Sunday, October 16, 2016

Bread for the Journey

In everything give thanks; 
for this is God's will for you in  Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

When one looks at the state of the world today, we see injustice, political unrest, civil war, starvation,
social tragedies, natural disasters, financial calamity, the war on Syria. 
How are we to give thanks in all these situations? 
Does this mean that we are supposed to be thankful for the evil in this world?
I've come to realize that when life isn't working out as we had expected, we can still give God thanks for being present with us during the difficult times.  I have often experienced in my own life that God has often used my struggles to draw me closer to him.

Over the past few months I have been reading immigration stories of those who fled from Ukraine to Canada in the early 1920's.  When I stop and observe their challenges, I it really any different today? 
Many of them experienced starvation, financial loss, war and bloodshed, loss of jobs, sickness, death,  rape, separation and anxiety.  They lost everything that they had and came as 'refugees' to Canada to start a new life. In these stories I have observed a common thread of hymns, prayers, scriptures and thankfulness which accompanied our forefathers fleeing from the Ukraine.
Many times I wondered why they didn't give up.  Day by day, step by step, they thanked God for yet another good night's rest. Phrases like "tears of joy and gratitude to God that he had spared the horse and in grace had answered my prayers,"  "The Lord blessed us" are woven throughout their stories.

This past weekend we had the opportunity to cook a meal for the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Wes and Kim Janzen conducting the choir on their 2016 Canada ~ Ukraine Friendship Tour. You can read about their incredible story of passion and ministry for the Ukraine people.
We not only heard beautiful music, but we also heard stories of suffering and trauma. We heard first hand how the royalties from our Mennonite Girls Can Cook Books have made a significant impact on the lives of widows and orphans.  It was pointed out that there are over 1.5 million IDP's (internally displaced people) in the Ukraine. Choir members are also feeling the impact...some of them only had one pair of shoes, one skirt, for travelling over the past month.  Most of us would have major issues.

Once again I have been reminded to pour out my heart to God for thanks and to continue thanking him for the on-going ministry of the Music Mission Ukraine Canada in offering support to the people who have fled their homes often only with clothes on their backs.  This sounds just like the stories that I have been reading about and it's still so true in today's world. Has anything really changed?

Let's be inspired and motivated by these stories and live out our faith in these days of difficulty and uncertainty.   We too, can leave a legacy of thanksgiving to God and help the next generation to know that God will provide. We want to continue thanking God that we can trust him and know that nothing happens outside of  his plan of history for our lives, just like he promised our forefathers.

Get a jump start on your Christmas shopping, purchase a book and know that you are making a difference.


  1. Marg, this is such a good reminder that we need to be grateful even more so in the hard times. God wants us to have an attitude of gratefulness and it honors Him. Often I express gratitude to Him for bringing me through another night to see the light of another day.

  2. I've heard the KSOC perform here in the U.S. Their music is inspiring and so is their work with widows, orphans, and victims of war. I think it's wonderful that MGCC shares their cookbook royalties with these deserving people.

  3. Thank you for this post and the encouragement to be grateful. What a joy it is to know that our books are going to help those in such need. It was so much fun to work together in the kitchen and serve a meal to this group this past Friday.