After giving up EVERYTHING except the clothes on their backs, three Afghanistan families—a total of 19 people– have been relocated to Fort Scott in the past month, and I am so proud of the efforts and generosity lavished on them by our community.
This Thanksgiving, our son and daughter-in-law, Adam and Jenn, invited those families to join us for a day of celebration.
Two other local families extended an invitation as well, knowing that they were adding 19 to their dinner plans!
Love at its finest.
The Afghanis brought delicious culinary dishes to our gathering and spent the day giving thanks for the many blessings they have received since entering our country and our town.
The Dept. of Defense coordinator—who had worked in Afghanistan with these families for 20 years—and his wife and young daughter showed up to celebrate this holiday.
He, more than anyone, knew of the sacrifices these three fathers had made to protect our soldiers from the enemy.
Jenn might not be in the military, but she has been a soldier and a saint in resettling these three families.
From purchasing houses to handling doctor appointments to enrolling eight of the kids in school to scheduling haircuts and eyeglass fittings to giving them rides as they shop for food and school clothes and window treatments, she has been tireless in welcoming these heroes.
Just trying to follow her schedule prompted me to send an email to 40 friends from all parts of the country, asking for prayer. The response was overwhelming.
Clearly, God was working, and as only God can do, in gigantean ways.
Others stepped up to help! A table and chairs purchased from Iron Star. A set of exquisite dishes (which I gladly would have exchanged for mine). Beds and bedding and couches and pictures and a new microwave and a car full of toys. An offer from a former teacher to help with the language barrier. Gift cards and checks and food delivered to their door. Neighbors bringing over boxes of kitchenware, rugs, utensils and meals.
Overwhelming! Today, after hearing that the Afghanistan’s wanted to celebrate Christmas, there were more blessings when one local couple and one Stillwell, Kansas, family delivered Christmas trees and containers of decorations to the families.
My husband and I were there to see the immeasurable joy shared as the young children wedged every single adornment they unpacked into the pine needles. Not exactly a site of beauty. But certainly a site of delight. (Children’s giggles do that, you know.)
What I couldn’t help but notice, however, was that inside their front doors hung the American flag.
Sometimes our blessing as Americans is to share our blessings.
I don’t think there’s a better way to celebrate what author Meg Bucher called the “holiday associated with Pilgrims and Native Americans which symbolizes intercultural peace, American’s opportunity for newcomers, and the sanctity of home and family.”
I’m pretty sure the Afghanistan families would agree.