I Will Give Thanks

Meet Prisca. She just turned eight on November 14. Though she lives in faraway Malawi, she is close to my heart. Though she is not my grandchild, she is my God child.

The moment I laid eyes on her, I knew the Lord chose her for me (and me for her). I mean, look at that smile. She also likes the color red and loves to pray. Me too.

And the Bible study I’m currently writing? It includes the story of Priscilla, whose proper name is — you got it — Prisca. So, obviously, I jumped at the chance to sponsor her.

More in a moment about my new God daughter and the other beautiful children shown here, including this shampoo brigade in Cambodia. Right now, let’s give thanks to the One who is in all ways wonderful.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 

I will give thanks to… Psalm 9:1 

Not I might. I will. It’s a commitment to go public with our gratitude. “I shall acknowledge” (WYC) and “confess” (YLT) and sing His praises in unexpected places, willingly and joyfully giving Him credit for everything.

Instead of simply feeling grateful, or thinking thankful thoughts, I will praise” (KJ21) the One I love. Not just once, but all the time “I’m thanking” (MSG) Him. It’s an ongoing practice, a habit worth developing to honor the One who is more than worthy.

…you, Lord,… Psalm 9:1

So personal. “Thee, O Lord” (KJ21). David, the psalmist, wasn’t talking about God, he was talking to God, just as we’re invited to do when we pray and when we praise “Yahweh” (HCSB).

Today I am thanking You, Lord, for the ministry of Prison Fellowship International, which rescues children of prisoners from poverty and neglect and hunger and need. You are a generous God who cares about “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40), and You call us to do the same.

…with all my heart;… Psalm 9:1

Nobody wants to do things in a half-hearted way, lacking spirit or enthusiasm or interest. If it matters to God, I’m going for it “with my whole heart” (ASV). I’m all in.

I’m guessing you feel the same way, eager to pour out “from a full heart” (MSG) all God has done for you. I hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments below. Meanwhile, I’ll go first.

… I will tell of… Psalm 9:1

 Yes, I’ll gladly “declare” (CBB) and “recount” (ESV) and “tell aloud” (AMP) the story of how God brought Prison Fellowship International to my doorstep with an idea for a series of events for women (Arkansas sisters, we’re headed your way December 3 for our final event).

We called our tour Endless Hope, because who doesn’t need that? For two full years, worship leaders Austin and Lindsey Adamec and I have carried hope-filled messages and music to thirty-two cities. You can be sure God went before us, preparing hearts and planting seeds.

When we offered the opportunity to sponsor children of prisoners in impoverished countries like Rwanda, Zambia, Togo, and Colombia, providing safe living conditions, healthy food, education, and spiritual nurturing for a dollar a day, many, many women said yes.

How many? Keep reading.

…all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

Nothing is more thrilling than seeing God perform “marvelous works” (KJ21) and “wonderful acts” (CEB) right before your eyes. Through the hearts of the women in our audiences, we watched Him rescue children who were living in the street, digging through trash for food, hiding from predators and traffickers, or working for strangers who forced them into dangerous hard labor.

For a clearer picture of what these little ones are facing, meet Seu Eye from Cambodia. To understand what sponsoring a child of a prisoner could mean to you, meet sponsor KiAnna.

It’s amazing what $35 a month can do. Thank You, Lord, for “all the miracles you have done” (EXB) and “the wonders you have worked” (CEV) in the hearts and lives of almost 900 children as we’ve traveled around the country offering Endless Hope.

Beloved, you knew this was coming. Would you pray about sponsoring a child? There are lots of great child sponsorship ministries, but PFI has a different mission. They seek out children of prisoners who bear the stigma of their parents’ crimes. Ostracized by neighbors and relatives alike, ignored by their governments, these little ones need hope and help from those of us whom God has blessed.

It really isn’t about how much we have. It’s about how much we love.

Everything you need to know is here. If you want to see their sweet faces, look here.

Meanwhile, my Prisca in Malawi wants to become a doctor someday — a far-reaching dream. Isn’t it wonderful we serve a far-reaching God?

Heavenly Father, everything we have is Yours. Do with it what You will. Fill our mouths with gratitude and our lips with praise. Open our hearts to You and our hands to others. May everything we do bring glory to You. In the sweet name of Jesus, Amen.

Want to share something our good God has done for you? Scroll down to post a comment.

Your grateful sister, Liz

P.S. People sometimes ask me if Prison Fellowship International is a trustworthy organization, if the money really goes to the kids, that kind of thing. I can assure you they are the Real Deal, because I checked them out thoroughly before I ever considered partnering with them. That’s why I am honored, through God’s provision, to sponsor nine girls — Esther in Rwanda, Shalom in Zambia, Lida in Cambodia, Samiksha in India, Ani in Nepal, Shalem in Colombia, Akossiwa Davi in Togo, Resha in Nepal, and now Prisca in Malawi — oh, how I love each one!

