Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Oh, How Much We Have! Teach It At Home.

I just returned from my fifteenth trip to Russia. I went with a terrific team of Americans to serve and lead a worship and church leadership conference in Moscow. I could tell you lots of stories about how God worked there, relationships that we will treasure forever or ways the Russian people blessed us perhaps more than we helped them.

However, what I want to focus on in this post is the reminder we all received again of how much we really have in this country and often do not appreciate. Even in a huge city like Moscow, one of the two most prosperous cities in the country, the differences to our lifestyle are striking.

For example, most everything you have to do there is hard, at least much harder than most of us are used to.  It's hard just to cross a major street there. You may have to go down twenty-five stairs or more on one side, walk through a long tunnel and then climb back up the same number of stairs on the other side. Or if you can cross on the surface, the street may be filled with trolley tracks, holes and uneven pavement, not to mention an errant driver who refused to stop.

It's also hard to move from place to place. If you have a car you will probably crawl along in traffic much of the day. If you are relegated to public transportation your trip will likely take 45 - 90 minutes each way or more and involve the Metro (subway), bus and/or trolley.  And from October through May it will be cold, rainy, cloudy, snowy and/or windy most days.

It's also hard to buy the things you need for basic life. While more larger stores are popping up in Moscow, it is still difficult to purchase all you need in one place for one meal or to get that small little item you need to fix something at home or that you need for your wardrobe.

The list goes on.  It's hard to complete paperwork, register for things, exchange money, get a bank account. It's hard to get to fun things to do or to just find places to play with your children. It can be hard to find good medical care or someone to help in an emergency.

Yes, we all have our hard days and some of us have major obstacles to overcome even here in the U.S. But it's always good for us to remember how much better we have it than most of the world. And we probably won't appreciate our better circumstances until we go somewhere and actually experience how others have to live. In fact, if you know missionaries or others who work in countries overseas, you might especially pray for them or send them a note or CARE package of encouragement.

And if you're a parent teach your kids to appreciate how blessed they are. Go on a missions trip sometime when you can. Go serve some people who live hard lives. Thankfulness is a virtue many families and individuals have lost in this country. Perhaps we can help keep it alive. Our family and country will be better off if we do.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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