Friday, November 25, 2011

Celebrating American Thanksgiving

Brian and Jody---our hosts (to the left) for U.S Thanksgiving Dinner

So last night I participated in another Thanksgiving dinner. One of the advantage of living here in a multicultural expat community is that people come from all over the place. Last night I joined my fellow Canadian Lois and her American team from Crossworld Missions for a U.S Thanksgiving dinner with all the wonderful American trimmings---everything was homemade---the turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the breadrolls, the pasta and beans dish, the walnut cheese cake and pumpkin pie. I could go on but I would probably make you drool! It's amazing the food one can find here---that is if you know how to cook and want to cook! Given that I don't like to cook, I think God has been very gracious. He has surrounded me with people who have a passion for cooking and so even here, I get to indulge and gain a few pounds thanks to many other international workers whose culinary talents far surpass any such talents that I will or do have in that area! I'm thankful for that and as I think if this am reminded of the scripture that God has given to His body different gifts---- am so glad He has given others the gift of ''cooking'' and given me the 'gift of eating''---okay I know those are not spiritual gifts but talents! All of this simply means that when we use our gifts or talents for His kingdom---even with such a Thanksgiving meal----we are administering and blessing each other with His grace (1 Peter 4:10).


It was great to hang out with the team from Crossworld who are all serving here some for a short time but others have moved here permanently. Some are from the U.S, others from Holland, South Africa and then Lois is Canadian and is the team leader. One of their colleagues even came over from a neighboring country  so he could celebrate American thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time sharing reasons of what we are thankful to God for.
Lois and Alta

I met Alta who has been an international worker here for 15 years. She is from South Africa and has many stories to tell of all that she has experienced during those years and the changes that she has seen in Cambodia. I often find it very fascinating to chat with people who have dedicated their lives here and have lived through the days when life in Phnom Penh was often known as the 'Wild West'because it was often common to go to the local market and buy an AK47 or walk down the street and see people with handguns and AK47s. Back then the ├žurfew time was 6pm....one had to be back home by 6pm and because there wasn't much to do, you went to sleep at 9pm. Now here we are several years later and our curfew time is 9pm and I might add some of us do go to bed at 9pm :-). However, many of the young Khmer (especially the non-believers) usually don't adhere to returning home at such a time. They are more apt to be out drinking and dancing till the wee hours of the morning when it is definitely more dangerous.

This morning Pastor Chantha called to wish me Happy Thanksgiving and I thanked him but told him it was an American Thanksgiving and I as a Canadian had already celebrated my thanksgiving. He laughed and then I proceeded to ask him ''does Cambodia have a thanksgiving holiday.' I love his response----here in Cambodia, we don't have one day for thanksgiving, we have thanksgiving every day because in Christ we are thankful for all He gives us and all that He had done for us! Nothing like a spiritual response to remind us of where our focus should be! He is right. We ought to be thankful everyday to the One who gives us life, who has chosen us as His own and who loves us unconditionally! Thank you Jesus for the incredible privilege we have of being your children!

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