Just a few weeks ago, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving. This observance is meant to be a time when families come together to celebrate their common heritage and to give thanks for what they have.
Gratitude is such a simple thing. It’s taking a moment to truly appreciate everything. I try to practice gratitude every single day. I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a home to shelter me, I am clothed, and I have enough to eat. I learned, through my father’s example, that although I may not have everything I want, I have much to be thankful for.
When my father was just eight years old, his parents tragically passed away. Because he was the oldest child, my father then was left to care for his younger siblings by himself. At least, that is what most Western culture would have you believe. In truth, my father received support from other families in the village where he lived.
Because of the care and support that my father received, he was always thankful for the gift of his life. He always showed us, through his daily life, how thankful he was for what others did for him by helping others who needed it.
When we first came to Nyamandlovu, Zimbabwe, my father was appalled by the conditions of the local hospital. The water supply was inadequate, there were not enough delivery beds in the maternity ward, and there weren’t enough toilets and showers to keep sanitary conditions.
Although we didn’t have much by western standards, our family had enough. Our father made it his mission to refinish the Igusi hospital. Sadly, he succumbed to his own illness before his mission could be complete.
Now, my siblings and I are taking up his mission, to refinish the Igusi hospital through our charitable organization JB Dondolo. We have much to do. We are working to ensure there is safe water for the hospital to use. We need to replace the rotting asbestos roof, and we need delivery beds for the maternity ward. We can’t do it alone. We need support in the form of donations or volunteers.
Take a moment now to remember all the things you’re thankful for. While you’re feeling gratitude for your many blessings, consider how you might help others, either at home, or elsewhere. Donate to a cause (such as JB Dondolo) or offer your skills and talents. You, and others, will have more to be thankful for.