attitude of gratitude

Do Americans understand what “giving thanks” means? Do we understand the significance of this national holiday?

I’ve worked in retail for going on 5 years, and endured several 12-hour shifts on Black Friday, so I tend to think that we’re missing something.

Teddy and I are leaving Africa today…on Thanksgiving. And truly, I have never felt more aware of all that I have to be grateful for than I am today.

At the top of the list are these eight girls:

Let me assure you that no one needs to educate these children on the meaning of Gratitude. They rejoice and say “thanks” for every gift they receive. One of my favorite stories is when Landon + Kate were conducting an English lesson, and at the end each girl received a tiny piece of candy. Little Sarah started to unwrap hers and eat it, and was promptly scolded by the other girls, who proceeded to bow their heads and pray a blessing over their “toffee.” They are the farthest thing from “entitled” that you can imagine.

We have so much to be thankful for…God is so good.

We are excited to return to the States, but our hearts are heavy to be leaving this beautiful place that has become Home and these wonderful people that have become Family.

And on this holiday of Thanks, we want to again articulate our appreciation for each and every person who has aided and supported us on this journey—through prayer, finances…anything and everything.

We are thankful for Landon, Kate, Bernard, Celestine, Mercy, and Helen, who make leaving easier because we know without a doubt that the girls are in excellent, capable, loving hands. 

We are thankful for our families who have been so incrediblyencouraging from the beginning.

We are thankful for The Father’s House—for Jeff and Lori for “fanning the flame,” and Matt and Tammy who have provided priceless guidance and assistance.

We are thankful for our Eight Oaksters back in America who have been faithful and who stepped up to the plate to keep things running when we left in August.

We are thankful for Taylor, Lauren and Ryan who have managed the finances and been willing and content to do what is, honestly, a pretty tedious and thankless job.

We are thankful for CityLife, NewLife, Greenwich Road, River Walk, and all the other churches who have funded and sustained us prayerfully.

We are thankful for Ghana, for Jesus, for FREEDOM and new life in Christ. We are THANKFUL that we serve such a mighty God.

This was our first time meeting Sarah, Regina, and Richlove. 
We traveled for roughly 16 hours on Tuesday. 
It was obviously exhausting.
With Davi Mercy in the airport. 
Back home, helping Mama Helen sort beans for dinner.
Little Sarah getting a fire going. I told Mercy that kids in America aren't allowed to play with matches which she thought was hilarious. 
This girl fanned the flame and sustained it long enough to cook a whole pot of beans. She's seven. I'm all like, "Do we have any lighter fluid?"
It makes my heart so HAPPY to see EIGHT little pairs of shoes!
Picking beans. 
Gloria has displayed an amazing talent for falling asleep in the most unlikely of places & circumstances: including but not limited to under the dining table, in the pantry, and outside on a pile of beans, as seen here.
This is one type of Ghanaian breakfast called Tom Brown. It's a porridge made with beans, roasted corn flour, and peanuts. We love it. 
Counting lessons with Uncle Teddy
Dina + Flower
Left to right: Dina, Gloria, Richlove, Regina, Lucky, Sarah Sr., God's Way, and Sarah Jr.
We were trying to get a picture of them jumping off the little ledge...
There was a lot of falling and laughing, but not much jumping:)

Nothing beats hearing these giggles or seeing these smiles. We love them so much. We love that they are FREE.

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed. 
UpdatesEllie KriwielComment