Wednesday, February 22, 2017

“You want to become a better person? Just give thanks. Give thanks for all of it.” ― Kamand Kojouri

           It is very easy to feel alone here with only my wife and one son for company.  Sometimes months can go by without my being able to talk to another person who has English has a first language.  Living in another culture with another language that is so very different from that with which I grew up can lead to loneliness, especially after twelve years with only three visits back to the United States for a total of two months (out of 144 months here).  Grandchildren I never see, sons and their wives I only know by email, it can be hard.  What makes it easier is knowing that every day—every single day—there are people who care about what we do here.  We got a package yesterday from just such a friend in South Carolina who sent personal things to us and always sends clothes for our workers.  You have no idea how much a “like” on a Facebook post, a comment, or a share of the blog does for me.  Those things that take so little of your time loom large indeed to one who is so far away and with no friends nearby with whom to converse.  You guys are great!  I have so little to give you and you are the ones who keep us going with your prayers, your financial support, your packages, and your “likes” on Facebook.  There is simply no way to adequately thank you or to let you know how much your responses to what I write mean to me.  So, I, who have so little to give to you, offer the following:

Lord, I ask You to bless my friends who are reading this right now:
      Where there is pain—may they find peace and mercy.
Where there is self-doubt—may they gain a renewed confidence.
      Where there is weariness or exhaustion—give them understanding, patience, and strength.
Where there is fear—reveal Your love, and offer to them Your courage.
       Give them greater vision, bless their families, and raise up friends to support them.
May their spirits always be joyous and their days rich and full with love and happiness,

         Lord I send this prayer to You in the name of all those reading these words:

May the Good Lord smile upon ya’ll and bless you every day;
           May His love and grace surround you and shelter you, I pray;
May your days be filled with laughter and the joy of many friends;
           May God bless you with His mercy and peace that never ends.
And God give each of these …
            For every storm—a rainbow.
For every tear—a smile.
            For every care—a promise.
And a blessing for every trial.
             For every sigh—a sweet song,
and an answer to each prayer you pray.

Thank you so very much for reading the humble words I sometimes struggle to write each day.  Every one of you has a place in my heart and gives me reason to keep on struggling.  Thank you.  Ahsante sana.
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