Leo Wells on a Very Special Thanksgiving

SONY DSCI mentioned in my last blog post that there were a couple of seasonal items I wanted to share before we are too far removed from the holidays. Today I’d like to share a story of a very unique celebration hosted by my dear friends Jim and Juanita Lott this past Thanksgiving.

The story begins when Juanita attended my wife Angie’s birthday party this past September and met Reverend Robert Crummie, the president of Carver College and another dear friend of Angie’s and mine.

As you may recall from previous blog posts, Reverend Crummie and Carver College have received a number of students from the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Port-au-Prince in Haiti when the seminary was largely destroyed in last January’s earthquake.

While talking to Reverend Crummie, Juanitia realized that when Carver closed for the Thanksgiving holiday and other students were leaving campus to spend time with their families, most of the Haitian students would have no place to go. Juanita quickly suggested that she and her husband Jim would like to provide a uniquely American experience for the Haitian students.

TableWhen all was said and done, the Lott family shared Thanksgiving Day with fifteen Carver students from Haiti, Nigeria, and Jamaica, as well as others from the school and their own children and grandchildren. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner was served around a large table with lots of quiet chatter, followed by a neighborhood scavenger hunt and a memorable “hymn sing.” Crossing cultures, nationalities, and generations, it was quite an extraordinary occasion. I’ve included some photographs so you can get a feel for what a joyous event it was.

I am writing about this not only because it is a heartwarming story, but because I hope it will encourage each of us to remember just how blessed we are, and to consider how we, in turn, have opportunities to bless others.

With the passing of the holidays, many have already forgotten the “reason for the season” and the concept of good will to all men. But just as there’s no time constraint on God’s generosity, I hope we will continue to be mindful of His goodness throughout the year, and that we will seek to share with others from the abundance with which we are blessed. Of course, reaching out to others needn’t always involve monetary assistance. Sometimes just a kind word and a helping hand can mean so much. Or an unexpected Thanksgiving treat for some lonely students very far from home.

May all of you enjoy a truly blessed – and generous – New Year!

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