The Marvelous Mud House by April Graney
I love this time of year.
The weather grows colder and the sentimentality of the holiday season grows brighter. It’s a time of year to reflect on and celebrate the gifts I’ve been given by the Lord and to express my thankfulness to Him. I love the thankful atmosphere of Thanksgiving and the joyfulness of Christmas! It is so sweet to spend time in prayer and rejoicing for the gift of Jesus and eternal life that God has graciously given to those who accept His gift!
I wish that I consistently reflected and gave such thanks throughout the year, but typically I allow the busyness of life to get in the way. I quickly begin to take for granted the friends, community, and Word that the Lord has given me and focus more on my daily to-do list. But I have been refreshed and reminded more so this semester than ever before of the importance of acknowledging the blessings I have been given and praising the Lord for all He has done in my life by bringing me into closer relationship with Him. Coming off of a summer in East Asia- an area of the world closed to the open sharing of the Gospel- put into sharper perspective the things I too often take for granted.
Seeing believers there rejoicing in the Lord despite being rejected by their government, university, and family…having their reputations tainted and even being arrested for their efforts in spreading the Gospel. There are no Christian church buildings there. Their Sunday morning service doesn’t have fog machines, a charismatic and entertaining pastor, or top of the line professional-sounding worship.
But they do have the Word.
They do have the Holy Spirit.
They do have true, deep relationships with God.
And for that they are incredibly thankful because those are the things that truly matter most.
The Marvelous Mud Hut is a book written for children that highlights the value of being joyful in all circumstances (in all circumstances…not necessarily for all circumstances) and thankful for the blessings we have been given as believers. It is a colorful, beautifully illustrated book about an American family that visits rural Africa and has their hearts transformed by the way their African brothers and sisters in Christ live their lives!
Pictures depicting the family’s experience cross-culturally could provide a great opportunity for discussing diversity and culture. The last few pages of the book include a few Kenyan words with definitions and a short devotional for parents to do alongside their little ones! With large, easy-to-read font, even young readers will enjoy following along or reading on their own.
This is such a cute children’s book! I see potential within it for opportunities to talk about topics like diversity, ethnicity, race, cultures, and cross-cultural ministry!