Thursday, June 16, 2011

STEAM XXV - Trumbles in Malawi - Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Malawi!

In the famous hymn by Johnson Oatman, Jr. we sing

Count your blessings Name them one by one.
Count your blessings See what God hath done.

Today, we truly have many blessings to count…blessings too numerous to count but let me list a few of them here anyway:

1. Family – God has blessed Beth and me with 195 months of marriage (16 yrs, 3 months) and 4 healthy kids. Children are, indeed, a blessing.

2. Friends – We have many friends in the United States as well as a number of new friends in Malawi including ones from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malawi, and the U.S. We were particularly blessed by friends and family who helped us through the ordeal of moving…both loading the container to ship to Malawi and clearing out the house so that we could leave. Moving is awful but it’s good to have friends that can help bear one’s burdens.

3. We have been in Malawi for 10 months now and overall the adjustment has gone well. The

African Bible College Christian Academy where Beth teaches and the kids attend is a good school and provides a good learning environment and caring teachers for the kids. Beth has fit in well as she has re-entered the classroom as a full time teacher after a 13-14 year hiatus. My finance background serves me well in my role as the ABC Financial Controller and we enjoy living on the campus of ABC. It’s good to be part of a ministry that is shaping young people for service to God. There are some pretty neat students at ABC and they are going to go out into the world and make a difference.

4. Stuff – we are not supposed to hold on tightly to the things of this world but we have been tremendously blessed materially (which contributes to the agony of moving…see number 2 above). Malawi is a poor country and there are many, many people who can hardly dream of the kind of material comforts that we take for granted. When purchasing a bicycle takes one and a half month’s worth of wages, you are in a place that I cannot really relate to, even though I can observe it firsthand. I’ve never gone hungry because there was no money for food but that’s a real issue that faces people in Malawi. Our gardener recently asked for an advance on his salary so that his children could eat breakfast before going to school.

5. Prayer partners and update followers – We have more than 600 email addresses on our distribution list for updates such as this one. It’s pretty neat to have that many people engaged and interested in our lives with many of them remembering us in prayer.

6. Financial Support – God has provided wonderfully for us through the donations of people like you. Substantial funds were raised up-front which helped cover costs for moving and shipping our container. God also provided a car for us shortly after we arrived. On an ongoing basis, we also continue to receive God’s provision. It’s a bit of an adventure because we don’t know from month to month exactly where the money is going to come from, but it does come (we have a number of regular monthly donors but we also have quite a few that give on a more periodic basis-- either one-time or just every so often--and thus we don’t know from month to month how things will work out…but things do continue to work out). Thank you for allowing God to provide for our needs through you.

7. Salvation through Jesus - Of course, the best gift of all is the salvation that we have in Jesus Christ who gave His life to pay the penalty for our sins. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and we are blessed to be counted as God’s children because of what Christ has done for us.

So, there’s a count of some of our blessings. But again, our blessings are really too numerous to count. However, we can rejoice that God is an infinite God who loves His children individually and personally. Wow.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Malawi so today was a workday. However, tonight we had a big Thanksgiving feast at Jack & Nell Chinchen’s house (Jack and Nell founded ABC and are now both in their 80s but still active with the ministry of ABC). There were something like 75 people or more. I understand that there were 6 turkeys prepared and I think the sweet potatoes I had tonight may be the best I’ve ever had (Connie Dehnert made ‘em and boy were they nice). So, we’re far from home (at least our earthly home) but we still had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Happy Black Friday shopping to those of you who participate in the chaos. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and financial support for our family.


The Trumble family at Thanksgiving dinner.

Some of the other people at the dinner and some of the food

Dessert Table!

Check out some of the nice china that was being used.

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