Happy Thanksgiving! It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of November, and friends and family all over the U.S. are carving pumpkins and slicing into delicious pumpkin pie. Many Americans are doing that here, too, while the rest of Ecuador carries on with regular work days. We had a half day of school today and have all day off tomorrow – a rest and respite that we can certainly be thankful for!
Before dismissing everyone for the long weekend today, all 585 students and many faculty, staff, and parents gathered together in the gym for a Thanksgiving assembly. I had a great vantage point from where I was sitting on the side of the gym. I smiled as my gaze drifted over the rows and rows of students, from the tiny preschoolers, dressed in their fall colors and costumes, sitting (mostly) attentively on the floor in the very front row, to the almost-grown seniors holding their own on the very top row of the bleachers. I tried to imagine those big kids as little kids and all the years and experiences that have passed in between. So much life represented in one place, and so much to be grateful for. So much that God has done in each of their lives already.
Steve Weber, the Spiritual Life Director at AAI and my supervisor, shared some thoughts and interactive activities with everyone, and a Bible story he spoke about particularly stuck with me. He shared the story of the 10 lepers who called out to Jesus to heal them. Jesus told them to show themselves to the priest so they would be healed, and so they were before they even got there. That in itself is testament to the mercy and grace of our Savior, that he would care for the very least and lowest. But the part of the story that particularly stands out today is that in spite of the great miracle and gift of healing Christ had given them, only one of the lepers returned to thank Him. Wow. While I’d like to think of myself as a grateful person, I’m sure on many days I have more in common with the other 9 than with that one. Together as a school we echoed Steve’s prayer that we would walk in humility and gratitude not only on Thanksgiving but every single day – after all, we truly do have a lot to be thankful for!
Although we did see some whole turkeys at a store here the other day, we opted out of trying to cook up our own Thanksgiving dinner. Instead we’re meeting another couple for dinner and a movie tonight, and we’re really looking forward to it! Of course, I just had to add a little tradition to the day, and so I made a crustless pumpkin pie for later. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, considering it has no crust and was made with pureed squash since there’s no pumpkin in Ecuador. But with a little vanilla ice cream it can’t be all that bad, can it?
Happy Thanksgiving – we’re so blessed and so thankful for each person God’s put in our path and placed in our lives. What a fabulous Family we have all over the globe!
November 22, 2012 Ecuador