I love Thanksgiving. It’s not the actual meal that is so enjoyable, it’s the preparation. There is something “magical” about preparing for an event or occasion. Granted, it’s hard work and requires planning, coordinating and a flawless execution when everything comes together…but during the entire process we are motivated by our imagination.
We imagine how the event or occasion will be received.
We imagine the smiles and the “ooh’s and ahh’s that we will hear.
We think about the “chatter” that will fill the air with excitement.
These thoughts alone prompt us to do what we do. These thoughts make all the work that will be required…worth it. Providing for others…whether it’s a meal or a performance…or any other event or occasion…it is what fills our hearts the most. It’s what gives us our greatest sense of satisfaction. It’s love in action.
I’ve been preparing as well.
In a few weeks, I’ll be joining a team of seven other volunteers that will spend a week in Guatemala. Hope Ignited will be hosting a 4-day medical clinic in a new village we have never worked in before. So I’m certain the crowds will be large. We expect to see over 120 people per day. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been to Costco several times as well as the Dollar Store and have a living room full of ointments, over the counter medicines, antacids, crayons, reading glasses and clothing. All the other members of the team are doing likewise. These clinics are difficult and we really don’t know who or what will show up on our doorstep, but that is part of the excitement because we know that whoever does, we will be able to help them in some small way. In addition to attending to their medical needs, we will be attending to their spiritual needs. We will be praying for and sharing the gospel with each person that attends the clinic. We even have gospel presentation coloring books in Spanish for the children as well as small toys and clothing.
We are also going to be building some indoor cooking stoves for some of the widows in the community. This is a great time to spend the day working in someone’s home and getting to interact with the entire family as we build a simple stove that transforms their life. Literally, it does! It replaces old methods of cooking over a fire in a smoke filled room with a highly efficient self-contained stove that is vented to the exterior.
I’ll also get to test out a device I made. I’ve built a little machine that makes what they call Biofuel Briquettes. These are highly compressed briquettes that are made out of paper, sawdust, dried twigs and leaves that are used in lieu of firewood. These briquettes burn longer and hotter than traditional firewood and our hope is to turn this into a small business for people in the community. Imagine when people begin to view paper, sawdust, leaves and twigs as moneymaking materials to be collected and utilized!
Yes, preparation is hard work…but it’s inspiring work as well. It’s what makes life worth living.
So it is my hope that during this Thanksgiving and Christmas season as we make preparations to love on our family and friends, that you’ll take a moment to consider the many people that don’t have someone preparing for them. I hope that thought prompts you to give yourself the gift of giving…whatever you have…to whomever you feel led to give.
Because thousands of years ago during this same time, our Creator was making preparations for mankind’s greatest gift…simply because He loves us.
Till next month…