Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

We spent Thanksgiving with our IMB mission family in Panajachel, Guatemala.  It has been an annual gathering there for many years.  Our mission owns a property there that in years past was a missionary residence but has since been turned into a guest house.  Many share bedrooms.  We all share bathrooms.  And, the kitchen becomes one big hangout where all the cooking and cleaning is done together.  It is a lot of fun and many memories have been made there over the years. 

We began the holiday by taking a family photo.  I decided to take it the day before this year so Thanksgiving morning would be a little less stressful (that's a nice way of saying that sometimes taking family photos can really stress me out, ha). 

our family photo Thanksgiving 2015

my boys

They always pick me flowers.  It melts my heart.

That evening (Thanksgiving Eve) after everyone arrived and got settled in we all walked to the Circus Bar for supper.  That is another mission tradition.  They serve some really great pizza.  We then stayed up way too late talking, sharing stories, and laughing until we cried.  Oh y'all this crew has some tales to tell of mission field life over the years!

On Thanksgiving morning our family walked next door to a local hotel restaurant for breakfast.  We have eaten there before and we LOVE their pancakes.  They are really delicious and I cannot imagine a trip to Pana without them. 

my boys at the Rancho Grande Inn restaurant in Panajachel, Guatemala on Thanksgiving morning

Thanksgiving breakfast

We then spent some time watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  It is one of my favorite things to do on Thanksgiving morning. 

me with some of the ladies in the kitchen- Jo, Glynis, Penny, and Gini

We always have all of the American favorites.  Turkey and dressing is a staple even for us in Guatemala.

my boys eating Thanksgiving lunch

Ben on Thanksgiving Day

Cruz on Thanksgiving Day

there is a lot of card playing that goes on during our time there together

there is also a lot of football watched

some of the MK's

That afternoon we all gathered around the living room for a time of sharing together.  We each told something that we were thankful for.  Some shared thoughts and memories of years past.  We talked about and prayed for those that have served before us and on whose shoulders we now stand.  We also had a sad moment of remembering several former colleagues who have recently gone to be with the Lord.  We laughed and we cried.  Then we laughed and cried some more.  It was a sweet time.

our mission family Thanksgiving gathering 2015

Sadly this was the last year to gather there as a mission family.  The property has been up for sale and it has a buyer that will close the deal in mid-January.  It saddens all of our hearts to know that the tradition will no longer take place and in addition to all the missionaries retiring this month it is just another something that we have to say goodbye to and let go of.  These are hard, sad days.  The future seems dark and uncertain but we are keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the One who knows the future and is holding us tight through these tough times.

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