Our family has very much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. We left on Tuesday night to come to Iowa and drove through the night, arriving in Oskaloosa, Iowa on Wednesday morning. During the church service this morning I made a list of several things for which we can be thankful. Below is that list (with a bit of added commentary in blue).
· Dogs – Both of our dogs have new homes. Maggie ended up with a Compassion colleague’s family and Oreo is now living with Beth’s brother Doug’s family
· Car Battery – On Tuesday, Beth was scheduled to take Maggie to her new home. At some point in the morning she moved our van and backed it up in the driveway, then when she went to leave to take Maggie to her new home, the van wouldn’t start. My Dad came over and jumped the battery and Beth took Maggie to her new home. Then, when she went to leave, the car wouldn’t start again and she got another jump and I talked with my Dad about taking the van into the place where we had recently purchased the battery. Dad took it to the store and they looked at it and said, “That’s not our battery” (or something along those lines). Dad called me and as I thought about it, they were right. We’d put a new battery in my truck recently but NOT the van. Poor Dad. Anyway, the battery in the van was old and bad and a new one was put in. Thankfully this all happened before we left on our trip later the same day. God is good. From Iowa we’re heading east. We’ll spend a night in Pittsburgh and several days in the Washington D.C. area (plus a night in Delaware). Anyway, it’s a long road trip and car troubles would be very nice to avoid.
· Container Stuff – The process of moving overseas can be quite daunting. I was in Nicaragua the week before last and was ready to move ahead with paying the shipping company for the 40 foot container we planned to load on Monday, November 22 (last Monday). I got some pushback on going with a 40 footer rather than a 20 footer and in the end, we did go with the 40 footer but delayed the loading date to December 14. This will allow other people in Malawi time to get stuff sent to Colorado Springs for loading on the container. As these other folks purchase space on the container, this will also help defray our costs. Also, Marty, one of my stepbrothers is allowing us to use his place of business as a loading site. It will be great to get this part of the whole process behind us but in the end, things are working out well.
· Family – Our immediate family is a blessing. Beth and I have four neat kids. God has blessed us richly.
· Extended Family - in laws – It is a blessing to have large, extended Christian families on both Beth’s side and my side of the families. It would be harder to move overseas without their support!
· Friends/supporters – we now have over 500 names on our list to receive our STEAM updates (such as this one) and over 100 people who have contributed financially (or indicated that they will do so). Our ongoing communicated support level is at 51% but we know additional support will still be forthcoming.
· Safe travel – we had a safe journey out to Iowa, even as we drove through the night.
· Opportunity to take trip – this is going to be a neat trip. We are in Iowa for Thanksgiving and then will be heading east (as detailed above). The kids have never been to Washington D.C. and this will be a neat time to see some of our national treasures before we move to Africa
· Appliances – We have ordered appliances (washer, dryer, range, refrigerator, microwave, air conditioner) to ship to Africa and they have all arrived at this point (or at least most of them have arrived). In Malawi, the electricity is 220 volt in Malawi and hopefully everything is working out with all of that.
· Peanut butter (Jim was sitting next to me in church and suggested this addition).
Pastor Dale Visser delivered the message this morning at Beth’s old church, 1st Christian Reformed Church of Oskaloosa. His sermon was titled “Sweet Peas” and was closely patterned off of Johnnie R. Bailey’s sermon of the same name (http://sermons.logos.com/submissions/85585-1618#content=/submissions/85585). In 1904, Howard Morgan, the young son of G. Campbell Morgan, D.L. Moody’s success as manager of the Northfield Bible Conference Center, was very ill and asked his mother, “Sing to me about the sweet peas…You know, the sweet peas, gift of God’s love.” She realized he meant Sweet Peace, the Gift of God’s Love (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/w/sweetpgg.htm). Pastor Visser read from 2 Peter where in verse 4 it refers to the fact that God “has given us his very great and precious promises” and he went on to share seven of God’s Precious Promises that begin with the letter “P”. These are things for which we can be thankful:
Pardon – for those of us in God’s family, our guilt has been placed on Jesus Christ and we are pardoned!
Purpose – Jesus died for me and I now have a reason to live
Precepts – God has given us His Word to guide us
Providence – God is in control
Provision – God provides care and guidance
Presence – God is with us
Peace – Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Of course, we also have many other things to be thankful for. Here are some additional “P” things for which we can give thanks:
Presence of God in our lives
Pastors (Can you imagine a tougher job than that of pastor? Perhaps Christian school principal would be similarly difficult).
Play – Isn’t it wonderful that God allows us to have fun? Wouldn’t it be nice if the Denver Broncos decide to actually show up and play tonight against the Giants?
Plans (God’s plan for our lives)
Priceless (The gift Jesus gave for us: His life)
Pork – the other white meat
Peppers (especially the crushed red variety)
Packing (such as for a move to Africa)
These last two on my list are not as pleasant as the other things but we are to give thanks in all circumstances .
Some addition news (and prayer) items:
I went to the doctor’s office this past week and had lost 16 pounds since about late June or early July. I also had some blood work done and my diabetes is doing much better. For those who understand such things, my A1C was down to 5.8 from 7.0 this past summer. This is a really positive development. I could use some help with blood pressure and cholesterol and I still need to drop more weight but there is some movement in the right direction on some health issues and that’s something to praise God for.
My final day at Compassion is scheduled for December 11. One month later, on January 11, we board our flight to leave the country and move to Malawi.
Packing & Shipping – after we return to Colorado on December 8, we have just a few days to finalize things before we pack our container. We will be moving stuff to our loading place on Saturday the 12th and will have 2 hours to load the 40 foot container on the morning of Monday December 14. If you live in Colorado Springs and are able to help on one or both of these days, please let me know. We need help.
Anyway, happy Thanksgiving! Let us remember how greatly we have each been blessed.
Thank you for your support!
for the Trumble family
A note our daughter Elizabeth prepared.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at Steve & Jan’s new cabin (Steve is Beth’s oldest brother). Pictured below are sister-in-law Julie with Beth, Dan and nephew Luke, Steve & Jan’s farm, and the cabin where we had Thanksgiving dinner.
There are those who think that Pastor Visser and I look similar. Here is a picture of Pastor Visser and Dan.