As we draw near to the close of another year and we enter the Thanksgiving and Christmas season I start to feel that extra sense of celebration, warmth, and gratitude for the many blessings we enjoy from our gracious Father in heaven. My wife and I will be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends and I think about our tradition of each one expressing what or who we are thankful for.
One of the scripture texts that I get great encouragement from and helps me express thanks is found in 2 Corinthians chapter 9. While the whole chapter has so much encouragement on giving, I will focus our attention for now on verses 12-15.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
I love the phrase “many expressions of thanks to God.” It makes me think about what I will be hearing at our Thanksgiving dinner next week. It also makes me think of my recent travel to Guatemala and to a couple of project sites where we are working in remote, hard to reach, communities. Both communities were difficult to reach and both, until recently, had no means of access to safe water. One thing that I always find when traveling to sites is the many expressions of thanks to God from the people who gain access to safe water for the first time. You, our donors, are supplying the needs of the Lord’s people. They are praying for you, and we at Healing Waters join them in expressing thanks to you and to God.
Another scripture passage that came up recently in our weekly devotions and recent Board meeting is the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30. This parable talks about investment in the Kingdom of God and His work. If you look closely at the text, you find that this is not a short-term investment in the Kingdom but a long one (v. 19). You, our faithful friends, are investing so much in this ministry to bring safe water to all the people we serve together. We are thankful that in the work that God has given Healing Waters, our supporters have a long-term view of Kingdom impact and investment. For 2016, this investment came in three forms. First, we had a strong year in the number of projects we implemented. Second, the donor support we received allowed us to further expand our program reach in the areas of health & hygiene education, business development for our water project partners, and the measuring of impact of our water projects. Third, it allowed us to work with several strategic partners in major initiatives to help us achieve our vison of safe water for all.
We see tremendous opportunity for investment to expand our impact in 2017 as well. A generous donor has initiated a matching grant for $60,000 that will allow us to increase our reach and impact in Haiti. We invite you to join us and others in continuing to invest in the kingdom work that God has given us through this year-end campaign. We look forward to another year of many expressions of thanks to God.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!