While I haven't gone out much - this recovery has given me some good "deep thinking" time, I have read some books, have watched a couple chick flicks (thank you Barb!) and have decided to enjoy all the people who are giving to our family here. Sometimes it takes getting some of your guts cut out in a foreign country for me to slow down enough to realize how many people love us!!
For the many phone calls, e-mails, encouraging notes, flowers, CHOCOLATES, visits and meals - we are SO GRATEFUL. I was even given a very-hard-to-find-in-Africa Dr. Pepper! (thanks Michelle) Funny how much Dr. Pepper is speeding up my recovery!
I get the fantastic priviledge of planning two holiday parties and at this point I can do a lot of planning from my computer or while sitting down which is working well.
I am having fun searching for Thanksgiving recipes, checking out what Martha Stewart's website recommends for centerpieces, and trying to figure out where I can find autumn colored stuff when it is spring here in Africa. The Thanksgiving Feast is for a group of about 120 at our church. This morning in my Beth Moore study I was reading about Thanksgiving in the Old Testament. Well, actually it is when the Israelites were preparing to build the sanctuary in the desert so that the presence of God would dwell with them. Their songs of thanks and their outpouring of gifts - so many that Moses had to tell them to stop giving. It is one of the few times where the Israelites did things right!
I am trying to brainstorm creatve ways (besides an open mic to share what you are thankful for) that will cause my friends here to reflect deeply and meaningfully on how God has blessed them and to say thank you in a new way. If you have any ideas...please let me know!!
The week after our big Thanksgiving Feast at our church, on Dec. 4th we will be throwing a huge party in Soweto for my friends who are sick with AIDS. As usual, the party is already growing from "only around 25" to closer to 50. I think I am going to mentally prepare for 80 so I don't get surprised later on! This was one of my favorite events last year and I know I am going to love it again this year. We are going to do a Christmas program with a devotional by yours truly, some Christmas games, have a choir sing, eat together and have a special gift giving time. For many, this will be their only Christmas gift. When I asked my friends Mafika and Dumi what they wanted for their gift this year, their answers broke my heart. They asked for a toothbrush, laundry soap, and body soap. They need the basics this year. Since times are hard everywhere, those who are the recipients of charity feel the lack most keenly.
It will be so rewarding to be able to bless them all. Thank you to Fairfield Community Church for sponsoring this event!