In school, we’ve been studying American history, with a focus this year on how America was colonized and how the Europeans first settled and established the early colonies and later formed the United States.

It baffles my mind to consider what it must have been like for those first Pilgrims to arrive in an unknown land and have to figure out a way to survive.

At the same time, we’ve recently been challenged by friends who are preparing to be missionaries to think about the incredible privilege we have to have the gospel.  Just before Jesus’ ascension, he said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).  In recent years, this verse has been applied in such a way as to make us consider wherever we are at the moment to be our “Jerusalem,” with neighboring areas our “Judea,” and foreign, unfamiliar lands as “Samaria and the ends of the earth.”  But if we look at the actual map and see where Jerusalem is situated, we will see that when we are sitting in Cape Town, South Africa, we are pretty much at the very ends of the earth.

Have you ever wondered what sacrifices, what trials, what persecution, what perseverance it took to get the gospel to Cape Town?  Or to America?

As we gather around the table today with hearts filled with gratitude for the Lord’s provision of family, friends and food, let’s also pause to consider all that has transpired for us to have the greatest gift of all — the Lord Jesus Christ and His salvation.