With Praise and Thanksgiving shara cunningham - november story newsletter

Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy one, Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ His son. And now let the weak say I am strong, Let the poor say I am rich, because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks. LSB #806

As the year is drawing to a close, I wanted to focus on giving thanks to God. If I could make a list of all of the things that I am thankful to God for, the list would go on and on and I am sure that I would even forget some things. In a recent devotion on the power of a simple prayer, it said, "Thanks. Just the word to lift the spirit. To say thanks is to celebrate a gift." It reminded me that I should thank God moment by moment, day by day. The one thing that we should say a simple thanks to God for a hundred times a day, is the gift of His son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thankful for MMT's

Our East Africa field hosted the last team of the year, one final Mercy Medical Team. The team served the Maasai people in Lenkishon. The Maasai live a nomadic life, which means they move from place to place with their animals. They rely on their animals for food (including milk, meat and animal blood) and walk for many miles with their animals to find fresh food and water. Maasai men herd cattle and carry spears to protect their cattle from wild animals such as lions. The Maasai women are responsible for cooking, collecting sticks for the fire and building the home.

Because many of the people had to walk, some great distances to get to the clinic, we had the opportunity to visit a few of the homesteads as people made their way. The Maasai live in shelters called manyattas which are built from sticks, mud and dung. Maasai homes do not have windows or chimneys so it is dark and smoky inside. Animal skins are laid on the floor and are used for warmth. We had the opportunity to visit several manyattas, sitting inside with the ladies of the home, talking with them and praying for their families. I enjoy being able to see how people live and taking the time to be in community with them. I am thankful to God for the diversity and uniqueness of the many tribes of people where I serve.

During the week of the clinic the team worked alongside Kenyan doctors, nurses, pharmacists and community health workers treating general ailments, eye conditions and malnutrition. Most importantly the American and Kenyan pastors and evangelists shared the Gospel with all who came. They also took the time to pray with those who had special prayer requests. The love of Christ was evident in all who were there to be the heart, hands and feet of Christ to the Maasai. My fellow missionary reminded me that we treat, but God heals.

I am thankful for all of the volunteers who served on a Mercy Medical Team this year in Eastern and Southern Africa. Because of you, thousands of people received medical care in areas that are underserved and the Gospel of Christ was heard by many. I thank God for those who came to a saving knowledge of Christ because of the MMT. Thank you for giving of your time, talents and love.

The Mercy Medical Team serving in Lenkishon

Rev. Shoech, team chaplain prays for these women in church

Team member Eric takes vital signs on a patient.

Rev. Jeff Kuddes prepares to share a message with the help of fellow brother in Christ

The Mercy Medical team with Kenyan colleagues.

The wonderful Maasai ladies who cooked for us.

Thankful for Co-workers in Christ

I am thankful to God for my fellow Co-wokers in Christ as we serve together in His mission. Missionary life is very rewarding and we get to share the love of Christ in many ways through different ministries. Missionary life is also very challenging and some days are difficult. Knowing that I have colleagues to share this life with makes it easier. We are family in the body of Christ and family to each other when we are far away from our biological families.

This month I had the pleasure of leading field orientation for new missionaries on the field, the Kuddeses, the Wolfs and Molly Christensen. This is a time to learn from fellow missionaries about life in your host country and how to navigate through the culture. We shared stories about learning the hard way about the do's and don'ts of everyday life as expatriates. The wonderful thing about being part of this missionary family is that we get to celebrate birthdays and holidays together. We recently celebrated Thanksgiving together and for those new to the field I'm sure that it helped to fill the void of missing family and friends. We spent the day in fellowship over a lovely meal and ended with a service led by Rev. Clausing.

Missionaries at field orientation and celebrating Thanksgiving.

Field orientation for newly deployed missionaries.

Missionary Britt Odemba shares about her ministry during a trip to Kibera.

Evening service to end a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thankful for faithful supporters

I am thankful to God for all of you who have been on this journey with me. I remember asking some of my closest friends to pray with me about my heart's desire to serve the Lord as a missionary about 10 years ago. I have been faithfully serving the Lord for 7 years in Africa. So, I thank God for everyone who has thought of me and still thinks of me, who prays for me, who encourages me, who loves me and who financially supports me.

I appreciate your trust in God and decision to support me and join me on this amazing journey. My heart is filled with gratitude for all that you mean to me and for helping make this ministry possible. I am glad that the Lord brought you into my life, and I am thankful for your continued support. As we say in swahili, "Asanteni sana na Mungu awabariki." (Thank you all very much and God bless you all)

Amazing supporters....
Visting a Maasai homestead

Thank you for being part of this journey with me as I serve the Lord in Eastern and Southern Africa

Or you can send gifts to: Mission Central

40718 Highway E-16

Mapleton, IA 51034

Prayer and Praise

Pray for God's strength, guidance and wisdom as I serve in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Pray for God's mission in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Ask God to help me be a strong Christian witness to many people.

Pray for the new missionaries on the field, Jeff and Michele Kuddes and Molly Christensen.

Pray that God will build up my network of support so that I can continue to serve Him.

During this season of Advent let us thank God for the gift of His son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Praise God for all of you and the love, support and encouragement that you give to me.

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