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From Tennessee to South Africa, Christians give thanks


As Thanksgiving 2008 approaches, for what are you most thankful?
The Christian Chronicle posed the question to members of Churches of Christ around the globe recently. Here is a sampling of their responses:
“I am thankful for a wife who suffers from cancer and teaches me everyday about what faith and trust in God is all about.  I am thankful that there people who are still seeking Christ and that we have the opportunity to teach them so they can have the hope that we have.”
Daniel Goodyear | Sherwood, Ore.
“Can you imagine a lonely young man making a lonely decision and fighting through family persecution — only to face internal religious conflicts? But God in amazing ways sustained him and showed him other lovely people within the new community. This is me. I made my decision to follow Christ in 1988 after (reading) a World Bible School leaflet. Now (there are) more than 70 congregations around me, and I have Christian friends of all races and allover the world. God, you’re amazing! Thank you!”
Grace Nyanga | Jinja, Uganda
“Fifty-four years ago God heard and answered my prayer for a Christian wife. We have had 53 years of marriage, during which we have followed his plan for marriage and have reaped his blessing of happiness piled on happiness.”
Bob Towell | Round Rock, Texas
“We are thankful to have come to know the Lord and to acknowledge his presence in our lives. God knows everything and we can trust him at all times. We thank God for taking us from where we were to where we are today. I thank God that he has placed me and my wife to work in an area where there are disadvantaged, poverty stricken, needy people that have a hunger for God.”
Mervyn Pasqualle | Cape Town, South Africa
“This holiday season I’m thankful for technology that helps me stay connected to family and loved ones far away. Sometimes I think about the hardships of earlier missionaries who may have gone weeks or months without speaking to family in the U.S., and I’m so grateful that I can see and speak to my family often.”
Alisha Rusher | Vienna, Austria
“I’m thankful to God to be cancer-free! I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Thailand and had surgery in Singapore to remove a tumor in October. No chemotherapy or radiation needed. God has extended my life!”
Robert Reagan | Chiang Mai, Thailand
“I am so grateful and thankful to God for answering my 20 years prayers to start a radio program for the Christians and non-Christians of Ethiopia. An agreement had been made with World Radio Broadcasting, a ministry of the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La., to preach the gospel in the Amharic language from a station in England. We started this program last June 1, 2008. The response has been unbelievable.”
Behailu Abebe | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
“Liberians observe the first Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. My special thanks is for the successful pass in my thesis pre-defense. I am now qualified to complete my work (in the) Cuttington University graduate program.”
 
David Kolleh | Gbarnga, Liberia
“I thank Jesus for staying on the cross. Knowing how he would die all along, neither that dread nor the torture he endured the last day of his life could deter him from his mission of love for sinners like me.”
 
Kathy Henton | Enville, Tenn.
“I give thanks to the Lord for my personal survival and coming through (a recent) attempted car-jacking. I am unharmed but shaken from the experience. Also they did not get the vehicle. … The church scene is going on better than ever — excellent attendance, new congregations, conversions to Christ. The pool at our house (is) getting well-used for baptisms. What happened with the carjacking was the Devil kicking back! The carjackers may get caught, convicted and end up in prison for another crime. Then I will get the opportunity to preach to them in our prison ministry.”
Chester Woodhall | Gonubie, South Africa
“Thanksgiving!  What a season!  What a blessing to have family, earthly and heavenly.  Thankful above all to have a Father Who loves us, accepts us and saves us.  Christians truly have the best way to live and the only way to die!”

Marvin Phillips | Tulsa, Okla.
“One thing we are thankful for is the education we have received — both secular and spiritual. The majority of people we work with in our clinics are illiterate and we see the impact it has on social status, earning power and health. In addition, many of our Christian brothers and sister in these churches don’t have the luxury of reading God’s word for themselves or taking part in more in-depth study because of their limited skills. It is a blessing from God to have the opportunities we have as Americans, and (we) should use them in service to God.”
Kemmel and Lisa Dunham | Chichicastenango, Guatemala
Thanksgiving Day is magnificent, but not just for the “trimmings.”  Our joy comes not from food and family but from being in the presence of God.  Our gratitude is mixed with humility because none of us deserves these gifts.  And our sense of well being comes from knowing that, if we had nothing else, in God we would still have everything.  God be praised. 
Mary Ann Kincaid | Arlington, Va.
“We are thankful for the Lord’s constant love and care in all circumstances, as well as for brothers and sisters who encourage us every step of the way.”

Larry and Connie Zinck | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
“August 28, 2005 was a significant day.   My parents had decided to remain at home in Pascagoula, MS, even though Hurricane Katrina was headed their way.    I had a visit with my oncologist in NJ to determine if my newly discovered cancer was in Stage Three or Stage Four—a life-and-death difference.  This Thanksgiving I once again celebrate our lives!”
Katherine Cooper | Pitman, NJ

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