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Thanksgiving-7000 Miles From Home

As I wake up this Thanksgiving morning, I smell the masterpieces my wife is preparing in the kitchen. They include a turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans cooked with bacon, and of course, more desserts than I need. I can also here the Christmas music she is playing on here computer, and the song Silent Night just concluded, it is followed by God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

I love Thanksgiving. It's pretty simple: Family, Food, and being thankful for the blessings that God has given us.

But even though it smells like Thanksgiving, it sounds like Thanksgiving, in many ways, it doesn't seem like Thanksgiving. You see, we are American missionaries in Nigeria. So although we are doing our best to stick to our traditions in our household, outside my door, it's just another Thursday in our Nigerian village of Opi.

This morning our children that we care for at the A Place of Hope Africa Orphanage, got up early, dressed, received their meal, and went to school. This afternoon they will come home, eat the afternoon meal, wash their school uniforms, do homework, play, hangout, and play their heads down to sleep just like any other day. I even had an appointment this morning with a man that came from over 9 hours away. That would have never been done on Thanksgiving morning in America, but, it's Thursday here in Nigeria, and life moves as normal.

But today for myself, my wife Karen, our volunteer from the USA, Kyla, and our semi-adopted Nigerian son/good friend/employee David, we will celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving. The advice we were given before we moved on the mission field was to make your house as American as possible, even in the midst of a foreign land.

So today is Thanksgiving in the Troup house. With all of the "Thanksgiving" treats we are enjoying, there are still a few things we are doing without. Family. The best part of the day. Not being able to spend the day with our parents, our grown children back home, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles...that is a big hole in our day. The other things are simply extras that we miss, like opening up the paper today to see the ads for Black Friday, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day, and the Dallas Cowboys game.

But, we are thankful on this day. Thankful to the God that saved us through his Son Jesus Christ, thankful for his calling in our lives, thankful that so many people make it possible through prayer and their financial support, thankful for all of our 81 children we get to raise, and yes, even thankful for our home country of the United States of America. Enjoy today, be thankful, wherever

you are. God bess!

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