This Thanksgiving, Russ Lane made his third visit to India with his daughter, Sammie, and her friend, Emily. Here is a special note from Sammie Lane upon returning from their pilgrimage to the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust:
Dear friends and family,
I hope you all had a joyful and restful Thanksgiving. Thank you for your prayers and support throughout our journey to India. We made it back safely on Friday, November 29th and already miss all of our wonderful new Indian friends so much!
It was a real privilege to spend the Thanksgiving holiday serving others. To celebrate, we prepared a feast for dinner on Wednesday, November 27th. The meal was complete with mashed potatoes, boiled vegetables and the biggest pot of curried chicken I have ever seen. Turkey Tom was hanging out with us, too, but since the elder’s treated the turkey as their pet, Father Vijay wouldn’t let us near it.
A special thank you to everyone who sponsored our Thanksgiving care packages. Your generosity made this trip really special for so many people. The children had an early Christmas celebration and were excited about the coloring books, notebooks, crayons, stickers, Lovies, sunglasses, picture frames, and candy they received. The elders were also appreciative of the toiletry items and candies they received. I’m unsure of the last time many of these people received a gift of any sort, and I can only begin to tell you of their gratitude. Your donation truly made a positive impact at the Valley of Smiles!
We also took with us some group gifts, like jump ropes, blankets, pens, pencils and soccer balls. I had a vision before leaving the United States of kids in colorful clothes running around, laughing and playing soccer in the sand. This image became the most beautiful reality on our last evening at the Trust. It was an incredible feeling of family, community, joy and love that I pray I won’t ever forget.
This Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for: most importantly for The Lord’s graces and people, opportunities and experiences He sets before me each day. Thank you to Father Vijay for his tireless leadership and generosity that is changing so many lives at the Mother Teresa Charitable Trust. Thank you to Russ Lane, an amazing father not only to his five children, but to a whole community at the Valley of Smiles who look up to him with such gratefulness and respect. And thank you to all of the donors for opening theirhearts and pocketbooks this Thanksgiving holiday to support our mission and these beautiful people across the world.
Please continue to pray for our friends in India and be assured that they send you much gratitude, prayers and love in return.
You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.