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Africa 8 – Thanksgiving Toast

March 8, 2007

Africa.8 – Thanksgiving Toast

Current mood: thankful

Category: Travel and Places

     Alright, the final chapter of our Africa trip. We came home from Africa just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving. In the past, it might have been overwhelming to come home from a land of great need to sit at a table overflowing with food. I’ve heard stories of missionaries from Africa who weep in the produce sections of American supermarkets.

     I experienced a little of that after my last trip, but this homecoming was different. This time I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the many blessings we enjoy in America and the infrastructure that makes it all possible. My Thanksgiving holiday was especially meaningful and poignant this year. It made such wonderful sense to me to celebrate the abundance we enjoy in our country by gathering together as family and friends to share an extravagant feast .. the fruit of our labor and profusion. It’s not a sin to enjoy abundance and wealth, it is only a sin to forget to be grateful for it.

     One of the things I’m most grateful for in my work with World Vision is the way it keeps my heart in check. I do the work because I believe in it and love the children, but I also do it for myself. It’s easy to get numb and self-absorbed, and World Vision provides an ongoing recalibration that keeps my heart broken .. not in a negative depressive way, but in a way that keeps me feeling and holds the chill of apathy at bay. It gives me the courage to look at the sadness of the world without fear, but with hope and a sense that I’m called to participate in it’s redemption. World Vision was founded by Bob Pierce who prayed, “let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” Taya and I and our family are grateful for broken hearts. God’s grace seems to flow most freely through the cracks..

     At our Thanksgiving meal, we shared stories about our trip to Africa with our family and Taya raised her glass to make the most beautiful toast I’ve ever heard and I won’t soon forget it: “To plenty. And broken hearts to share it with..” For more information on World Vision, the relief and development agency that we work with, go to and click on the WV logo.

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