Any missionary family deals with this all too familiar fact of life. While other families gather round to celebrate Thanksgiving with the classic turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, banana spice cake (a family tradition for 3 generations in my family), sweet potato casserole, or whatever unique recipes are considered traditional, families of our missionaries celebrate Thanksgiving defined more by the country of their residence than tradition.

   Because our missionary children are likely living in a country that doesn’t mark the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving, our missionary children will often have to modify the dishes of their celebration and the manner in which they celebrate. What is available or not available in the country where they live will determine the menu of the day and setting aside a non-holiday day as a holiday may not be so convenient. 

   The circumstances of their country of residence will also determine the guest list. Expatriates like themselves or fellow missionary families will likely gather together to make their own and unique Thanksgiving celebration.

   But then again, they may find themselves enjoying a cozy Thanksgiving dinner with just their own small family. That is the situation this year with my son and his family. My daughter in law, who by the way is a fantastic cook, is planning a traditional feast using fresh pumpkin for her pumpkin pie. Bless her!

   It’s not easy celebrating Thanksgiving far apart but it’s what we have to do. And this year, yet another one of our four children (along with her family) won’t be able to join us. But this is our reality! So we will all be careful to focus on the abundant blessings we have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, as we celebrate apart from each other. (Our enemy, Satan, would have us focus on our separation, but we are wise to his fiery dart tactics.)

Therefore, we will video chat as much as possible, enjoying the day to the fullest! Always remembering that

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)