THANKSGIVING:   A Daily Celebration

The Old Testament relates the story of God's guidance, care and love for humanity.  Through the life and ministry of Jesus, the New Testament shows how God reaches out to touch and bless individuals, families and communities.  The work of  Christ continues today as we experience God's grace and love in our lives. 

In Luke 17:11 - 19 we read of the healing of the ten men with leprosy.  In response to their healing only one took the time to praise God and give thanks.  The lack of response from the other nine may be common yet it is still startling to realize that their ungratefulness is a symptom of our human condition.

Wouldn't our daily lives be richer if we lived as children do?  Jesus called a child to come to him in the first verses of Matthew 18, thus teaching a lesson in humility, acceptance and openness.  Our response to God's goodness would change if we became as children.  Part of that change would be a sense of wonder and anticipation as well as an enthusiastic openness to explore the gifts God offers.

How can we be anything but grateful for the numerous blessings with which God has graced our lives this past year.   We praise God and thank God for:

  • All the people and churches who have faithfully prayed for the "Give Ye Them To Eat" ministry
  • The daily realization that the GYTTE program has a wonderfully creative and dedicated staff
  • The opportunity to make several trips to Arizona to visit Terry's father, Ralph, before his death,  at age 90, and for the gathering of family and friends to celebrate Dad's life
  • The ability to remember the location of almost all of the 90 speed bumps between the Puebla office and the "Tree of Life" Training Center in Tlancualpican
  • The individual donors and communities of faith who have financially supported the GYTTE program
  • The thousands of adults, youth and children who benefited from the services offered by GYTTE
  • Improved health for Terry's mother, Gladys Henderson, age 89
  • A fishing trip in the White Mountains of Arizona with brother, Jerry, and son, Tony, to provide Gladys with a trout dinner
  • The ability to outsmart the iguanas, mice, and rats that tried to make their home in our home

Alan, Jeff and GYTTE staff working
Jeff Varner, Alan-Jon Zupan and GYTTE staff working on the construction of the new multipurpose building

Katie and Jane
Katie Butler and Jane Varner hemming curtains for the Methodist parsonage

Huajuapan de Leon
Service project participants in front of the Huajuapan de Leon Church

September Class
September Class of Community-Based Primary Health Care Workers with their instructors
  • The Teams and individual volunteers who came to serve with the GYTTE staff
  • The completion of the office and guest house at the Training Center
  • Supportive church communities in the village of Tlancualpican and the city of Puebla
  • The physicians, church members and family who have been so supportive of our niece, Shannon Reeves and her family during the course of her cancer treatments and surgeries
  • Another year in which the many volunteers who came to serve at the Training Center avoided stings from the scorpions, centipedes, and tarantulas common to the area
  • The people and churches who donate to the GYTTE scholarship program for youth with limited-resources
  • The privilege of attending the graduation ceremonies of four GYTTE scholarship students who are now serving Christ through their service to the people of Mexico
  • Muriel's mother, Lyleth, who still knows us even though her Alzheimers Disease advances
  • The fact that we never actually saw any of the snakes that shed their skins inside our house
  • The youth and young adults from Tlancualpican  who joined the GYTTE staff and volunteers in a service project in support of the Methodist Church in Huajuapan de Leon, Oaxaca

  • Those who provided scholarship funding for women to train as village Health Workers
  • The twenty-one women from four of Mexico's six annual conferences who came to the Training Center in September for the Basic Health Course, the first of three courses over an 18 month period
  • The supportive efforts and prayers of their congregation  for our daughter, Terrell and her family during our son-in-law, Dan's illness with a severe inner-ear infection and pneumonia
  • The joy and sense of accomplishment our Arizona grandchildren, Isaac, Heather and Tiffany, experience from home schooling and the raising of their pet guinea pigs and ducks
  • A long and plentiful rainy season that provided an abundant harvest and a mighty surplus of weeds that have now been transformed into compost piles
  • The privilege of hosting the six Bishops of the Methodist Church of Mexico and the other General Cabinet members for their quarterly meeting 
  • A low-tech irrigation system that makes it possible to raise crops on the hillside terraces of the Training Center during the seven months of drought
  • Strength to face the various health issues we each experienced in 2004
  • The opportunity to spend time with our grandsons, Tony and Axel, who reside in Puebla with their Mother and three pet boa constrictors
  • A week of rest on the Pacific coast in Manzanillo with our cousins, Jan and Martin Miller
  • You and your life

… And the list could go on and on.  God is good.!

"We thank God every time we remember you.  In  our prayers for all of you, we pray with joy because of your partnership with us in the sharing of the gospel …"  Philippians 1:3-5 (Paraphrased)


Muriel & Terry Henderson
UMC Missionaries in Mexico

"Give Ye Them To Eat" No. 07629A, An Advance
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