Friday, December 3, 2010

A Nontraditional Thanksgiving (Jeremy)

Nothing on the table last Wednesday night would have indicated that we were celebrating Thanksgiving. No turkey, no dressing, no sweet potatoes - just 3 pounds of noodles and a bucket of spaghetti sauce. Yet, for all its simplicity, the evening transmitted a sense of gratitude that would have made our forefathers proud. After the meal, each of us had an opportunity to express our appreciation to God for the things He has given. Here's a run down of what each had to say (besides Claudinho who was working).

Jason - my wife, Jacob, the baby on the way and Sombra Road
Kristin - my mom's successful surgery, the baby and Jacob (besides those mentioned in the previous blog)
Paulo - Sombra Road and how it is a family for him, the guys in the house and his mother
Ronnie (a guy from the favela) - His mom, his girlfriend, his friendship with Marcos Paulo and Jefferson and his relationship with the people of Sombra Road
Adilio - his family, his girlfriend and his growing relationship with Jason
Jeremy - Marriage with Carol, privilege to be around the guys, Kristin, Jason and family and friends here and in the States
Anderson - the hope he feels for the future that God is preparing for him and the way Sombra Road has become a family for him
Carol - our Sombra Road family, her parents and brothers, and a loving, servant-minded husband that does not merely listen to her but actually intuits her very essence (she didn't exactly say this last part, but I could tell that this is what she desired to express)

In looking over the list, I know there is nothing remarkable about it. The entire activity could be little more than a mindless exercise in civic responsibility - like a kid expressing his gratitude for the socks his grandmother gave him for Christmas, parroting the words that mom and dad had scripted for him on the ride to her house. However, I think that these moments allowed us to step out of the routine and appreciate the privilege of our present reality. I hope that even if your own Thanksgiving was too busy for thankfulness (as mine often is) that you would prioritize stepping back this season to find it in your own life.  


Orlinda said...

Dear brethren,
I have not written (until now)only because I have been so busy catching up at home and at work and I refused to just jot down a quick email.
So now, I'm done with my working day and am now tiding time until my train comes at the way it is very, very cold in Baltimore!!!
I cannot express in words what I feel when I read about Sombraroad. It was in Kristin and Jason's house that the Lord Jesus planted in me a love for Brazil that I had neither anticipated nor asked for. My heart swells with love for all of you my brethren and the hand of the Holy Spirit that is evident upon the work you are doing.
Please be encouraged that you are doing a mighty work for Him.

Recently I read an interesting word from a Rabbi (he is a Messianic Jew): He was teaching about helping the poor. How vital it is that we never forget the poor. He described how very traditional Jewish homes have a container in the kitchen for the family members to periodically drop in money to be given to the poor. He then went on to say, the highest order of serving Jesus, in the ministry of reaching the poor, is to enable them to produce their own livelihood. Of course, I immediately thought of you!

On another note, I also remembered that you pray for the precious saints listed in VOM-please may we pray for Asia Bibi, she is a simple mother of four just like me-she has been sentenced to death for her faith in Jesus.
With love in Christ Jesus,

Jason said...

First, thanks to your Ravens for beating the Saints. They paved the way for the Falcons (not that we needed your help. I confidently expect the Falcons to triumph in their head-to-head next week). Second, Thanks so much for the comment and the visit. We will remember Asia Bibi as well as Africa, as you requested. Know that you are always welcome here in Rio.


Sombra Road Staff (Jason)