Giving thanks.

We made it to Jinja! Thanks God!

We arrived at the airport in Entebbe on Monday afternoon (we are 8 hours ahead of Dallas time) and found out that there was a slight miscommunication… our hosts thought we were doing some work in Kampala our first week and hadn’t arranged for anyone to pick us up. Thankfully, God’s timing is perfect, and they were already planning on making the 4 hour drive to the airport to drop another team off so they would be able to pick us up. We arrived in Jinja late Monday night and were thankful to find beds prepared for us. We fell into them right away and had one of the best nights of sleep we’ve had in weeks. We awoke to an incredible view of Lake Victoria the next morning and I was blown away! I opened my bible to Psalm 8:3,4 which says, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” The Creator of the universe, the One who holds everything together and allows us to gaze upon His beauty through creation, cares about us. He knows us. Wow. Mediate on that.

We are staying at a place called the Discovery Center, a ministry in partnership with a UK charity and the YWAM Jinja base. They’ve been super hospitable and have made some amazing food for us. We’re blessed! We aren’t exactly sure what ministry will look like here, but as a group, we feel strongly that God wants this to be a time of service and pouring out, into the hearts of others, and intentionally building relationships.

Over the past 5 weeks, God has been bringing to my attention the inclination of my heart to complain as He showers me with gifts, both big and small. The Koreans on our team would always say, “Thanks God”, whether it was when they were sipping warm water, eating sandwiches for what felt like the millionth time or feeling the breeze come through the windows of our big orange bus with no a/c as we drove in 100+ degree weather. I was challenged as I observed the response of my own heart in those situations. I recently started reading a book called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, where the author “invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved–by God.” I decided it was time I began to make my own list of One Thousand gifts. As the Lord has opened my eyes to see how He constantly showers me with things I am not owed, I’ve seen that the inclination of my heart has shifted to one of joy and thanksgiving. This morning I wrote #3: “A cold morning shower that jolts and refreshes my soul.” If you feel like you’re walking through the days in black and white and you’re ready for life to be full of vivid color, I encourage you to start giving thanks. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the gifts He showers you with and write them down. As your eyes are opened, I believe your heart will change and the words of your mouth will follow suit. I’m eager to hear about the transformation that takes place. Go get ’em, Tiger!

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