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Oh Lord, my God

When I, in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy hand have made

I see the  stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art…

We had only sung this first verse of “How Great Thou Art” in worship last Sunday when tears filled my eyes, and I was too choked up to sing. My mind had raced back to 1989 when my 90- year-old grandfather sang those words to my grandmother during their 60th wedding anniversary celebration. I can still see his frail body and hear his crackly, but still gifted, voice. Funny how a song takes us to places often unexpected and elicits deep emotion from within.

And then I found my thoughts turning the page back to 2076. From the bus window, I watched as the corn fields and rolling green of the Guatemalan countryside raced by our bus as we headed back to Antigua after a week of sharing life and hope and healing…prayers and hugs and wheelchairs with so many at the Hilario Galindo Hospital in Retalhuleu. And as I watched, these words sang out in my heart, “When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made…then sings my soul…how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul…because we watched people carry their loved ones into the hospital, ones unable to walk on their own, ones whose disability seemed too severe, and then see those same ones wheel themselves out, giggle and smile with their new or first time ever sense of independence and dignity…yes, how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul… because the mere but powerful sign of the cross of Christ on the forehead of a very upset and wailing five-year­ old girl brought a sense of calm to her little heart and the assurance that she was in loving hands…how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul… for every mother who entrusted her “baby” to these strange doctors and nurses from a foreign land with a foreign tongue and then so faithfully knelt beside me as we prayed earnestly for their little ones… how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul… for the 44 year old barren woman who sang out in hope after her surgery, for the young man who prayed along with me voicing his prayers through his oxygen mask, for the woman with no family who referred to her neighbor as the “sister God gave me”, for so many hands lifted and so many heads bowed in prayer…how great Thou art!

Then sings my soul…because Dios Primero (God first) was on every tongue and gracias (thank you) echoed down every hallway. Then sings my soul for all that happened on that trip and for all that God continues to do in and through Faith in Practice! Then sings my soul for partners in mission who provide financially, donate medical equipment, and purchase merchandise and coffee from the Mercado. Then sings my soul for our new CEO Michelle Bair, for our doctors and nurses and dentists and pastors and loving hearts who offer their time and their very selves for the sake of God’s mission in Guatemala… indeed how great Thou art!

My friends, may our souls sing in this season of Thanksgiving for all that God has done in Guatemala and in the lives of all those who have been touched by this mission. May our souls sing for all that God is doing in our lives and in the world around us. May our souls sing as we look to the future and watch for God’s “power throughout the universe displayed” … and may we always give thanks to God… “bowing in humble adoration and proclaiming, my God, how great Thou art!”

A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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