Tonight we had Thanksgiving dinner with all the missionaries from the language school along with a handful of Peruvians. I wasn't really looking forward to it to be honest. Thanksgiving has always seemed a little hokey to me, plus there's the inevitable stomachache. I was also nervous I would spend the evening speaking English, which wouldn't have helped my language learning.
In the end, we had a beautiful evening. I got to spend most of it speaking Spanish. What really stood out to me was that I shared it with people so like and unlike me at the same time. As we stood around the table to thank God for His generous provision, there were representatives from the US, Canada, England, Austria, Germany, and of course, Peru. And at the same time, we were a group united by a common desire to follow God in Peru and give our lives to bring the people of Peru closer to Him.
It was Thanksgiving 12 years ago that I felt distinctly called to this work. I have spent the intervening time in preparation. And here I am. My heart really was filled with thanks tonight. I am so grateful for all the good things God has put in my life, and in particular, how easy and full of joy this transition has been so far. I am grateful for the resiliency of my body, for my growing ability to communicate comfortably in Spanish, for Tim's partnership, for our precious host family, for the intimate devotional time I have had with God this past week.
Before we ate tonight, three different people read the same passage from the Bible in three different languages- German, Spanish, and English. We went around the circle giving thanks for all the ways God has condescended to bless us, most of the adults in English, the children in all three languages. The presence of God fell like a thick blanket in our midst.
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they creid out in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." Revelation 7:9-10