a week of thanks: November 14-21

Last week, Sunbury was hit by a lightning storm that took out, among many other things, our internet. Today, repairs were finally completed, allowing me to post a week’s worth of belated thanks. 
1. Impromptu girls movie nights. Carlene, Amy and I were all separately working at our computers when a massive lightning strike put an end to any productivity we had hoped for. Instead, we  got together and watched a movie on Amy’s laptop, which still had a full charge.

2. Safety in a pretty big storm. The lightning struck very, very close, possibly hitting the tower on top of my house. The blinding white flash and deafening crack were enough to make it feel like my heart stopped for a few seconds!

3. A change to spend some time getting to know Bobbie while running errands in town. We stopped to see this new oddity just down the road from Sunbury. How did anyone, in the middle of sugar cane fields, get a motor bike on top of a telephone pole? We have no idea.

4. That we worship the one true God. Today, Zandi, who works here at Sunbury, was explaining to us that her husband is training to become a sangoma (or witch doctor). Zandi is actually planning on starting ZEBS (Zion Evangelical Bible School) in January, so it will be interesting to see how she handles the collision of contradicting faith and culture. Without the Lord, wouldn’t it make sense to turn to the only “hope” you know? How scary and uncertain and confusing our lives would be without the hope of the gospel! Please pray!

5. Because of the students’ exams, tutoring has been canceled for the next two weeks. I’m not entirely sure what that will mean for my schedule yet, though I am disappointed that my time with the kids has, at the least, been cut in half. Still, I’m thankful that the change or failure of our plans comes as no surprise to God. I am reminded again to come before Him with open hands. 
1. The safe arrival of my Uncle Dick and Aunt Laurel (Carlene Seghers’ parents) who are here at Sunbury for the next six months.

2. The internet guys who were here ALL day working to restore our connection.

3. The simplicity of a shared meal.

1. Waking up to the sunrise.

2. A full, long, productive day taking care of fried routers and printers in Durban. The damage could always be worse! 

2. Cold coffee on hot drives.

3. Quiet, restful nights.

1. God’s divine appointments in my life- the way He can take a situation that seems at first a disappointment and turn it in to incredible blessing.

2. Hot-from-the-dryer laundry (and neighbors who let me use their dryer, particularly on rainy days when my nifty laundry tree isn’t an option).

3. Dinner and coffee with friends.

1. This reminder from James 1: 26-27
    “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Sobering.

2. Any chance to “talk” to John. I’m thankful that God cares about even the little details and answers prayers about quickly passing lightning storms and cooperative (albeit terrible, which really makes the cooperative part all the more impressive) internet connections.

3. Lively games and fellowship with the Seghers family and my Uncle Dick and Aunt Laurel.

1. Freshly baked muffins that make my kitchen smell wonderful.

2. Being able to finally finish calendars for ZEBS with minimal frustration!

3. Precious time each day with Carlene.

4. Homemade happy chicken soup for chilly, quiet evenings.

5. For unique demonstrations of God’s creativity.

Almost missed this guy.

Baby gecko

This palm-sized spider was, thankfully, very dead. 

1. Mornings that begin with God’s Word and coffee. Every morning should start like this.
2. Sunshine! It seems so very rare lately.
3. The opportunity to serve by organizing Sunbury’s library. Vuvuzelas, anyone?

I came across a bunch of very old, illustrated children’s songs, including this gem from the fifties. Fitting, don’t you think?

3. The truth of Philippians 1:6 which says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God isn’t finished with us. He is working good in us. Sanctification is a process.

1. For families I miss dearly.

2. For a morning “away” in Ballito to run errands and restock my kitchen.

3. For comfort in a foreign country. I could feel at home here.

4. For simple pleasures, like the discovery of free range eggs and poppyseeds at the grocery store.

5. Running into familiar faces unexpectedly, especially when you’re the foreigner with very few potential connections in the first place. 

6. Friendly conversations with the checkers at the grocery store. 

7. For homemade pizzas and the community of brothers and sisters who gather each Wednesday evening to share a meal. 

8. For my mom’s willingness to help with an online order I couldn’t place myself. Birthday shopping: check! 

9. Perpetually muddy feet. 

10. The smell of fresh basil. 

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