Who Needs Turkey!
by Alex Waits
There are times when I really miss the US. Thanksgiving is certainly one of the times of year that my thoughts are filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the US. After living here in Honduras for a year and half, my attitude toward what we are missing has changed to just being thankful of what we have. As Thanksgiving approaches, do you look toward it with excitement and anticipation or with dread and disdain? Is it your time to serve the less fortunate in your community? Or is it your time to serve your family with a heavy dose comfort and love? What if we could do both?
A recent bible study with the kids got me thinking. If we were back in the states, what type of Thanksgiving would we be having? Would we focus solely on family? Would we invite friends over to have fellowship with others? Would we invite those people we pass on the street that have nothing to sit down at our table with us…..wait a minute, what? During our bible study, we read Luke 14:13 and it really got me thinking about what it said. “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind” (Luke 14:13).
Once again, this year during Thanksgiving, there will be a large group of friends/volunteers giving up their Thanksgiving holidays, time with family, friends and turkey to serve the less fortunate here with our family in La Moskitia Honduras. It’s very much a selfless act on their part and humbling to experience on our part. We truly value this time here as we reach out to the community with both types of food… food to eat and food for the soul. If we give one without the other, we have failed to follow Christ’s example. One will fill their bellies for the day, and the other can keep them going when darkness closes their day.
These servants will not be receiving turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, and pecan pie on the 28th. In exchange for those treats, they will instead enjoy a lot of beans and rice, cold showers and lots of physical exercise. We pray that it’s a Thanksgiving they never forget…….in a positive way. It will not be one that is lost in memory banks because of the similarity of past holidays.
Just like here in Honduras, there are people right where you are that have no one for the holidays. Perhaps their loneliness is of their own doing, perhaps it’s just the circumstances of a life. In a lot of cities in the US, those with little live on the same street as those with everything. My hope and prayer is that everyone is thankful this Thanksgiving for the little things. I pray that those with little find comfort, friendship and warmth from a friend or stranger. If you truly feel daring, ask that neighbor that never seems to have any visitors stop by, or perhaps the widow at church that has no one in the area. My experience tells me that you will be the one who walks away changed.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!