Giving Thanks Day

The annual Alternative Thanksgiving group from Our Father Lutheran Church in Centennial, CO, arrived this past Wednesday night and is currently on their way back, hopefully not in the snow. This year seemed slower-paced than last year, probably due to the fact that there were less people in the group. It seems counter-intuitive that with over 1000 meals to serve, less people would equal less chaos, but they have everything so streamlined that there is really only work in the kitchen for so many. There were a few other changes this year due to safety concerns in Juarez--not crossing the downtown bridge, cooking for but not serving at Cristo Rey, and having the "market" come to El Paso--but all in all it was a great couple of days with lots to be thankful for. My role was more Servant Event Coordinator-esque this year as opposed to last, when my family and I jumped in and participated as group members since we had never experienced it before. This year I left that to newcomers and veterans alike from the group and drove the green van, tried to take newsletter worthy pictures of happy kids eating turkey, pitched in wherever needed, and just hung out with everyone--even until 2:15 am playing hearts one night! It was the night/morning of Black Friday so I briefly considered running out to Kohl's or something since I was already up...then decided I was NUTS!

I think they got too many tortillas with their fajitas at Andale on Wednesday night...

Cake bakers extraordinaire!

Team silverware!

Painting the doors and windowframes on YLM building #6 "Burgundy Wine" was the service project for Thursday...I think this is becoming a Thanksgiving tradition...

Zach pulling something out of the warming oven.

Jens is a Hot Mama.

LOTS of donated supplies...

The line of people at San Pablo on Thanksgiving Day.


One of the service projects for Friday and Saturday: tiling room B in YLM building #12.

Most of the gang by the van that was loaded and ready to leave for Cristo Rey.

The service at San Lucas.

Happy faces at San Lucas...

Diane ladling salsa.

6 mo. old Luna (Panchis's granddaughter) and Abram (Gaby's boyfriend).

More happy faces...

Master candy passer-outers. Mireya (right) is a superstar at recognizing people's faces and asking to see their OTHER hands (they get a cross on one hand if they've been through the line already).

Serving at Santisima.

Happy faces at Santisima...

Chris confiscated the cake when the line got too chaotic!

One last little guy with a full belly!

One other thing I wanted to share from their Bible reading for one morning was from Daniel, about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace. The text says that the king's servants fired it up 7 times hotter than normal. With part of the group in Mexico and part in the U.S. on Friday and Saturday (several of the youth did not have permission to cross the border), there was obviously some apprehension on the part of those in the U.S. while their loved ones were in Juarez. But as I read from the prophet, I realized that we are like the 3 of them--surrounded by "flames" but never burning up, since God is protecting us as He did them. At the end of the narrative, another servant looks into the flames and sees not 3 but 4 people--God had sent an angel to watch over His faithful followers!

Until next time, Advent blessings!


tchrchill said…
Love the bible verse that matched so perfectly the situation for the day. It appears that all went well, and the hard work for fewer hands didn't wear the kids out too much -- they were able to play hearts well into the early morning hours. Thanks for your help and support with the group, Erin! Everything looks WONDERFUL!!! Missed you guys.