Bill and I have traveled to many countries on our mission with orphans and we always joke about writing a book called “Toilets of the World.” We have seen our fair share of “less than nice” toilets. We don’t just find them in one country but many of the countries we have visited. Poverty does not provide the luxury of proper or clean toilets. Many diseases are spread because of this toilet situation. When we travel somewhere new, we always wait with baited breathe to see if we will have porcelain or not.

Are you wondering why I am bringing up toilets on my blog? Because as I encounter the kind of poverty that does not allow for clean sanitation, it reminds me how blessed we are in the developed world and it also reminds me to be thankful for even the littlest things in my life.

Webster defines Thankful as “conscious of benefits received.”  The bible goes on to give us many verses about being Thankful. The one verse that comes to mind as a stand over a pit latrine in a developing country is 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Another verse that I use is Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” God instructs throughout the bible to give thanks often.

It is so much easier for me to be thankful at those mission moments in my life. It always is harder to remember to be thankful when things are going great. Why do we forget to be thankful to our Lord and Savior? We forget to thank the One who gives us life and breathe; the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I try to find ways to help me to remember to give thanks each and every day no matter what the circumstances of my life. I keep a photo of a pit latrine from one of our mission trips to Kenya on my computer and this is my reminder to give thanks in all circumstances. What do you do to remind you how blessed you are and to always give thanks?

Jesus, I am so thankful for my family, my home, my porcelain toilet and all you have provided for me.  Help me remember to praise you and thank you for everything in my life. Amen

James 1:17 “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

Outside the latrines
Inside the pit latrines

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