Thanksgiving with Refugees

11.10.17 | Front Page , Homepage | by The Rev. Samira Izadi Page

Thanksgiving with Refugees

    Imagine being a brand new foreigner in America around the start of the holidays. You have no extended family and maybe a new friend or two. And every day, you see people and stores gearing up for the holiday season – a season that you really don’t understand. And even if you know a little about it, you have no family to share it with or any means to participate. That was my experience when my family and I arrived in America nineteen years ago. That feeling of loneliness will always be etched in my memory.  But, it also motivated me to start inviting refugees into my home on Thanksgiving Day several years ago to help ease some of their loneliness, if only for an afternoon.

    Today, Gateway of Grace Ministries’ Thanksgiving Day Celebration welcomes hundreds of refugees to share a meal and fellowship with Americans.  And, the two-hour celebration at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Dallas is out of genuine Christian hospitality and in the name of Christ. As we help them to feel welcomed and experience a truly American tradition, they also get a firsthand experience of Christ’s unconditional love. During this time of year, I am always reminded that His love is to be not only in word, but also in our actions. And, here are several ways in which you can help demonstrate His love for refugees. Please join us as we share the love of Christ with refugees through a festive meal and time of fellowship with new friends. The kick-off of the holiday season provides the greatest opportunity of the year to build relationships through welcoming refugees to share this uniquely American tradition.

    It is a Gateway of Grace tradition to provide gift cards to refugees at our Thanksgiving Dinner so that their families have a little help in experiencing the holiday season. If you would like to donate towards purchasing gift cards or items listed below, please mail your check to Gateway of Grace P.O. Box 224582 Dallas, TX 75222. Or, you can simply mail your gift cards or check so that we receive it by by Nov. 20. Online donations can be designated for specific items through

    If you would like to donate rotisserie chickens, we ask that you either make a financial donation or purchase them and bring them to St. Johns Episcopal Church in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day between 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Other items from the list can be brought to the church either on Tuesday, November 22 between 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. or Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve between 6:00 - 8:00p.m.  You are also welcome to bring the items on Thanksgiving Day between 9:30 - 10:30a.m. Join us in Celebrating God's abundance and those who are new to our community.

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