As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we double-check grocery lists and carefully read the fading handwriting on family recipes. Have we forgotten anything? What is missing from the table?
While traditions vary, harvest celebrations take place around the world. Your Thanksgiving menu might even have a few dishes, like corn or yams, in common with tables in Ghana, where communities celebrate a harvest festival called Kobine. But the abundance that Kobine celebrates isn’t the only harvest taking place. Believers, like James Bio, are taking the gospel throughout Ghana. During a recent outreach, James met a 14-year-old girl named Fatimata.
“She was afraid of her religion and customs,” James shares, “because young girls her age are given in marriage if a man declares his interest in them.”
Fatimata hoped to continue her education and become a nurse one day, but she feared she would have to marry like her older sister.
Imagine you are looking around a table where the family of God is gathering. If you ask yourself, “Who isn’t here yet? Who is still missing?” the answer is often “people like Fatimata.”
Millions of people around the world are marginalized, told their hopes and gifts don’t matter because of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or because they have a disability. And often, the isolation marginalized people experience makes it more difficult to reach them with the gospel and the truth that they are precious in God’s eyes.
Millions are waiting, and believers like James are committed to doing whatever it takes to invite everyone to the table of God’s family.
“When she heard the message of Christ, Fatimata decided to give her heart to the Lord,” James said.
Fatimata asked James to visit her home and convince her parents to accept her decision.
“Her father was very angry, but her mother supported her decision and allowed her to attend discipleship class,” James says.
Since then, Fatimata has been baptized and has joined a local church family.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, challenge yourself and your family to remember and pray for the millions of marginalized people, like Fatimata, who are waiting for an invitation to the table of God’s family. One way to join the challenge is to pick a familiar dish, like corn or yams, to leave off your menu. Or you could add something new, like soybeans, which are a common crop in Ghana and many regions of the world. As you gather around your table, pray that the gospel will move swiftly, the plentiful harvest would be gathered in, and the table of God’s family would fill with people of every tribe and tongue.