This has been the strangest year. I can honestly say that this is one year that I would NEVER want to repeat. However, I am also very thankful for this year because God has showed up in amazing ways. One of the things I am VERY thankful for is God is Sovereign. He knows all and even when we do not understand He knew things would happen the way they would and we just have to trust that He knows what He is doing. I am thankful that I can rest in that.
I am SO very thankful for friends that stick through thick and thin. We screw up! Imagine that. Thankful for your Grace and for the Grace of God and that we have a God that forgives us and then does NOT remember that we screwed up! Wow! That is awesome!!
I am thankful for family that loves us. God has brought our family on a crazy path and sometimes even when they do not understand they still love us and pray for us and are there for us. They support us. How we love them for that.
I am VERY thankful that God sent us to Haiti for 10 weeks. I would not trade that experience for anything. Our family grew so much. We felt our kids slipping away and we were able to restore what we were losing and grow closer for it. It was not always easy dealing with issues that came up. We learned that Integrity is so important. We learned, again, that missions is not about us but about the God we serve and furthering His kingdom. We learned that we have to completely take what we want out of it and let God fill us with what He wants. There were times this summer that it felt very stressful but that was Satan and work and we learned just how hard he tries to break relationships. We worked hard at fighting that battle. Satan cannot win and will not win. We are very thankful for the teams that came down this summer. We are SO thankful for all they did for the mission and for the people of Haiti. They accomplished so much.
We learned how much we love the Haitian people. We love the relationships that were built. We love watching God use them to be missionaries in their own country.
We are thankful for all of you who are supporting Ebenezer! Through finances, prayers, mission trips. Each one of you are a huge part of what Ebenezer is and we could NOT do this without all of you.
We have had some things that have happened this year that we totally did not see happening. It makes us sad, sometimes even angry, but we know God has a plan. Just remember that in relationships God does not tear apart. Satan does. Jesus asks us to meet and try to figure out what happened and what went wrong. I am thankful I can say that I have tried. I can now leave it in God's hands and feel confident that someday it will be made right.
Things have not be easy this year but we are thankful that God continues to use us in big ways. We do stop and wonder and how He chose our family so long ago for this task but we realize we only need to be Obedient to Him and he will continue to show us the way!
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL of you!!
Nate, Brenda, Nikolas, Ekaterina, Heather, Hannah and Caleb