To kick off the holiday season, my American friends and I put on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and invited our Asian friends over to my apartment. As we explained about the first Thanksgiving that gives meaning to our traditions today, I couldn’t help but notice a similarity between our lives in this country and those of the Pilgrims during that early time long ago when they first arrived in America.

Like the Pilgrims with the Wampanoag Indians, I have been thankful for the college students who have bridged the cultural gap to be our friends. Many a time we have relied upon their help. Whether to read the menu at restaurants, bargain while shopping, or help us pay our bills…translating countless times in various situations, they have been absolutely wonderful to us, helping us function in a foreign land! We are thankful for the blessing they are to us!

The Thanksgiving celebration was full of games, songs, eating familiar Thanksgiving food (though, it was new to all our local friends), and having an amazing time together. Sitting in a circle at the party, each of them in turned expressed what they are thankful for.

“I’m thankful for the love of God. Whenever I turn to Him, He’s always there.” ~Cathy

“I’m thankful for my parents, father and mother; they give me so much. For all my friends. You give me happy times. I think I will miss you forever.” ~Sky Da

“I’m thankful for so many friends.” ~Echo

“I’m thankful to God because He gave me a lot of help. For my parents, for their help.” ~Chen Li

“I have so many things to do, but God kept me happy.” ~Sky Xiao (He’s always working very hard at school. The week before Thanksgiving He cast his cares on God and came into the family!)

“I’m thankful for the people who love me, and I love them for their companionship.” ~Daisy

“Thank God to send me here. I can make friends with you.” ~Leo (became a Christian the week before Thanksgiving!)

“Thank for the food I first taste and the songs who first sang and for people who spend time with me.” ~Star (This was his first time to have American food and sing our songs thanking God.)

“That God let us come together in Laura and Rachel’s home, and I can practice my broken English.” ~Sammy

“I’m thankful for new relationships formed today.” ~May

“I thank God give us such a good time and so many wonderful friends.” ~Sophia

“I thank my Lord for giving me the job I want and my parents for supporting me. And for Laura’s apple pie.” ~Broddy