”Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi
In1982, Brian, from Denmark, was our son for a year thru the ICYE International Christian Youth Exchange program. Brian was only 16,when he joined our family. We shared our customs and traditions with him throughout the year. He spoke broken English, but our two sons immediately embraced him, and loved having a big brother for a year. Thanksgiving was special. We decided to invite the other six exchange students in Kansas and their American siblings over on Friday for the remainder of the weekend.
I remember Fausta, a talkative black hair short Italian. I thought for sure she could win the world record for saying the most words, before she had to stop and take another breath.
Then there was Knut. One would classify him as the “nerd” of the group, but I especially liked him. He was very serious, educated, not athletic at all, and had a big interest in discussing politics. Which did limit my conversation with him some.
Christian was a tall blonde from Germany. He was athletic type that liked to wrestle around with our boys and the other exchange students.
Marita from Sweden shared how fun it was to get out of a hot tub and roll around in the snow. Our neighbor lady Ida Lou made Pizza for the entire group. They went home thinking Pizza should be the traditional Thanksgiving meal.
I loved these kids from all around the world, and since that day could never understand why there can’t be PEACE in our world. We laughed, and played. They all had parents and siblings at home they talked about and loved. Brave parents willing to let go, as I would have never had the courage to let my 16 year old go half way around the world for a year. One of the goals of the program was to promote intercultural understanding, and tolerance and peace among people in the world.
Thanksgiving will be here soon. This year our world has not been peaceful at all. Many suffering terrible deaths at the hands of ISIS, I believe provoked by Satan. God has a soft spot in his heart for broken people, so his heart must be breaking now with what seems like a broken world. So many decisions. How should we feel about immigrants? What should we do? I see parents, they love their children, and are desperate to keep them safe. Wouldn’t we all want that for our children and grandchildren? I need to feel God’s presence, I need answers.
Peace is defined as a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations: I want our neighborhood to be peaceful. I went our faith groups – Mormon, Catholic, Methodist to adopt our neighborhood. Together we can make sure our children are safe, that those that have guns, lock them up. That no one is hungry or homeless, and that our elderly are checked on daily. One step toward Peace that I can control. Most of all, I thank the Lord today that I have an inner peace in my life. The peace one can only get from loving the Lord and inviting him into your life.
Prayer I am so thankful we live in a world where my children and grandchildren can call you Father. I hope they will inherit a world of peace, and use their talents to be a tool for God and not a toy for Satan.