Returning to Nepal has renewed my resolve to express gratitude at all times.
I’ve seen people with precious few material possessions, living in grass huts.
I’ve worshiped with men and women whose fingers and toes have been eaten by leprosy.
I’ve talked with a young village mother as she held her eight-month-old whose face was seriously burned after he fell into the family’s cooking fire. The baby lay cradled in her arms, silent and motionless, his eyes glued to me, a stranger.
I’ve watched a man beat a pit viper to death. Two nursing students stood nearby, yelling, “Snake!” in terror.
I’ve met the young woman we sponsor through World Vision. And I’ve visited the school she once attended—no kidding, there are 1,100 students with 34 teachers. Imagine the teacher/student ratio! And imagine this—the school has only 5 latrines. Cultural beliefs result in the girls not being able to attend classes when they’re having their period, so they miss 4-5 days of school every month. (World Vision is working hard to change this).
I wish I could take/post photos of some of the specific individuals in the examples I’ve given, but doing so would be insensitive and an invasion of their privacy. These two photos and my words will have to suffice.
Life in Nepal is difficult to say the least, and yet the people smile. Life in North America can be difficult, too, and yet God’s word tells us to give thanks in everything. After returning to this third-world country, I realize afresh how easy that should be for me. And so, here are some things for which I’m grateful today:
I’m thankful for the comfortable hotel room in which we slept last night. I’m thankful for the hotel staff who quickly moved us to this room late yesterday afternoon during a massive rain storm that caused water to pour through a sealed window and flood our floor.
I’m thankful for the fan over our bed—we’re on the Indian terai now, and the heat and humidity is nearly unbearable day and night.
I’m thankful for cold, clean drinking water.
I’m thankful for a reliable 4-wheel drive and the driver who is safety conscious as we navigate these roads.
I’m thankful for vitamin C—I’m going to take some now because a head cold hit me overnight.
My list could go on forever, but we have to leave shortly for Kathmandu and time is limited. Between now and then, I need to shower and get dressed—oh yeah—I’m thankful for a hot shower. And for a change of clothes. And for the breakfast we’ll eat before we leave.
Now it’s your turn. For what are you thankful today?