A Thanksgiving ministry idea

Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

While at my security post at GE (the tent making job that has allowed me to write my last book and all of my blogs) I received an idea for an evangelical ministry. GE, like many other high tech companies, has many employees from India at practically every level of employment, From low level programmers on short term contracts to high level managers. Many of them come to the United States on temporary work visas, and are here for only a few years. Some have a circle of friends here, as the Indians community in Atlanta, as in many other cities, a is close nit, but many do not.
On the Monday after Thanksgiving last year, I asked one of these Indian workers, a young man in his late 20s, if he had enjoyed the holiday. He said, no. He was in fact very lonely. I felt a wave of compassion for him, that I am sure reflected the Lord’s heart. I was sorry I did not know about his situation before the holiday as I would have invited him to my home for Thanksgiving.
Here is the idea. Organize a church wide drive to locate and invite Indian and other foreign workers to home thanksgiving dinners. (Christmas would be a good idea too.) This would be “love evangelism.” I would suggest that the direct evangelical part, as in “are your saved?” be avoided or low-key so that the person does not think you only had interest in him or her as a conversion target. But you might invite the guest to come and “observe” your church service the next Sunday.
Make sure that your family say prayers of thanksgiving before they carve up the bird. In my family we hold hands at the dinner table and every one gives thanks to the Lord for something that has happened to them that year. Several times I have read Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation, which established the holiday. It is a masterpiece of thanking God n the midst of war and tragedy. A real knock-out would be to pray for healing for someone there, arthritis, head-ache, etc., and let him see a healing in Jesus’ name.
I have had several conversations with my Indian friends at GE who relate they were all surprised at how religious Americans really were. What they thought about Americas was molded by what they saw in American movies and TV sitcoms where Christian life is marginalized, ridiculed or ignored. A Thanksgiving invitation would be an opportunity to show them some of the best of Christian life.
On the Thanksgiving menu, let me suggest a few modifications to ensure your Indian guest, who is probably Hindu, will feel at home and be able to feast as well as you do. Prepare several side dishes that are totally meat free, as for instance a squash casserole, rice made with butter or margarine, and beans without any of the pork or meat we normally put in.
This posting is doubly frustrating for me. I no longer am pastor of a church, and so cannot try this out as a church ministry. Further, my household situation is difficult. My wife is bed-bound now and we have only a small dinning area where we cram in our family. Alas…
Well, isn’t this a wonderful example of Christian leadership? Do as I say not as I do. Pastors, here is one more ministry to coordinate – you probably don’t work hard enough at your job anyway.
Blessings, and consider this for next year, or for Christmas.

8 Comments

  • Troy Day
    Reply November 27, 2019

    Troy Day

    THANK YOU William DeArteaga This post maybe old but is still good and I still have my questions under it

    • William DeArteaga
      Reply November 27, 2019

      William DeArteaga

      Somebody asked if GE makes tents, Well, no, but it was my “tent making” job…

  • Louise Cummings
    Reply November 27, 2019

    Louise Cummings

    The kind every one wants. Except the peppers. We have turkey and dressings. All other kinds of good and sweets. But we have about I guess fifty people or more. We have a large family now. But I love it.

  • Deacon Joseph Bell
    Reply November 27, 2019

    Deacon Joseph Bell

    GE makes tents?

  • Troy Day
    Reply November 27, 2019

    Troy Day

    this could actually work

  • Troy Day
    Reply November 30, 2019

    Troy Day

    has anyone yet figured out WHO cooked the turkey – the pilgrims or the native Americans aka Indians Jim Price William DeArteaga

    • William DeArteaga
      Reply November 30, 2019

      William DeArteaga

      It was a Mexican illigal who was looking for work

    • Troy Day
      Reply November 30, 2019

      Troy Day

      William DeArteaga we were all once illegal in heaven

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