Giving Thanks, A Story About Ion

There has been a verse from the Bible in my head all week about Thanksgiving. Sometimes I think we get caught up in life and we just plain forget to give thanks to the Lord for all things no matter the circumstance.

1st Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Well what does that verse actually mean in all circumstances? Today I meet a man named Ion ( John), he lives in a small village located in west Moldova called Bransesti. As we arrived to his house for the visit from the outside his house looked no different than any other Moldovan village house but what was on the inside was totally amazing. We entered the house and we were greeted unexpectedly by Ion, he was so full of joy and happiness all the way down to his big smile. In most family visits this is not the case in Moldova. He told each of us hello and welcomed us into his home. He lives in a one room house and within that room is his bed, living area and his kitchen. Ion is 46 years old, he lives alone and his monthly pension is around 80 euros.
This village has an Elderly Care Center in which OM monitors and oversees. Pauline works at the EC and cooks food for the elderly Monday and Friday. For over 1 1/2 years she has taken Ion food everyday Monday through Friday. During that time she has built a relationship with him and she has be able to share the Gospel. Back in September Ion repented his sins and asked to be baptized. Since then he had been baptized and he is a believer. In Ion case you can see how important building relationships in Moldova can be, praise the Lord Pauline did not give up on trying to share the Gospel with Ion.
Now for the rest of the story about Ion, he is a believer as I said but he is also blind and a cripple. He has lost his sight in recent years due to health issues but he has been cripple since he was a young boy. Ion was seven years old and one day his dad took him by his shoulders and head and threw him feet first on to the ground with so much force his legs were broken. After nine surgeries it was decided that there was no chance to correct the damage, his legs never grew or matured.
Early today I walked into Ion’s house, I was greeted with a smile form the heart and at that moment you overlooked his blindness and crippled legs. God’s love is amazing. As we were leaving Ion said some words that brought encouragement to my heart and motivated to write about him.
Ion said,” Many people can walk and many people can see unlike me, but I have something most do not have. I have joy in my heart from the Lord”
At that moment wiping tears from my eyes I thought to myself here is his man that cannot walk nor even see who I am but he is giving thanks to the Lord in all circumstances. So I ask to you what does giving thanks in all circumstance mean to you. In the United States tomorrow they will celebrate Thanksgiving, my prayer is that you say a special prayer for Ion for the coming months of cold weather for today it snowed the first time in Moldova this winter. He will need your prayers lifting him up to allow him the strength to keep giving thanks in all circumstances. Also I challenge you to look at your life in both good days and bad days and decide do you give thanks to the Lord in all circumstances.
Below is a picture of Ion, a strong believer in the Lord who has given me so much encouragement today. God is good, all the time God is good. Happy Thanksgiving!

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