In Live more simply/ Purpose

Thank you for roast chicken and gravy

My children are adults now and live in their own homes.  Whenever possible I love to get my family over to my house for Sunday Lunch.  One Sunday afternoon my daughter, Sam, was asked to thank the Lord for our meal.  “Thank you for roast chicken and gravy, Amen” she said.  It was not quite the traditional prayer so we giggled but all said a hearty AMEN.

I remembered this little incident this week while I was walking through Madutle village.  This is a new village to me.  Helping Hands has just recently started to serve here.

It is July – midwinter in South Africa.  A fierce cold has turned the landscape a dull, dry dusky color.  As I stood in the village an icy wind sliced through the layers of my clothing and my feet refused to warm up.  I looked around me and I noticed how many children were scantily dressed, some with bare feet.  My heart choked up.  I reminded myself that we have only just started our work here and that soon we will identify who needs warm clothes and provide as best we can.  This reasoning does not really ease the hurt I feel that children should go cold … and hungry … and parentless.

It was in this stark, cold village that I remembered my daughter’s prayer – oh, how we should truly and sincerely be grateful for roast chicken and gravy.

I have decided to make a list of the things for which I am truly grateful:

  • For my shoes – more than one pair.
  • For my warm winter coat – again, more than one.
  • For the ability to say “I wonder what I’ll make for supper tonight?”
  • For the duvet on my bed … in fact, for my bed.
  • For my children Sam and Dustin and for my daughter-in-law Hallie.
  • For the fact that my children have parents who are alive.

This is a short list – a list that many of the children in Madutle village cannot make.  They don’t have shoes or coats or beds or parents.

Today I am sad that I live in a world where this is true.  Today I am honestly grateful for the huge big blessings in my life like roast chicken and gravy.

Question: Being grateful helps me through times of sadness.  What are some things you are grateful for? Click here to leave a comment.

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Julie Gappinger
    at

    Thanks for this post, Michelle. I’m following the La Casa de Cristo trip blog and am so glad that our church can help in this ministry. You are so right that we need to remember to thank our Lord for all our blessings. I wish I could just go out and buy a bunch of winter clothes in various children’s sizes and send them over to you. I’m sure that, when our team gets back home, they will have great ideas on how to help the people who live in Madutle.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      The La Casa team are doing such a wonderful job in Madutle. I am so grateful. I’m sure they will be bursting with wonderful ideas of how to help even further. Thank you for your comments Julie.

  • Reply
    Deborah Johnson
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    I am so thankful for water.

    • Reply
      Deborah Johnson
      at

      I forgot to add toilet paper. When I went to South Africa those children were thankful for just one square of TP. That out of everything else touched my heart the most because I take for granted something as simple as that. We loaded them with all these toys and school supplies and they seemed to want TP and were even willing to go to the bathroom and sneak some TP to take with them home. That picture will never leave my mind.

      • Reply
        Michelle Tessendorf
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        You are right Deborah. When you struggle to feed your children, toilet paper is a luxury. I will add that to my list of things to be grateful for.

  • Reply
    Jerry Houston
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    I am thankful there are people like Michelle and Mike Tessendorf and an organization like HHIA who care so deeply for these children. I know that shipping things into South Africa can be challenging. I would like to go to my congrgeation and ask for gently used clothing to warm the children (we are forever asking them for money donations). What can we (a small mission congregation) do to help?

    Blessings,
    Jerry

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
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      Jerry, we are always in need of warm children’s clothing. Anything for children aged 2-12 will be welcomed. Perhaps it can be brought over with one of the mission teams. Or better still, your church can send a delegation over. Thank you for being so thoughtful.

  • Reply
    Suzie Stacy
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    Among the many blessings I and my family receive on a daily basis, I am most thankful that God has given the children of South Africa Helping Hands and the dedication and leadership of you and Mike. I am thankful for the little things that we in this “land of plenty” take for granted but I often question why God let me be born and live where I do when the majority of the world’s population suffer from disease, poverty and little hope. But then I realize that I have a responsibility to make a difference to those less fortunate. Lord, help me to be in Your will.

    • Reply
      Michelle Tessendorf
      at

      Thank you Suzie for your kind comments. And yes, like you, I remind myself daily that to whom much is given, much is required.

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