I just want to give a short update on Thanksgiving Hospitality. Thanks to all of you for being positive and supportive of the change in focus for Thanksgiving with international students this year. Some had expressed disappointment that we were not having our usual big Thanksgiving Dinner but understood why we are changing our focus.
But the response has been simply phenomenal beyond what I had expected. We have more than 150 students at 29 families and 3 life groups. So about 40 families are involved in this display of hospitality. I have been hearing encouraging reports from both students and host families who had already hosted students on Saturday and Sunday. Another 22 families will hosting students on Thursday.
I think the following email from a student expresses the common sentiments of all the students well:
“When we travel 8000 miles away leaving our loved ones behind to study and build our careers, we all feel very lonely. But here, in Bloomington, Sherwood Oaks & BISM does its best to fill up that gap for all the international students. In this festive season, when we see all the people having fun around with their families and close ones over turkey and pies, the church takes the very precious effort of including us in that tradition. I would have never dreamt of celebrating my first Thanksgiving in America in the traditional way with so many friends coming from different cultures, countries and languages over such good food and company. This was made possible just because there was the church & BISM. This Thanksgiving, I would like to thank you and everyone in the church for helping us out when we came in an unknown country to fulfill our dreams, to give us the feeling of a family and most importantly, make us feel loved. One thing that I have learnt from you is that if you help others, when they need the most, you will be loved and cherished, no matter what. That's the only thing that would help us, the humans strive, as a community, as one and all. I wish that you all have a great Thanksgiving, enjoy your holiday season to its best and just not stop doing what you are best at - helping the huge number of students, when they need it the most!”
Thanks for your support in making this possible. It makes the job of sharing the gospel so much easier.