Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks Be to God

Sharing the joy of the harvest in East Africa

As I prayerfully consider this season of Thanksgiving, one of my favorite hymns comes to mind. While I am one of those people who cannot sing on tune to save my life, I still find music and the words to our precious hymns to be a great comfort and strength. Join me as we walk through LSB Hymn 894 “For the Fruits of His Creation.”

For the fruits of His creation, Thanks be to God.
For His gifts to every nation, Thanks be to God.
For the plowing, sowing, reaping, Silent growth while we are sleeping,
Future needs in earth’s safe keeping, Thanks be to God.

Living and serving as a missionary in East Africa is, in many ways very different than living in the States. We speak a different language and follow different customs. Everything from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to the side of the road upon which we drive is different. Yet, despite the great differences between these places, I would argue that they are, ultimately, the same. In East Africa, the farmers in the area plant corn and beans. Many also tend livestock—cattle, hogs, goats, or sheep. The children go to school. Some women work outside the home, while others fill their days with caring for the home and children. The greatest similarity though is this—God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is freely given to His children in East Africa, just as it is in the United States. Thanks be to God.

In the just reward of labor, God’s will is done.
In the help we give our neighbor, God’s will is done.
In or world-wide task of caring For the hungry and despairing,
In the harvests we are sharing, God’s will is done.

A large part of my work is teaching. For example, I will explain the importance of brushing your teeth to prevent cavities. As I teach this lesson, I have the opportunity to share the Gospel. I explain that a cavity is a dark hole in your tooth—a hole that you cannot fix on your own. In the same way, sin creates a dark hole in our hearts—a hole that we cannot fix ourselves. When you have a cavity, you need a dentist. Likewise, as sinful human beings, we need a Savior. Jesus is the answer! Through this teaching and connecting people to their local Lutheran church and pastor, God’s will is done.

For the harvests of the Spirit, Thanks be to God.
For the good we all inherit, Thanks be to God.
For the wonders that astound us, For the truths that still confound us,
Most of all, that love has found us, Thanks be to God.

By God’s grace and through the Holy Spirit, God’s Word is planted and watered by local pastors and missionaries in East Africa. Just as God’s love has found you and me, it has also found and taken root in the hearts of people throughout the area. As I witness the harvests of the Spirit grow abundantly, I am left to simply exclaim: “Thanks be to God!”

Thank you kindly to all who continue to faithfully pray and support me in this work. It is my great joy and honor to serve the Lord in this way, but I know it would not be possible without all of you. Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel! For the gift that each of you are in my life, I daily pray, “Thanks be to God.”

A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to each and every one of you!

Peace of Christ,

Missionary Sarah Kanoy

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