Dear Friends,

Recently I was sitting with a group of women leaders discussing gratitude. When was the last time you thought about gratitude? I mean really think about the things that you are grateful for every day. If I asked you to make a gratitude list, what would be on that list? How long would it take you to write out that list?

There have been times when I have made daily gratitude lists – even kept a gratitude journal. Yet when asked recently to make a list of all the things I was grateful for, I was pleased at first that I managed to come up with a few things to put on my list. However, the more I thought about it, the more I found myself being grateful for the basic things of life like health, home, friends and family. How about you?

I’m grateful for the friends that I have met from other countries living here in America. My grandmother emigrated from Sicily and arrived in New York in the early 1900s. Maybe it’s something passed down to me from her, but today I am passionate about foreigners feeling loved and welcomed in my home country.

This month we are praying for many who have lost their homes and families, many who have been displaced and are seeking shelter and safety in a foreign land.

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34

May we reflect the love and kindness of God to those from foreign lands who live among us. Pray for refugee and migrant families to find comfort, respect and love in the lands they are now calling home.

This month, if you live in a community where you can interact with newcomers from foreign lands, please take the time to make a meal, invite them in for tea, or just meet them and listen to their stories.

But even if those little acts of kindness aren’t possible, we can unite in lifting our hearts in gratitude for all God has blessed us with. Then, out of those blessings, may we generously share with those who have so little.