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Who would believe that you could convince a bunch of families, where both parents work, to fix a hot dish and bring it to the church on a Thursday night along with their whole family, not knowing what to expect except this American Thanksgiving Feast, which they've only heard about in movies. I think the final count of people turned out to be over 70 with a perfect mix of families from the church and the English classes! The miracle of enough chairs and tables appeared while we were setting up the kitchen and Sunday School room. Maybe you can't completely admire the beauty of finding seats for so many to eat a meal upstairs in our church without actually experiencing it. I should probably explain that we thought our limit was around 56, and we reached that when our friends from Minnetonka were here just last September. If you were here and you remember how close we were seated, then maybe you can respect the idea of serving so many people.
I think the beauty lies in the age old thanksgiving tradition of "the Kids' Table." I realized while planning, that "in the spirit of Thanksgiving," we needed a Kid's Table. The balcony turned out to be the perfect place where the kids could have their space and at the same time provide seating and space for all of them. We some how turned the pews to face each other and stuck an old table in between them for the older kids. The younger ones sat around the ping pong table. Some of the kids knew each other, but others didn't. When I went out there to check on them I was amazed at the sight of them playing together and laughing together. They looked like a big group of cousins and friends, stuck playing together while their parents talked, having a good time in spite of their differences.
When everyone arrived, we had plenty of food, and all of it was spectacular! After a short program sharing the meaning of thanksgiving, we did head up stairs and share with our neighbors about the good things in our lives. The adults sat around every other table we had, and we somehow ended up with one big table big enough for all of the food. I know that we always say Thanksgiving is about family and saying thanks, but when you're right in the middle of it, it sure feels like it's all about the FOOD! And, by golly, even this came across! There's just something about sharing food you made with others, and enjoying the food that they brought as well. When everyone feels happy and full, it just brings a certain joy into the room. Maybe you can even see it in these pictures that as the night went on, people had more and more fun, and the room seemed to glow with the feeling of love and merriness in the room(despite the absence of wine and eggnog from this feast). I even felt like we almost had to kick people out at 9pm when they came just before 6pm. What an amazing evening! A Thanksgiving I'll always remember!