Summer has officially tapered off and the chilly, yet soothing, weather has arrived here at SonShine Oaks. With cooler weather comes a well-anticipated holiday: Thanksgiving. When we talk about Thanksgiving to our friends and family, we typically think of all the delicious food and the fellowship with our loved ones. Some of us may even participate in the “30-day Thankful Challenge” on social media or we may even send out newsletters to friends and family stating what we are thankful for from the past year.

 

Being thankful is a wonderful feeling and here in this article titled: “The Origins of Thanksgiving” from Christian Law Association, we learn the full story about Thanksgiving.

“Americans must never forget the origins of our national Thanksgiving holiday. Its spiritual significance is no longer taught in our nation’s public schools. In fact, most school children today are taught that Thanksgiving originated when the Pilgrims invited their Native American friends to dinner to thank them
for their help in troubled times after the Mayflower landed. As with much of modern American revisionist
history, there really is much more to the story.
A Tough Journey

The Atlantic crossing in the fall of 1620 had been an extremely difficult journey for the Pilgrims. For two
months, 102 people were wedged into what was called the “’tween decks”—the cargo space of the boat, which only had about five-and-a-half feet of headroom. No one was allowed above deck because of the terrible storms. This was no pleasure trip, but God sustained every one of the Pilgrims through the voyage. God providentially protected His people. A little known fact about the Mayflower is that this ship
normally carried a cargo of wine; and the wine spillage from previous voyages had soaked the beams, acting as a disinfectant to prevent the spread of disease. During one terrible storm, the main beam of the mast cracked. Death was certain if this beam could not be repaired. At that moment, the whole Pilgrim adventure could very easily have ended on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But, providentially, one of the Pilgrims had brought along a large iron screw, likely for a printing press. That screw was used to repair the beam, saving the ship and all on board.

Being in God’s Will

After sixty-six days at sea, land was sighted off what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts. But that was not where the Pilgrims wanted to be. They had intended to establish their new colony in the northern parts of Virginia (which then extended north to the Hudson River in modern-day New York), but two factors interrupted their plans. The winds had blown them off course, but they also later learned that some Englishmen who wanted to settle in the same Hudson River location had bribed the crew to take them off course. Once again God was in charge and the Pilgrims landed exactly where God wanted them to be. Had they actually landed in northern Virginia, near the Hudson River, they would most certainly have been attacked by hostile Native Americans. Instead, there were no Native Americans on Cape Cod when the Pilgrims made landfall there. The land had already been cleared and the fields had already been cultivated.

God Provides

The Pilgrims barely survived their first winter. Only four families escaped without burying at least one family member. But God was still faithful. In the spring of 1621, He sent Squanto to the Pilgrims,
an Indian who spoke their own language and who offered to teach them how to survive in this strange new land. Squanto was one of the few Indians from that area who had not died in the plague. He had been captured as a young man and taken to England as a slave, where he mastered the English language. He was later freed and returned to his native territory shortly before the Pilgrims arrived. Probably the most important thing Squanto taught the Pilgrims was how to plant the Indians’ winter staple crop—corn. The Pilgrims thanked God for this wonderful helper, but they also shared with Squanto the most valuable treasure they had brought with them from England—the Gospel. Squanto died within a year
or two after coming to the aid of the Pilgrims, but before his death Squanto expressed to the Pilgrims his faith in their God of Heaven.

Teach Your Children

Now that you know the true story of Thanksgiving, this year make sure your children and grandchildren learn it too. The evidence of history clearly shows that on that first Thanksgiving Day, both the Pilgrims and the Indians were thanking God for His great goodness in providing for them all. In fact, with the help of Squanto, the Pilgrims had established a peace agreement with these nearby Indians that remained in place for a half century. As America is currently facing serious challenges both at home and abroad, let’s join together with countless generations before us in giving thanks to God for His blessings and for preserving our nation. Let’s make sure that all our children and grandchildren learn Whose hand of protection has been over America ever since the Pilgrims’ arrival; and let’s all pray that He will continue to bless and sustain our nation as we continue to acknowledge and honor Him.”

Author Unknown, Christian Law Association, The Origins of Thanksgiving, published November 2010, revised November 2016.

“Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalms 107:8 & 9

As we go through the holiday seasons, let us not forget how amazing our God is and the incredible history behind our national holiday – Thanksgiving! Looking back since Thanksgiving of 2015, we have much to be thankful for here at SonShine Oaks:

  • Charleston County issued our Business License on February 26th, 2016 to operate as a Religious Retreat Center/Bed & Breakfast! Officially open to begin our ministry of encouragement and pastoral care for the saints!

  • 2 guest cottages are now open for accommodating guests!

  • The Boat House cottage has been renovated and modified to accommodate guests with physical disabilities – ADA compliant.

  • The garage in the Boat House cottage was converted into a great Exercise Studio/multi-purpose room, available to all guests!

  • The two miniature horses, “Cookie” and “Junior” that have arrived here in May to lend an element of peaceful and playful therapy for our guests.

  • The specific ministries and needs of each of our guests are added to our daily prayer list. We are prayer warriors!

  • Many have come to receive a time of refreshing and renewal!

  • Our “Rockland Cemetery” has been significantly cleared out with the help of many volunteers on 4 workdays to restore some dignity to the 100+ year old area and make more than 30 grave sites accessible to surviving relatives, neighbors, and the local community.

  • Thankful for those many people God has led into our path that have partnered together with us in many ways to do the work to which God has called us.

  • Thankful for new friends – brothers and sisters we’ve met along the way.

  • Surviving Hurricane Matthew.

  • Thankful for an 8-week group Bible study based around the movie “Courageous”…bringing growth in participants towards leaving a godly legacy for our families.

  • Plans and developments continue for the “HOPE” Prayer Chapel project. Currently we have an architect who has worked directly with us to create construction drawings for the Chapel. We have engaged a local general contractor who will be over-seeing the project and several volunteers lined up to begin the work. We have completed the site plan update necessary for the county to approve our building plans and construction plans will be submitted this week to the Building Department!

  • Two 100 year old stained glass windows for the Prayer Chapel arrived with a story of their own.
    Pews for the Chapel have been acquired!

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 “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” Psalms 9:1 & 2

What about you, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?