Thankful in Context

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.

Thankful to find an “American Diner” too!

May we be thankful for even the gift of recognizing our own thankfulness…

4 thoughts on “Thankful in Context

  1. Hello!

    It’s great to hear from you and see all the new ways you are learning and growing. I pray that God sustains you in ways you didn’t even realize you needed strength.

    I will be praying for you through this holiday week knowing that God’s grace is sufficient for you. You are living in obedience to Him and I pray you will experience abundant peace and joy.

    How can I be praying for you and the girls? I was wondering the other day if Toby ever got adjusted to the time zone change? What are your plans for this week?

    I’m thankful for your faithful obedience that stretches all of us to discover where God may be leading us. More updates on this to come!

    How is Phoebe? Have you found any helpful solutions?

    Set Free organized an appreciation gift our our school social workers yesterday. They had a training and we decided to end it on an encouraging note. It was a blessing to see the hope and excitement on their faces. We received donations from Dove and Growing Strong. One team member baked 200 chocolate chip cookies! Another individual donated bags of candy. Emily Kane hand wrote “Thank you” on every bag in her own creative way. (I heard several surprised remarks about the time and attention of that detail.) This is our first donation drive for our “Hope for the Healers” project. We want those on the front lines to know we appreciate and support the work they do with those at-risk of exploitation. We decided to start with school social workers this year.

    Well, I pray you have a wonderful time of Thanksgiving in whatever way that looks for you this week. May you discover deep joy and peace knowing you are exactly where God wants you to be. Much of the US population have no idea what the joy and peace of following Jesus feels like. You are blessed.

    Love and miss you all! Abby

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  2. Can’t imagine God sending a better representative of Christian, American, loving family to Country of Hungary. Have a good Thanksgiving, wish we could be with you to celebrate. God bless

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