As I write this, there are men hollering just outside our apartment door as they continue the work they’ve been doing for a couple days now. We have no idea what they’re saying, and they probably have no idea what our girls are yelling as they play. It’s Thanksgiving week, just after we’ve crossed the “6-Month Mark” of living in Hungary.
That’s a picture of our water heater, which provides not only hot water, but heat for the radiators throughout our apartment. It has been down for over a day now. After taking the kids out to a quick dinner last night (to avoid making dishes), we returned to find the workers gone, and the tank still on the ground. They’re updating the chimney for everyone who lives in this building, and continue to need access to the wall behind our water heater. This is community. This is life woven together between families, even in ways we are still comprehending.
We aren’t worried. Our small air conditioning unit has enough heating capabilities, and we can heat water on the stove for dishes. They’ve been apologetic, and promise to have it working later today (hopefully). Tomorrow we’re having several people over to join in Thanksgiving dinner – and if we don’t have hot water it would make things interesting – but still quite possible.
We are Thankful. Thankful for the growing community we’re a part of. Thankful for the small ways God continues to bring His affirming encouragement to our hearts. Thankful for the Love that offers to shape our family, and the grace that comes with it when we arrive at days’ end knowing we could have Loved more faithfully. We are thankful for each of you – family, long-term friends, supporters, and encouraging new friends we’ve met along the way.
This past week, we visited the local library to become members and also ask if they’d display a flier for our worship service. It put our Hungarian skills (and Google) to the test, but it was a great moment of discovering & connecting to our community. They were so patient and helpful, and now we can check out all kinds of Hungarian books and movies. They reminded us of the library we love in Decatur (and still check out books from online!), and have many programs as well.
It’s all a great reminder that all our conversations and prayers about Thankfulness come within a context. We recognize that some are living in a context that doesn’t allow them to sit quietly and think about what they’re thankful for. Around the world there are communities recovering from earthquakes, broken homes, rioting communities, and war-torn unrest. Many are thankful just to survive or stay together another day. We lift up all of God’s people, and pray that no matter who you are – you would take a moment while reading this to whisper a prayer as well.
May we be thankful for even the gift of recognizing our own thankfulness…