Thanksgiving is a time to pause and reflect on all those things for which we are thankful.
Today, as Americans begin to assemble around dinner tables to celebrate Thanksgiving, I can say that my wife, Elizabeth, and I are wrapping up one of the most special Thanksgivings we’ve ever had.
You see…we are in Kenya this year celebrating the American holiday with the children at Feed the Children’s Dagoretti Children’s Center. This amazing facility run by our staff in Kenya takes in abandoned babies and children from all over Kenya and cares and nurtures them until we can get them adopted or they graduate school and become self-sufficient.
Last year when we were visiting Kenya during the same timeframe and discussing the Thanksgiving holiday with the kids, many asked if we’d come back and celebrate Thanksgiving with them this year, so we said “YES!”
After days of planning and preparation with the kitchen staff, we woke early this morning to head for the kitchen at the Dagoretti Children’s Center where we cooked four Turkeys, stuffing, cranberry sauce, broccoli and cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad and several other side dishes familiar to Kenyan children (we wanted to make sure they at least ate something in case they didn’t like American Thanksgiving food). Then of course, there were many, many desserts.
While the morning was hectic and the kitchen staff ran around like ants helping prep and cook, I paused for a moment to reflect on this amazing day and I just smiled. How thankful I truly was!
Often as the President of an international relief and development organization, I am the recipient of much hospitality as we travel the world. Each community we visit usually pauses for a moment to thank us for the work we do in their community, but this morning I had the opportunity to be on the giving side of the hospitality spectrum. As the head chef (for the day), Elizabeth and I were able to cook and share a family meal with the staff and children of the Feed the Children family.
We got to stand before them and tell them how thankful we were that they were now part of our family and how thankful we were for all the hard work they put in everyday to make sure that those entrusted to our care are well cared for.
I was humbled as I stood before a dining room full of children and heard several of them share things for which they were also thankful. That touching moment was then followed by the staff choir singing “Count Your Many Blessings”. It was an absolutely beautiful day of love, joy, laughter, and thankfulness. For this I am very blessed and thankful.
And as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” so enjoy some of the pictures of joy at today’s Dagoretti Thanksgiving Dinner.
Happy Thanksgiving to You and Your Family and May God Bless You All!