This weekend marks the beginning of our celebration of Thanksgiving. The fall holiday has always been one of my favorites, but for most of my life it just meant eating a lot and hanging out with family. The last few years, the holiday has taken on deeper significance. I guess it started back in 1999 when I was able to spend Thanksgiving week in Cuba. The day means nothing there and there was no observance of the holiday. In fact, on Thanksgiving Day that year, I ate canned chicken for dinner and ate by myself. What brought new meaning to me was the concept of serving others on the holiday. To share what one has is to be truly thankful.
Last year, Letha and I went to Guatemala and cooked a huge Thanksgiving meal (OK, she and a few others cooked while I tried to stay out of their way) and we fed all the children of Casa Shalom orphanage. It was one of the more memorable holidays of my life. The children ate until they were satisfied, and that is saying something!
This year, we are taking this idea a step further. We have a team of eight friends from Maranatha Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida who will be spending the week in Guatemala. We will again attempt to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal for all the good people of Casa Shalom. This is a significant task as we have 7 large turkeys waiting for us there. It should be a blast!
One additional aspect of our trip will be our visit to the Rio Bravo feeding center in the Suchitepequez area. We plan to feed breakfast to the 200 children there, provide new shoes for each of them, leave them with new clothes and send them home with a small bag of groceries. Our Childrens Pastors, Than and Megan Graffam will minister to the kids about the love of Jesus. Due to the starvation of many children in the area, our work and the hope we will offer is vital.
I would ask that you pray for our team as we travel. By name, they are: Kelly Blanchard, Meg Sterrett, Duane and Janice Long, Than and Megan Graffam and Rick and Letha Whitter. I plan to post some pictures upon our return.
In the mean time, enjoy the video we made featuring the kids of Rio Bravo.