My husband and I travel to rural countries as we visit orphans in the care of our children’s homes. During these trips, we joke about writing a book called “Toilets of the World,” to share some of our more memorable experiences. We have seen some awful toilets like pit latrines built in outhouses. The worse ones are the overflowing and non-working toilets. A few rural places in India only offer fields instead of proper restrooms for the locals.
I also learned to travel with toilet paper since not everywhere provides it. I learned that TP is an extravagance for many poor in the rest of the world. Poverty also does not give the luxury of clean restrooms or even clean water to many in the world. Diseases spread because of these unfortunate situations. My biggest concern during our travels is if I can drink the water or if we will have porcelain toilets to use or would it be an outhouse. I overlook the needs around me to focus on my comfort.
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
These experiences teach me to appreciate my blessings at home. Those living in the developed world have much to thank God for in our lives. Many people lack electricity, clean water, a safe place to sleep, and enough food to sustain them. Traveling outside my comfort zone opens my eyes to the plight of those God calls us to help. The Bible tells us the story of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. The story explains that God rewards those who use their blessings to benefit others. Are we thankful for our blessings and willing to share?
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.
James 1:17 (NIV)
Webster defines thankfulness as “conscious of benefits received.” The Bible gives us many verses about being Thankful. One verse that comes to mind as I spot a pit latrine nearby 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 think about is Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” God instructs us throughout the Bible to give thanks often and in every situation. I learned to thank Him for the outhouse too.
Psalm 118:1 (NIV)
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
At home, I find it hard to remember to be grateful when things are going great. Why do I forget to be thankful to the Lord when life is comfortable? Why do I forget to help others with the blessings God provides me? I try to find ways to help remember to give thanks. I keep a photo of a pit latrine located in an outhouse from a trip to Kenya near my computer. The picture reminds me to give thanks in all circumstances and to help those in need. Luke 14:13 tells us, “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” God calls us to be thankful and generous with the gifts He provides.
Yvonne M Morgan, #Blogger, #Speaker, #Writer
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
100% of the proceeds from sales of my book, Turning Mountains Into Molehills, go to help the orphans at Orphan Relief Effort, Inc