Thankful for a stick, not a tissue

The Moi people are thankful for the simple things: health, food and being able to read God's Word.

It’s not very often that we would give thanks for a stick. But what the Mois choose to give thanks for often challenges and speaks to Stephen and Carolyn Crockett.

Sniffling from a cold, she is told by a friend, “Hey Carolyn, just take a stick and wipe off your snot; works great.”

Medical help is limited with a small clinic of Moi medical workers who have been trained to take care of daily physical needs. Sickness spreads quickly since hygiene is lacking. Often it’s hard to keep up. So a missionary pilot patiently flies in and out, getting people to the hospital. There is gratitude for the rewired electrical fence that Stephen and his friend were able to work on in order to keep the pigs and dogs off the airstrip.

While one man is thankful for the flight he got for his sick wife, he had gotten angry and said things he regretted. So he hiked eight hours back to the village after the trip. Can we imagine willingly and with thanksgiving hiking eight hours because our conscience is bothering us over our anger?

A recent conversation that clearly depicts the different world but same heart needed to honour God with our gratitude went as follows:

Carolyn: “I got some ‘words’ [email] from my friend in America asking me if I was living well.

Moi friend: “Why would they ask you that?? You always live well!”

Carolyn: “Why do you say that?”

Moi friend: “Well, you’re never sick; your husband doesn’t beat you; you always have rice to eat.”

Carolyn shared how her heart hurts sometimes from missing family and friends. It was hard for the Moi friend to relate since she felt like she really didn’t have any friends that cared.

When Carolyn shared that she missed shopping in the bigger buildings, her Moi friend answered with, “Yes, I don’t like carrying two kids, firewood and a big bag of food up the steep path from the garden an hour away from my house every day.”

Carolyn asked her what she had to be thankful for.

“I have roots to dig up in my garden; my kids aren’t sick right now; I can read God’s Word. Hey, by the way, let me tell you about a story I just read in the Bible about five loaves and two fishes …”

This Moi friend’s life is a testimony of joy and thankfulness to Carolyn and Stephen.

There’s great excitement and eagerness to learn to read. Two literacy classes are progressing well. The people express their thankfulness to soon be able to read God’s Word. Four great teachers have been trained and Carolyn has worked herself out of a job. How often have we given thanks for working ourselves right out of a job?

Hikes to other hamlets have been rejoiced over as the Moi Bible teachers return with news that they were an encouragement to others: