Matthew 14:19-20 – Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. (NIV)
Recently, I spent time in Rio Bravo, Mexico, working in a mercy ministry that builds small homes, casitas, for Mexican families. These homes are very small, only 12 feet by 16 feet. They are well-built with a concrete floor, concrete block walls and a corrugated metal roof. Two doors and two windows are the only luxuries.
The family receiving the home refers to it as a palacio, a palace. It is hard for me to see a building, that I would use as a place to store my lawnmower, as a palace. But, to a family living in a structure built of cast-off materials, on a dirt floor, their new casita is a gift from God.
As builders, we are always blessed by the thankfulness shown by each of the families that we build for. In every case, we are served meals and treated like royalty.
This ministry and others like it in the area have built, and will continue to build, literally thousands of casitas for these people. These ministries attract builders by the tens of thousands and continue to flourish, at least in part due to the thankfulness that is shown by these Mexican people. Just as the 5000 were fed abundantly with the loaves and fishes, so are these people blessed with many new palacios.
Prayer Lord, help us to learn the lesson of thankfulness. Help us to be equally thankful for all the blessings that we receive, both large and small. Amen.