13 Responses to I Will Give Thanks

  1. Darleen Newman November 14, 2019 at 8:16 am #

    I totally agree that everyone should sponsor a child in a third world country. We have sponsored children in India for many years. It is wonderful to be able to visit them and see how much better their lives are because of Sponsorship.

    God bless you dear Liz for all you do, say and are. You are loved beyond words.

    Love from your Lititz friend,

  2. Joy Davis November 14, 2019 at 8:23 am #

    How can we not give thanks to a Creator who knew we would sin, who knew He would have to send His Son the Lord Jesus to die for our sins, and yet He still created me. I thank Him for my salvation, for my family – husband and 4 grown children and 4 grandchildren. I thank Him for my friends, for our Church family, for my health ( please pray for that one I am having a series of heart tests starting today ). He has showered me with blessings beyond what I can count.

    He is an AWESOME God!!

    I also thank Him for you Liz and your heart for women and children.

    • Soncee December 8, 2019 at 5:24 pm #

      Joy, I touch and agree!

  3. Carol Lochtefeld November 14, 2019 at 9:41 am #

    Oh showers of blessing’s you will receive. I have been a sponsor for a girl at a home in SW Virginia now for 8 years and she is considered a member of our family. She was just a very shy girl of 7 when we met her and now is a junior in high school very out going. She calls me her second mom as hers is not in the states. So I get texts at all hours on what she is doing and I love it knowing I am making a difference in her life. She is at a Christian school and home so they are also giving her the basic to live a God filled life. So I truly recommend for someone to step outside their comfort zone and if financially able to sponsor a child. The rewards you receive are unimaginable.

  4. Brenda Taylor November 14, 2019 at 2:02 pm #

    Hi Liz, I don’t know which of you has the brightest smile! Happy birthday Prisca,
    Brenda Taylor

  5. Julie November 14, 2019 at 2:04 pm #

    That is awesome, and let me share that when you help a child in a faraway land, the effects can be far-reaching. My girl in the Dominican Republic told me that when I write her a letter, the entire neighborhood reads it — did you ever want to be a missionary?

    It’s so simple and easy to make a big difference in the lives of one of these little ones. I love PFI for seeking out the most vulnerable children and making their lives better. God bless you!

  6. Linda McFarland November 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

    So blessed and thankful to God to have been raised in a safe, loving, Christian home.

  7. Rose November 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm #

    Mark 10:14 and other New Testament passages tells us of Jesus’s love of children. The Bible is full of God’s love of children. God blesses these children thru other peoples tlc toward them and their families, like yours. Thank you for encouraging us. I’m grateful for the opportunity to acknowledge your love of your Godchild.

  8. Loretta Gill November 14, 2019 at 6:42 pm #

    Thank you for sharing about Prison Fellowship International and the wonderful ways they help. We’ve sponsored children from different organizations and it’s so exciting to see God working in their lives. After ready your post it’s encouraging me to sponsor a child again. I’ll be praying about it.

  9. Debi Detroyer November 14, 2019 at 11:45 pm #

    Love the pictures and your story, those gals are surely blessed by your sponsorship. Thankful for your ministry. Encouraged and challenged, that’s what I love about you. God bless!

  10. Mary Kay November 15, 2019 at 12:53 am #

    Praising God, who has allowed my to be sidelined by a deteriorating spinal condition that makes it near impossible to walk more than a few yards or stand beyond 5 minutes. My Dr. found a med. that helped but insurance refused to pay for it ~ nearly $600 a month. (Certainly not as expensive as chemo drugs I’ve heard about, but still beyond our reach.)

    The generic didn’t do much except add painful side-effects. But after our family prayed and again requested an exemption ~ the insurance agreed. For a week now I’ve been on the med. that works! And instead of $20/day, we pay $3.33/ day. And He has restored my joy and my awe!

    For years we worked with PF children & families here in the US, Lizzie. Great organization. We also help support an orphanage/group home in Albania. I’m loving hearing about your precious girls! And will pray about sponsoring.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and your news! Love and prayers flowing your way!

  11. Susan G. November 16, 2019 at 3:48 pm #

    Thanks so much for this verse and for all the information on P.F.I.! I have not heard of this organization and the awesome works it does to rescue children! I sponsor 4 children in another well-known organization that helps release children from poverty, but I will plan now to look into PFI for my next ‘mission’.
    I give thanks to God for leading and guiding me daily on what I should do next for His Kingdom.
    Thanks so much for all you do!
    Can’t wait to read your next study!

  12. Rhonda December 2, 2019 at 8:37 pm #

    I’m thankful that Liz introduced me to Prison Fellowship International about 6 months ago – at a stop on her Endless Hope tour. My sweet Chadani (in Nepal) was the first child that I’ve ever supported in this manner, and what a BLESSING it has been! I have her picture that I pray over every day, and a few letters that she has written to me (well, her momma wrote the letters because she is only 4 years old… so, in a way, I have the honor of supporting 2 sweet gals!) It takes quite a while to exchange letters, but girls – it’s worth every second when I hear from this little family across the world from me. May the Lord bless you my sisters.