How appropriate to write an update about thankfulness this time of year! I know, it’s a bit cliche, but I am definitely entering this holiday season with a heart of abundant thankfulness!
Have you ever reflected on that word….thankful?
Merriam-Webster defined Thankful as:
1. Conscious of benefit received 2. Expressive of thanks 3. Well pleased; Glad
Other synonyms used instead of thankful are: grateful, contented, satisfied, indebted to, pleased, appreciative, kindly disposed, giving thanks and overwhelmed!
I can definitely say that this journey of partnership building, trusting in Christ, growing in faith, and stepping outside of my comfort zone, has brought me to a place of being grateful, contented, appreciative, etc. As I write this I am reflecting on how much has happened since our endorsement training with International Ministries in January. I remember feeling so overwhelmed at all the things to do in order to move towards partnership building; and mostly feeling overwhelmed to present our calling story to our IM colleagues for 20 minutes at the home office in Pennsylvania as they ate their lunch!! Hahaha! Oh, how far we have come…I recently returned from a 7-day trip to Kansas where I had 6 speaking engagements ranging from 8 minutes to 45 minutes, speaking to everyone from a group of Senior Adults to a youth group, and all ages in between! It was fun, invigorating, and not stressful!!! God has grown our family in so many ways through connecting us with IM, Tailored Fundraising, friends, family, and so many “strangers” who have become dear friends and partners in ministry! Our “world” has grown tenfold because of God’s love and connecting our hearts with the hearts of so many wonderful people!
We are so thankful! We praise God for you, we are grateful for you, we appreciate you, we are thankful for you!
As you reflect on what to be thankful for this November, may you remember the words of Paul, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:18) How DO we give thanks in ALL circumstances? The prior two verses help guide me… “Rejoice always, pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:16-17) When we set our eyes on Christ, look for the thing (big or small) to rejoice in, and pray ALWAYS, then we can give thanks in all circumstances! God has given us HIS son, Jesus Christ! For this great gift I am forever thankful, as I am for you and your heart to bring hope to the Hilltribe people of Thailand!
What are you thankful for?
Giving Thanks for You!
Alise & Mark Juanes
We are once again getting back into a homeschool routine after all of our travels. Sydney and Gavin having really been focusing on their Thai studies and have successfully learned colors and numbers. We had an opportunity to have some family time as Kolin’s preschool was canceled due to the bad air quality from the NorCal fires; so we went to the beach on Friday for some “clean” air and chance to run around at the park. The kids have been missing their Nana & Papa so we took advantage of Thanksgiving weekend and drove to Alise’s parents’ house. They are so excited to spend time with their grandparents and very much looking forward to making gingerbread houses with Nana. They also got their creative juices flowing as they waited for the Thanksgiving feast today, I gave them feathers to make turkeys, but instead they made “Native American headbands” to support the generosity and compassion at the “first Thanksgiving”. It was actually a great opportunity to discuss the interactions of the Pilgrims with the Native Americans and the good and the bad influences that the first settlers brought to the land and its native occupants.