A Day of Thanksgiving and Praise

I snapped this photograph this morning, on a little family walk. We have had the sun now for several days, though it is sometimes cold. On Friday, the thermometer read -20C. I think that is the coldest so far.

Maya decided not to go just yet to Chita. Since family now surrounds her grandmother, Maya thought it best to wait a while and not add to the commotion. Additionally, her grandmother’s condition improved slightly through the weekend, though the prognosis is still grim.

In other news, our college group on Friday went great. The group is steadily growing and we are getting to know the students. We did not have a theme this week, though we had a few games with bananas and then introduced them to the American Banana Split. We had a great time, and I am encouraged with the group’s direction.

Saturday, the full fury of the flu struck and I had to stay home. I was still able to do a few things, and even baby sat while Maya went to the Altai lesson. Today, I am feeling better. Maya and David are both starting to cough and sniffle.

On Sunday morning, our friend, Nastya; who was a part of our home group in Ulan-Ude, called us to ask for directions to our house. She had made the 3 day train trip here to pay us (our team) a surprise visit. We are happy to have her, and we pr that this week will have a positive impact on her. She is staying at Tanya’s house.

Americans celebrate thanksgiving on Thursday. Have you ever read about how this became a holiday? Though its roots reach back to the Puritan settlers, Thanksgiving was not an official holiday until the 16th president of the United States made the famous ‘Thanksgiving Proclamation’. In Abraham Lincoln’s speech, in November 1863, he said,

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that the gifts of God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

Every president after Abraham Lincoln has proclaimed Thanksgiving a holiday, and in 1941, by an act of Congress, it officially became a national holiday.


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