We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! This weekend has been Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and also this little part of Tanzania! A time to give thanks for the harvest and all the many blessings we have received!

Although we are far from harvesting here, (we are waiting for the rains to begin planting), there is no better time to stop and give thanks!

I am thankful for our new gas oven! We bought it on Thursday from friends moving from Mwanza. It has revolutionised my life! No more cooking everything over the single burner on the floor! It now takes about a third of the time to cook dinner as I can cook simultaneously on up to four burners and even use a grill or an oven if I so desire! Amazing! No more half-cooked bread or muffins started when I optimistically believed power would stay on! You may have read about the major power problems here a the moment. It all seems to come down to a serious lack of rain, technical problems with a new system and possible political games (read the news here). So with power coming on usually for a few hours in the middle of the night last week, there is no better time for my gas stove! And best of all, we could have our Canadian friends over for a real Thanksgiving Dinner last night! Roast chicken, stuffing, squash, pumpkin pie, butter tarts, maple cookies...! Truly very thankful!
Thanksgiving together in action
(and notice that thing top-centre of the photo ... yes, we even had electricity!!!) 

Pumpkin pie, Maple cookies and Canadian Butter Tarts
Boiling water AND cooking dinner at the SAME time!
I am thankful for our water tank! With the constant power cuts, the mains water pumps are often not working. This is a real problem for many people. But I am so thankful for our large tank which keeps us supplied with water.

I am thankful for kitchen drawers! At the weekend, a new drawer unit was fixed in the kitchen, after the previous drawers fell through a few weeks ago in a termite heap! In the midst of fundi fixing going a bit pear-shaped rather late on a Saturday night, I remind myself that I am thankful for a place to keep knives, spoons, measures, ladles... all organized and accessible! Small things can be big blessings!
Removing the old drawers
I am thankful for God's provision! Early the other morning, when the power went out yet again, I didn't feel so thankful. I cried out as I prepared breakfast, "Oh no! My joy is lost!" But we sat down to eat breakfast together and I asked that we all say what we are thankful for. Food to eat was top of the list at the time! And yes, joy is found! We have all we need and with a new jar of jam and baked banana bread, so much more!

I am thankful for the opportunity to live and work here in Tanzania! Yes, sometimes if feels so hard to be away from family. Missing friends and special occasions and feeling far away. Sometimes we miss the familiar things of "the other home" and get frustrated with all that is different here. But often it's through these lenses we appreciate what we do have here so much more! How thankful we are for the amazing friends we have have here. Thankful for the support we receive to live and work here. Thankful to be learning new things all the time and doing the interesting variety of things we do! Thankful to see God at work in different ways in different people and places! 
Thankful to be with this precious girl, Maria
and her little sister, Grace on Saturday
I am thankful for our family! Louisa prayed this week, "Thank you God, for putting me in this family," and I am so thankful He did! Celebrating our anniversary recently (with two cards arriving late this week!), I am so thankful for the wonderful husband I have, for the life we have together and the two fantastic, beautiful girls who share the adventure with us!

Sometimes it seems that appreciating what we have, what we are thankful for, comes that much more strongly through the lenses of what we have missed or lost, or what we have seen others go without. I'm humbled and amazed at how thankful some people can be in the midst of very difficult circumstances. I'm thankful for eternal lenses. Thanksgiving is a perspective and it's a decision.

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Happy Thanksgiving!
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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Excellent blogs. I really appreciates with your article. thanks for sharing useful tips with a wonderful, nice and simple photos.I love the progression shots! Your home is beautiful and shows so much love!Montanez

  5. Hi Rachel Monger, Love your blog !!!!! This is Really awesome post ! I bought a skillet at a yard sale last week, googled to figure out how to clean it up, and ended up here! Thanks so much for all of this information! Thanks !


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