Reasons to be Thankful (Thanksgiving Message 2015)

by Rick

Tomorrow is the day Americans have set aside as a day of thanks.  With that in mind, in today’s message I will share a major reason why I am thankful.  This message will be the last message of the week.  I will take a break for the Thanksgiving weekend and I trust you will as well.


Isabella shared a great message this past weekend about giving thanks.  Here is a link to her message if you missed it:  Isabella based her message on the following scriptures:

  • Numbers 11:1
  • Psalm 100
  • Psalm 107:1,8,15, & 21
  • 2 Corinthians 4:15
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • Colossians 3:15&17
  • Ephesians 5:20


That is a pretty good list of scriptures to meditate on during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Without adding to her list, I will simply share an update about the missions work we are doing in the Dominican Republic.  This is my major reason to be thankful in this season.  I was raised in Brooklyn on public assistance (Welfare) and Isabella was raised without public assistance in Dominica.  Even though I had it rough, it was even harder for Isabella.  She had no running water or electricity, and there were times when days went by before we had any meat to eat.  So we have a heart for the less fortunate and we are thankful to be able to give back.


Earlier this year the Lord led Isabella and I to sponsor (through Rick & Isabella Pina Ministries) two Haitian schools in the Dominican Republic.  For political reasons (that I won’t get into), these children were not afforded the opportunity to attend public school.  Subsequently, many of them are 9 and 10 years old and they are just now learning how to write their names.  This breaks my heart.


The Lord moved on the heart of a Haitian Pastor living in the Dominican Republic, Idovil Gervais, to do something about it.  Pastor Idovil started one school, and then another, but he was struggling to keep the schools open.  The parents can’t afford to pay anything and he was keeping the lights on (literally) by asking for donations.  RIPMinistries has agreed to handle all the expenses and now Pastor Idovil can focus on the children and not raising funds.


One school meets in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  Here are some pictures of the morning school when we first met them:


This location was very cramped.  There were over 60 children in a location that should have supported half that much.  We recently found them a new location.  Here are some pictures of the new location:  


Here are pictures of the school that meets in the afternoon:  


While Isabella and I were in the Dominican Republic last month, we were able to get the children and the schools new supplies.  Here is some of what we provided them:


The children in the morning school were not able to receive breakfast before, nor were the children in the afternoon school provided lunch.  We provide both now:


We are in search of a plot of land where we will ultimately build a school large enough to house both sets of children, and the school will have a chapel.  Please be in prayer with us on this.


I share this with you for two reasons.  First, I hope you can contrast the plight of these children with your current situation and be thankful.  God has been extremely good to Isabella and I, and I trust you too can testify of His goodness.


Second, I ask you to pray about supporting these children.  If you are led to donate, you can give tax deductible dontations (securely) online at:  


Lastly, from my family to yours, may you have a blessing Thanksgiving day; and may every day be a day of Thanksgiving for you!


I will close out the message with a prayer for you.


My Thanksgiving Prayer for You:   Father, I lift up my Brother/Sister receiving this message.  As they prepare to celebrate a day set apart to give thanks, I ask You to fill their souls with a spirit of Thanksgiving.  May your peace pull guard duty around their hearts and minds.  May Your joy overflow into every aspect of their lives.  May they enter every day with a spring in their step, a song in their heart, a smile on their face, and a spirit of expectation as they seek to embrace Your grace.  May every day be a day of Thanksgiving for them and their family members.  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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