Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Amanda, Jonathan and John's Sierra Leone Thanksgiving

I have been friends with Fatu for several months now. I get to watch her little grandson while she goes to English classes, and we always laugh because he cries for her the whole time she is gone.

Fatu speaks very limited English, but I really wanted the chance to get to know her better. Several weeks ago I asked her if my friends and I could bring a Thanksgiving celebration to her family's house. She was so excited, and so was I!

Fatu lives with her son and daughter-in-law (and their children) who arrived in Saint Louis seven years ago. She came several years later to join them. They are all from Sierra Leone, a tiny country in Western Africa that has been recovering from a brutal civil war that lasted for over 10 years (1991-2002). A discontented revolutionary army, with the help of outside aid, attempted to overthrow the government in Sierra Leone and ignited a civil struggle that displaced over 2 million people and killed 50,000.

My friends Amanda, Jonathan, John came with us to spend the evening with this family last night. We were able to share some traditional American Thanksgiving food and try some traditional Sierra Leone Cuisine! Fatu explained to me that on holidays in Sierra Leone, everyone goes to the beach, shares food, dances and swims together in the ocean. Sounds like a perfect holiday to me!

Friends, as we give thanks this week please remember to extend the things you are thankful for, such as loving friendships, community, good food, and laughter with ALL of our neighbors :)

(The Refugee Connection program operates through Oasis International Ministries. If you are interested in getting involved, visit www.oasisinternational.info, or just let me know!)

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