A Bar of Soap

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Our local village pastor started a project called “Secret Pal.” The participants couldn’t send greeting cards or flowers on birthdays and anniversaries, because people didn’t know these dates, and there aren’t any Hallmark shops in the bush. But they prayed for their secret pals every day.

At Christmas, the pals were revealed to each other as the pastor called each one forward to exchange gifts. Without wrapping paper to conceal the presents, all of us saw what was swapped. Almost everyone brought a giant bar of soap (good for bathing, washing clothes, dishes and cleaning the house.) They exchanged a bar of soap and walked home with one.

Even the testimonies were similar.

“I praise God for my good health.”

“God cured me of my sickness.”

“Thank Jesus for giving me a healthy body.”

“I was sick, but your prayers made me well again.”

There were a hundred testimonies thanking God for good health and as many bars of soap exchanged.

Yesterday, I went to the eye doctor to get new glasses, not because I needed them. But after two years my glasses were bent and scratched from my last trip to Africa. I thought it was time for an eye exam.

In the waiting room I wrote “No” to every disease listed on the form. The doctor asked, “How much medicine do you take each day and for what?”

“I don’t take any medicine, except OTC antihistamines for dog and cat allergies.”

He examined my eyes and found them free of all diseases. My vision is unchanged. He shook his head. “I haven’t seen someone of your age, who is so healthy (that made me feel very old, but also very grateful.)” He went on. “Perhaps serving God and the life style of a missionary kept you healthy.”

Like the Africans in the bush I thank God for good health, joy, peace of mind and my bar of soap.

Maybe our blessings aren’t what we think they are, but things far more valuable.


 Please join me again next Saturday,



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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