that is heightened around this time of year. in the usa, thanksgiving is one of the biggest holidays of the year — a time when people travel long distances to celebrate with family, eat far too much, and where i'm from originally, watch way too much football. here in canada, thanksgiving is celebrated in mid-october; it's shorter and from my limited experience, generally lower key than its american cousin.

so we generally observe thanksgiving twice a year — once in october for the canadian thanksgiving, then again in november for the american version. it's a convenient reason to celebrate — for a family that loves to celebrate — and besides, we have so much to be thankful for:

we're thankful for our international student friends, and for the calling of God that gives us the opportunity to know them, to serve them, and to love them in Jesus' name.

we're thankful for the volunteers who have given beyond all reason, both of their possessions and of their time. to love internationals.

we're thankful for christian friends who have welcomed us to montreal and helped to make a sometimes difficult cross-cultural experience more enjoyable.

we're thankful for the scores of supporters who have provided for the ministry financially and interceded mightily on our behalf, in some cases for over two decades. the effective prayers of the righteous have availed much! these folks are more than donors (though that has certainly been appreciated); they are our true friends — the friends of a lifetime.

we're thankful for the encouragement and understanding of our families back in california, who have been gracious in dealing with our being so far from home.

most of all, we're thankful to belong to God and to begin to know the height and depth and breadth and length of his love in Jesus. he is beautiful, and for all of these things and more, we thank him.

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