Monday, November 21, 2011


The word for thanksgiving in Spanish is "acción de gracias" or, in a literal translation, action of thanks.  Does the Spanish language know something the English language doesn't?   Thanksgiving Day is translated  "Día de Acción de Gracias" - an entire DAY for actions of thanks.  Does "Día de Acción de Gracias" translate into more than a day of eating and watching football?  (Plus the requisite "walk after dinner to make room for desert")  Are we missing something?  Thanksgiving isn't a Christian holiday, it isn't mentioned in the New Testament but I wonder, WWJDFTG?  (What would Jesus do for Thanksgiving?)  

What actions of thanks will we do on Thursday?  Most of us do the list of things we are thankful for.  These lists generally and sincerely start with our families and go on from there.  Here is my list:

  • My magnificent children, both young men of deep faith, wonderful senses of humor, intelligence, and compassionate hearts
  • My 90 year old father, trapped in a wheelchair, paralyzed on his right side (it is really the wrong side.  Paralysis on the left side would have been righter...) who maintains his sense of humor, keeps up with current events, continues his very generous monthly support of many wonderful organizations, and takes great care of his companion struggling with memory loss.
  • My brother Tom and his wife Mariella who have been there for our parents for many years, supporting them through my mother's Alzheimer's and now Daddy's stroke.
  • My brother Jeff and the rest of my family, each of whom is dear to me.

 This past year in Honduras has given me many new items to put on my list in no particular order:

 Angelo, the reformed gang leader and murderer who is studying to be a Pastor and who spoke so eloquently to the Alonzo Movement kids.   The man who lived his faith at gunpoint which let Angelo to Christ years later.    (read about them here
Padre Mejia welcomes Catarina
to the parish family!

Padre Mejia who serves 30 tiny Episcopal churches in the mountain villages around Copan and has not received a salary for 3 months.  (monthly salary would be about $300)
Singing a praise song before a staff meeting
David and Evelyn, leaders of LAMB in Honduras and the entire staff.  For their unwavering faith, strength of character, and complete commitment to serving God under unimaginable circumstances. 
Dunia and the other children at SBV who love Yolani, blind from birth, so deeply.  Yolani began life as "a dog no one would ever want" to a beloved sister of 63 other children.
For the dental assistant in Tegucigalpa holding my terrified hand as the dentist gently repaired a broken tooth.  Despite the tragedies she had already experience in her young life she explained,   “When you love Jesus, you have hope.”
Suzy who is always there...for Jasmin, Maribel, her own children, Marvin, me, and all the people God puts in her path.
For the young man, Israel, who came "out of the blue"  to our rescue in Marcala and helped us deliver food to two starving families.
Jeremy who asked God to break his heart about something that breaks God's heart.  God answered the prayer of the 20 year old Jeremy and we now have our Safe House for sexually trafficked girls.  Visit the She Dances website
For Alex who deferred his freshman semester to be with the children and all the summer interns who gave so much love to us all.
For the Honduran people with their generous spirits, faith, kindness to a bumbling missionary, and grace as they live their very difficult lives. 

For all the teams who come down and do so much for so many and the LAMB donors, in particular the monthly donors who make our work possible 
The faith of the children despite so many reasons not to believe 
Alonzo Movement child praying
For all the people who read my blog so I never feel alone...
For The Holy Spirit's tangible presence throughout Honduras, His light always breaking through the darkness

There are too many things I am thankful for to put on a list. This is just a tiny sample of the zillions of ways the Risen Lord has blessed me and my life. I approach Día de Acción de Gracias with a heart full of wonder and joy that God has and does so much for us all. For me, it is all because of what I am most grateful for of all - Jesus. I will strive to have a Día de Acción de Gracias, and next year an Año de Acción de Gracias and for years to come a Vida de Acción de Gracias I hope you all have a wonderful day full of actions of thanks! Thanks be to God!

PS.  Would you like to take an action of thanks this Thanksgiving?  Turn "Black Friday" into "Blessings Friday" by giving a gift of love from the LAMB Christmas Catalog