Celebrating Thanksgiving outside of the USA is a bit of a different experience. First of all, it is not a holiday and therefore not a day off. On Thanksgiving Day we sat in orientation lectures and carried on with life as usual. So on the actual day of, we didn't do anything although some of the Americans in our international mission are putting together a meal for this Saturday night. They went out to the store to get the fixin' for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, or at least as many as they can find. Turkey is rather hard to come by so I think we are having chicken, or maybe Chinese roast duck instead. All the missionaries who are here have been invited although the number of Americans among us is not that large.
Thanksgiving Day is an American holiday although you don't need to be American to celebrate God's faithfulness. As I have been preparing a brief Thanksgiving devotional for us, it has occured to me that Thanksgiving celebrates not merely the beginning of nation, but the continuing covenantal faithfulness of our God who continues to build his church in an ever increasing number of lands. The Pilgrims sought to establish a truly Christian nation and although their dream was left unfulfilled, God was pleased to use them to establish his church in what would become the United States, and as God built his church in the U.S., the Gospel has gone out to still further nations.
Praise be to God that his was pleased to provide for and to use for his glory those first Purtian settlers in his work of bringing about the kingdom of God on earth.
"If we are faithless, he remains faithful-- for he cannot deny himself." (2 Tim 2:13)