“Every year at Beth Uriel is a miracle,” says programme director, Lindsay Henley. And what better way to give thanks for another year of miracles and blessings than with a thanksgiving dinner?
Beth Uriel, “House of Light”, is a home with a heart – and dining room table, or tables – bigger than most, which makes their annual thanksgiving dinner a very special event. Why a thanksgiving dinner, you might ask? “Because we have so many things to be thankful for!” explains Lindsay, their programme director.
The brightly painted Beth Uriel house in Woodstock, Cape Town, is home to 26 young men from different, and often very difficult, walks of life. But regardless of the journey that bought them to Beth Uriel’s front door, here they’ll have the opportunity to further their education and pursue a meaningful, independent future with a lot of love and support. So when another year is drawing to an end there are plenty of reasons to give thanks in this home.
“As we circled the room and spoke of what we were thankful for so many things came out: gratitude for family and friends, thanksgiving for second chances, appreciation for support and guidance, and thankfulness for God’s provision,” says Lindsay.
“Our ‘basket of loaves and fishes’ is literally filled with nothing at the start of every year, and yet we celebrate so many accomplishments and gifts when it comes to the end of the year,” Lindsay says. “Each gift is a miracle. Whether it’s money towards school fees, clothing, shoes, bread, gas for our stove, or the gift of time from tutors and other volunteers. Grace comes in so many shapes and sizes at Beth Uriel and thanksgiving is a time to celebrate it!”
Here’s what some of the guests who got to enjoy the evening had to say:
“What a privilege to share a delicious thanksgiving meal with the Beth Uriel family. As we each explained what we were grateful for, I felt a real sense of community. A group of individuals each with different reasons for saying thanks pulled together because of one beautiful place!” – Marcienne Koenig, Common Good programme coordinator
“When I signed up to help with tutoring at Beth Uriel to fill an empty evening once a week, I didn’t realise what God was getting me into. Over the past two years, He has been changing my heart through the Beth Uriel boys… I am so grateful that Jesus gave me the courage to step through the doors of Beth Uriel and offer myself to His work there, because through that He has blessed me abundantly.” -Kate Posthumous, Beth Uriel volunteer tutor
“I thank God for the foundations of Beth Uriel which were laid many years ago, as it is still resulting in strong young men exiting the house when they have completed their stay.” – Blamo Brooks, Common Grounder and Beth Uriel board member
“It was such a wonderful night to celebrate with Beth Uriel and to stop and reflect on the blessings in our life. We were able to give thanks and remind one another just how far we have come through God’s grace and provision. No matter how many trials we currently are facing, we always have something to be thankful for.” – Emily Oppenheimer, Common Grounder
What are you giving thanks for this year?