To me, Thanksgiving is about being with family and giving thanks. I was unable to be with family from the States and even my own family here in Monterrey because I was scheduled to work. In a way I was able to be with “family” as the people of the Rio (a squatter’s village that I serve with Back2Back) have become my second family.
Hope Maglich, another Back2Back staff member, had a great idea to celebrate our Thanksgiving with them by sharing a meal and doing an activity to reflect on the meaning of the day.
I tried with my Spanish to explain about the first Thanksgiving and that in addition to joining together for a meal, the pilgrims and Native Americans also took time out to give thanks for all that God had given them. Hope then asked everyone to participate in a Thanksgiving tree activity. Everyone was asked to take a leaf and write what they were thankful for. I’d love to share a few with you. One said, “I give you thanks for creating me.”
Another one read, “I give thanks to God for this life.”
As each leaf went on the tree, Meme, a local who partners with us in serving at the Rio, read them off. With each leaf, I was reminded how big God is and how much He cares for us. Lord, I thank you for my family, the food you give us each day, for the sunsets and all the beauty in your creation. I think I need to make a Thanksgiving tree every day.