Our first nationwide Thanksgiving was proclaimed by President George Washington on November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.” Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a federal holiday during the civil war through a powerful proclamation.
Thanksgiving has a history rooted in giving thanks to God. How about you? What are you thankful to God for?
Family and Friends
Are you thankful for family and friends? I am. I’m going to New York with Helen, Joseph and Daniel to be with her 94-year-old dad, brother and sister. I’m thankful for his long life and health. You will probably be with family and friends. Maybe you will eat a little too much. You might watch the football game. As you do, will you remember those whose families are torn apart, health is failing, and food is scarce?
I’m thankful for my church friends at Fox Valley Church. They are the cool group pictured above. Last Saturday we invited neighbors in need of legal help to come to the church. Karla walked in distraught suffering from an abusive marriage. Overwhelmed she found practical guidance from my attorney friend Marzenia (far right). Marzenia provided a plan for moving forward with helpful next steps.
Karla then met with Stephanie (second from left). Stephanie is a client advocate. Stephanie prayed with Karla and listened to her heart ache. She connected her with social resources and will be following up by phone to build relationship and continue to walk alongside Karla.
I’m thankful for a home. Tina is a young woman who walked into Jesus Word Center’s gospel justice center in North Lawndale last Saturday. She was distraught thinking she would be homeless as a result of an eviction notice. She met with an attorney who helped her put together a plan to resolve the situation. Tina was so happy. She then met with our client advocate. Tina gladly entered into a conversation about Jesus. She needed hope. She understood how she was seeking to control her life instead of trusting Jesus to lead her. Tina prayed to accept Jesus as her Savior. That is something to be thankful for!
The entire team was rejoicing for Tina who once was lost but now is found. The loving team at Jesus Word Center led by Pastor Maddie looks forward to continuing to support Tina.
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are powerful examples of praying men. They trusted God in the midst of dark despairing times. They knew no matter how dark things appeared, God was in control. Their faith and prayers helped establish and sustain this country we are blessed to live in.
I often point to the challenges we face as a nation. We rank 98th in the world for providing affordable access to justice. One in three Americans simply cannot afford a lawyer. And every second someone is turned away from legal help. But I am thankful.
God is using you to change Tina’s story and Karla’s story. God is using you to bring the help of a lawyer and the hope of the gospel to 102 neighborhoods from coast to coast. That is only possible because of your support. We recently added five new neighborhoods in Mississippi, Wisconsin and Illinois. That is something to be thankful for!
May I ask you to consider partnering with Tina or Karla this Thanksgiving? They paid a $30 dignity fee. Would you provide $30 in support? Maybe you can do that every month. Know that you are joining in providing justice for one client every time you give.
I have much to be thankful for including family, friends, home, and God. I am also thankful for you. Thank you!