A Ugandan Thanksgiving

Here in Kubamitwe in November, the rains are fading and the sun is heating up for our dry season. So while our tropical trees don’t change color in November, the SOS missionary families decorate our homes with festive autumn flora and prepare for our Thanksgiving feast. Every 4th Thursday in November, the missionary families have traditionally celebrated our American holiday as one big family. For those of you foodies who are doubtful of a truly American feast, here is our menu:

Turkey and gravy (frozen Costco turkey breasts checked in our luggage under the plane to Uganda in cooler bags!)

Stuffing (Bisagni gourmet recipe made with local ingredients)

Green Bean Casserole (French’s fried onions brought in luggage by visiting American teams)

Sweet Potato Casserole (Local butternut squash substitutes nicely with American pecans brought by teams)

Mashed Potatoes (Amazing Basaba recipe which requires Philadelphia Cream Cheese checked in our luggage in cooler bags)

Homemade Rolls (Bisagni recipe—yum!)

Cornbread and honey butter (Looking forward to Stepanian contribution this year!)

Cranberry Applesauce Jell-O (Hurley tradition, ingredients annually supplied by Nana Seehusen)

Apple, Pumpkin, and Pecan Pies (all made completely from scratch, of course!)

Kinda makes you want to come to Uganda for Thanksgiving, doesn’t it?! As you can see, ingredients graciously transported by visiting teams throughout the year make our Thanksgiving feel homey. We moms have found that maintaining as many familiar traditions as possible makes transition easier on our kids. While everything around them changes when moving continents and cultures, familiarities (especially food) comforts the soul.

While we enjoy providing comfort food, we know that God has called us missionaries to give up certain physical comforts, and all of us Christians to give up any comforts that would keep us from furthering His Kingdom. So as we all allow the Lord to stretch us beyond what we think is humanly possible in order to serve Him, we have found that thankfulness is the key to maintaining joy in the midst of discomfort.

Since the holiday of Thanksgiving is traditionally American, we as an SOS family have adopted our own tradition of thanking God for His faithful provision during the past year with our local staff of 127 employees on the Friday after Thanksgiving. During this time we sing hymns of praise, share a meal, and listen to testimonies proclaiming all that God has done within the year, ending with a time of prayer of praise.

The Thanksgiving holiday forces us to recount God’s many provisions toward us instead of dwelling on deficits. The SOS family has too long of a list to share, but here are a few highlights of what we are especially thankful for this year:

  • The blessing of 7 wonderful years with our beloved Cupp family
  • The gift of the dear Stepanian family which immediately became family to us all
  • The joy of looking forward to welcoming a new son-in-law, Stephen, into the family October 10, 2020
  • Looking forward to finalizing adoptions of Ella and Elijah with court dates December 5th and 10th, respectively
  • Completing a fruitful first year of training Ugandan and Sudanese pastors at STC
  • Celebrating 10 years as a church family with Community Bible Church of Kubamitwe
  • Seeing our friend, Pastor Abel become elected as the president of the Baptist Union of Uganda
  • Seeing our children love Christ more this year than they did before
  • The privilege of serving alongside the big SOS family full of Ugandans and Americans here and around the world
  • Watching God provide through supporters like you beyond our expectations to enable us to proceed with Kingdom-ministry here in East Africa
  • Providing partners in prayer as we seek God’s help to impact His Kingdom
  • The joy of resting in the righteousness of Christ as we are empowered to joyfully love and serve our King

Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving near a cozy fire with crunchy leaves outside your backdoor or in a balmy jungle, may you enjoy your time with family and those you love. As you rejoice in all that God is doing in your own lives, please join with our SOS family in praising God for all that He has done this year.

It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and your faithfulness by night. Psalm 92:1-2

6 Comments
  • Dianne Butler
    Posted at 22:53h, 25 November Reply

    The Canadian Butler’s are thankful to the Lord for the SOS families serving so faithfully in Uganda!! We rejoice with you all for the fruitful labor being done at SOS.

  • Heather Wollett
    Posted at 01:44h, 26 November Reply

    Wishing you all Happy Thanksgiving and pray that God continues to send blessings to you all. Know that you have love, support and prayers coming from Ohio. Ebenezer Baptist Church

  • Muffie Farinha
    Posted at 16:32h, 26 November Reply

    We are thankful to the Lord for your family and the SOS ministry! Thanksgiving hugs to all!

  • Steve and Judy Severance
    Posted at 20:22h, 27 November Reply

    Much love to all the Hurleys and those who serve on the staff in Uganda. We are so grateful for your faithful love and service to so many. We praise God for His work among you because we know it is all of His doing. We are sorry we did not get to give a hug on your last visit.
    Judy and Steve

  • Bruce Mrachek
    Posted at 11:55h, 28 November Reply

    Thankful for the work being done in fulfilling the Great Commission by SOS ministry team in Uganda!

  • Linda Clark
    Posted at 20:01h, 28 November Reply

    So thankful for SOS ministry and staff.
    You are deeply loved.

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