Today was simply wonderful. I got up early and it was nice and cool out, so I set to work in the kitchen. I have never made even a little bit of a Thanksgiving meal before.... let alone a turkey... or two. I made the stuffing and then set out to make the turkeys. As I kept cooking I was "collecting" soux chefs seemingly from nowhere... It was very crowded but honestly nice to have the company all morning. (Notice I called it company and not help... :) ) Well as nervwracking as it was... I made two turkeys and they turned out fine! What a stressful morning though- I will never understand how my mom did it without absolutely having a heart attack. It all came together, though and was delicious.
We had over Maureen and her four kids: James, Richard, Mwansa and Jack, as well as Perjuite and Enock with his wife, son and two of his neices. It was a full house, but a very happy house. We all ate and toward the end Encok said "I think from now on I will be dreaming only of this meal." Mission accomplished.
After we ate, the kids all put on a play for us that told the story of the Native Americans and Pilgrims. Then my class did their memory verses and read their lists of what they are Thankful for- and following all that we all said what we were thankful for. I could feel the lump in my through rising as I heard each person speaking, but I lost it completely with Maureen. She said some really wonderul things about me and my work with the kids and also to the Williamsons, and you could just hear her honesty and genuine thankfulness. Even Enock gave me a "shout out" in his saying he also was thankful for "Madame Katreen".The underlying theme was that we all live and work together... every single day... as family. We all come from different backgrounds and different places but these people are my family. My brothers and sisters. Maureen and Megan said they were thankful for me, but I am equally, if not 10x more thankful for wise and caring sisters here who I can go to and tell them what's going on in my life and they give counsel or even just listen. I am thankful for James and Enock and Perjuite who have taken on the roles of father/brothers and make sure I am taken care of and doing the right thing. I am thankful for all the kids who bring me laughter and teach me lessons and care about me and want to include me in things and the example of the WIlliamsons especially. As I was sitting there I just had milions of things running through my mind. Exactly why I am thankful for Ian and Sarah and Caleb and everyone. Every person in that room has shown me or taught me something in the past two months and I am greatly indebted to them. Of course it was my turn and I was crying and could barely get out one sentance... but God sees my heart.
I thought it was interesting that James (Mulenga) wanted to speak up. He got here two days ago. Maureen had fallen on hard times and had to send her kids all over to be taken care of. Slowly she has been able to get them back, and James was the last peice. He was sent money on saturday and was supposed to leave Sunday, and get here monday. All day Monday we heard nothing. The night passed and all day Tuesday we heard nothing. Maureen didn't know if he was alive or dead at that point, a young boy traveling alone a great distance- it is very dangerous. He finally got here Tuesday night and there was so much joy and rejoicing I almost felt like I would explode. Just to hear them through the wall- their happiness and thankfulness. It was wonderful. He has jumped right in to life here and is so obviously thankful to be with his family, regardless of what cement floor he sleeps on. Today when he spoke to us he said "I am so thankful for my family and for being here and for God's protection. I could have died on the way but He took care of me and I am thankful for what He is. I am so thankful to be here with you all" Powerful- from a 15 year old.
Enock even talked about the Williamsons kids and how he was thankful that they treated him with respect because alot of white people's kids talk to the workers like dogs and the kids call him Uncle Enock and treat him with respect. It's so sad to me that that goes on here.
Tonight I got to skype with my parents and two of my sisters and my brother, half brother (my brothers roomate), and brother-in law and neice and nephew. Regardless of the delay and fuzzy picture, it was so great to talk to them. They met James and Richard and Mwansa and talked with them too. My sister Gret said "Wow it really sounds like you and my sister laugh a whole lot together" and James said "Yes why not! We are happy. We are one very happy family".
I got some hard news that I will have to pay another 400 dollars for the car because of exchange rates etc. I was already worried about finances especially with the holidays coming up etc... and my medivac insurance runs out in December so I'll have to renew that. James simply reminded me that the Lord will provide. Look at what he's done for me so far. I am thankful that today is the day he went to get the car, so I will have it soon! I haven't been feeling well all week, and I am supposed to be in the concert at church on Saturday. Of all times to get a sore throat, this is not the time. I am hoping it will clear quickly.
I have been so blessed in this life. I do not deserve anything I have been given. I hope I always remember that.