Two years ago, over a period of several months, I sorted through all of my belongings. For each item, I had to decide whether to take it with me to Africa, store it in the US, or get rid of it, with the last category further subdivided into boxes to sell, give away, or throw away. Despite the fact that I had intentionally tried to reduce my accumulation of possessions over the years with an overseas move in mind, this task still felt overwhelming, especially since I tackled it alone. What a relief it was to finish that work and finally be able to come home to Africa where I belong!

Of the goods I brought with me, some came in my luggage on the plane, and others went onto a shipping container filled with medical supplies bound for our soon-to-open hospital here. Due to various delays in the shipping process, that container didn’t leave Texas until March 2019, well into my second year here. It arrived on our property in June, thankfully without any complications in customs. Due to the busyness of our conference season, we didn’t unload the container until this past week.

My largest item on the container was my harp. Many of you joined me in earnest prayers that the fragile musical instrument would arrive safely. God’s hand was evident at every step of the harp’s journey here, including the decision to bring it, the provision of a crate, and the packing procedure. The harp’s journey across the world concluded this week when it was carefully carried from the shipping container onto a truck, driven to my house, and unloaded into my bedroom. How delighted I was to remove the cover and discover the harp in the exact same condition in which I packed it, with not even a single string broken! Truly, God answered our prayers!

That evening, as our household gathered to give thanks to the Lord for His bountiful mercies, Bonif√°cio led us in reading Psalm 136 responsively, then taught us a hymn which we sang together:

We give thanks to the Lord, we give thanks for His love.
In the morning, the birds sing thanksgiving to our Creator.
We give thanks to the Lord, we give thanks for His love.
And you, friend, why don’t you sing thanksgiving to our Creator?
We give thanks to the Lord, we give thanks for His love.
We all sing with joy, thanksgiving to our Creator.

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