• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
on thanksgiving 2021

on thanksgiving 2021

This year, David headed to the US to be with Sandra for their first Thanksgiving without their mom, so to keep with traditions on this side, we celebrated Thanksgiving a week early, complete with all the trimmings we could find.

Ima covered me in the ICU so I could bake and prep. Ruth and I made sweet potato casserole with Kenyan sweet potatoes, two turkeys, mashed potatoes with minced garlic, 4 pies (one from a precious can of canned pumpkin a visitor brought, and a pecan one with a suprise find of Karo syrup in Judy’s kitchen cabinet), stuffing, cranberry sauce (which magically appeared on the shelves in Kenya this year), crescent rolls, and gravy. David made onion rings to put on the green bean casserole, and Stacy came and made stuffing from scratch.

We ate, and then we all sat in the living room to give thanks. This year, coming out of COVID and loss and many hard things – the list from the group was different than years before, but full of hope and vision. . .

We were grateful for steady work we love.

We were grateful for the teams that surrounded us.

We were thankful that God felt close in hard things.

We were thankful for family – given and chosen. For community.

We were grateful for Kijabe.

We were thankful for growth and opportunity to stretch.

We were thankful for unexpected provision in bleak times.

We were grateful for milestones long awaited.

We were thankful for health.

We were grateful for life itself.

I couldn’t write fast enough as thoughts poured out – When we finished going around the room, I asked the kids if we had left anything out. They kept building blocks, and then a few started singing “this is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” quietly, almost imperceptibly at first and then each child joined one by one and the adults followed. We sang together for the next 5 minutes, resting in the melding of voices and the profundity of the children’s choice.

As always, the night was a beautiful gift – another moment reminding that we strengthen each other when we gather together in thanksgiving. . .