“The bedbugs used to eat my babies but God is God and now they get to sleep,” Agnes
“I’m thankful that God has given me a new name. I was “that poor woman” but now I have a name,” Esther
“I was a sex worker but now I’m free and I have a good job making jewelry,” Faith
“I’m thankful for clean food. I used to only get food from the dump,” Papina
“I thank God that I can feed my children,” Miriam
“I’m thankful that I now have more than one dress to wear so I don’t have to wash and dry my only one every night,” Jane
“I’m grateful my child that was stolen while I lived on the street has been found,” Mama Gideon
As I listened to each woman share her gratitude in a slum in Kenya today, I realized sometimes we don’t even know everything we have until we hear what others say they are thankful they have received.
Because I’ve never once thanked God that my children didn’t sleep with bedbugs or that I have more than one dress or that I’m not a sex worker.
Perspective is everything.
I don’t know why God asked me to spend the rest of my life telling the stories of the poor. But sharing theirs has rewritten mine. I discovered that my lack of gratitude made me a pauper and their thanksgiving made them wealthy.
Because Gratitude helps us see what is there instead of what isn’t.
If you’d asked me a decade ago about these women, I would have said they were the poorest people in the world.
But I’ve realized the poorest people in the world aren’t people who have nothing. The poorest people in the world are those who aren’t grateful for what they have.
Something pretty amazing happens when we choose gratitude–we share what we’ve been given.
As I listened to women on the this side of the ocean say what they were thankful for today, I thought of how your generosity, your purchases, your gratitude has made every testimony of praise possible.
It’s true. God has used every dollar that has been given to Mercy House since 2010 to make the impossible, possible.
I’m an eyewitness and I’m standing on holy ground and I’m telling you–it is working. Because God is working.
When you become a part of someone else’s story because of gratitude, you remind women in poverty that God knows their name.
When you join Fair Trade Friday, you set sex workers free.
When you purchase the gratitude dish towel from India or the sweet pencil pouch made by our teen moms above, you provide dignified jobs.
When you become a monthly donor and support our maternity centers in Kenya, you change entire generations.
Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
When we have enough, we share our extra.
And it makes us the richest people in the world.