I miss being in America on Thanksgiving. It's always been my favorite holiday. The crisp, fall weather and beautiful leaves. A day to gather with family (without the pressure of giving gifts). Delicious food that my mom spends weeks preparing. Writing on the tablecloth the thing I am most grateful for this year. And then at the end of the day, the Christmas decorations start to go up. It's always a beautiful day.
But here I am on the other side of the globe where most people have never even heard of Thanksgiving Day. And my day was so very different than it would have been had I been in America. I spent my thanksgiving day with 30-ish street kids at our center, visiting 2 former street boys who are now off the streets and back with their families, and helping one boy begin the process of reuniting with his family. Not the traditional thanksgiving day at all but it certainly was a good day and a day so full of tangible examples of God's faithfulness.
Meet the 2 boys I visited and please keep them in your prayers: Joao (above with Glorianne) went back home at the beginning of September. He is living with his father and step-mother and doing so well! Mario (below with Alexis) had been on the streets as long as I have been working with Masana...4 years!! A couple of weeks ago, he got really sick and was hospitalized with malaria. I think his sickness was a wake-up call about the danger and loneliness of life on the streets. When he was released from the hospital, he was ready to go home.
Praise God for Joao and Mario and the transformation in their hearts that has brought them to the place that they want a different life. Thank you Father for all of the boys who have made that decision this year and who are today, off the streets and with their families.