by Jocelyn Cannon on December 1, 2013


“I’m going to miss Thanksgiving”. The words were uttered months before we even left the United States and innumerable times since then. To us, Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday, a chance to spend a day with family and friends, a day off of school, the day before we decorate for Christmas, a day of incredible food, and, most importantly, a day of Thankfulness. We all love Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, the realization of Thanksgiving as an American holiday (obviously), was upsetting to say the least. The four other Americans on campus agreed.

Thankfully, the head chef is an amazing man.

What started off as a “we don’t happen to be having turkey tomorrow?” became a “We will change the menu tomorrow night and cook everyone a Thanksgiving meal.”. Richard, the head chef, discovered a turkey breast in the freezer and things increased from there.

Sarah and Abby

Sarah and Abby

Thanksgiving night, we kids and Sarah, a sweet American on team, walked down early to Cedars to put tables together for all the American people. One of the MSG guys hung up a huge American flag on the wall, Thanksgiving puppets Elise and Abby had made were taped on the wall, a paper card displaying a cut-out turkey (mailed to us by Mrs. Zdonek. THANK YOU!!) was proudly displayed at the center of our table, and appetizers were placed around the room. People arrived and were eager to learn what this dinner was honoring.

The Cedars team outdid themselves. Our appetizers were delicious and the main meal consisted of turkey, duck, chicken, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie were served. In addition, ribs, chicken wings and dressing was offered to people seated by two of the cooks. It was amazing. All of the Americans plus as many other people we could pull up a chair for sat together. My Dad stood up and prayed for everyone in the dining hall and my mom explained the purpose behind Thanksgiving.

Seated in Cedars and enjoying our Thanksgiving meal. Notice the American flag in the background. Thank you Paul!!!

Seated in Cedars and enjoying our Thanksgiving meal.

It was an evening of laughing and sharing. So many different cultures sitting together and sharing in a meal of Thankfulness. Everyone agreed it was a night to remember.

Things We are Thankful for:

1. I have to put at the beginning of the list how thankful my family and I are for the amazing team members who made Thanksgiving so special for some home-sick Americans. These guys do so much for us and we appreciate them beyond anything they will ever know. We love you guys.

2. Our house. So much effort was put into it even before we arrived, and we are still thanking God for that amazing ability of His to provide for our every need.

3. Dutch Blitz. If you haven’t played this speed card game, I strongly advise you to. We have literally spent hours on the floor of the coffee lounge playing this game with friends.

Taken from the window of the Main house, my Dad captures half of the group playing Dutch Blitz

Taken from the window of the Main house, my Dad captures half of the group playing Dutch Blitz

4. For bikes. Through a combination of three awesome MSG guys, a team girl who was leaving, and God, all five of us kids have bikes!!! This is a huge blessing and a lot of fun.

5. The three week break coming up at the end of Stage 1 on December 14. My dad has a car on reserve to be leased for our break – yeah!

6. Guitars to play worship music on. During the weekend afternoons, some of us join up with various other team members and NETS students and hang out in the coffee lounge or Creativity room. We usually spend about three hours singing, playing card games, drawing, working, and laughing a lot at everything. It is so much fun and really brings everyone closer together. (Especially when you have a Welsh guys speaking in Welsh, a Zimbabwe guy speaking in Zulu, and a video camera – great things happen.)

Haley, a NETS student and awesome friend, cam over to help us bake REAL chocolate chip cookies one night.

Haley, a NETS trainee and awesome friend, came over to help us bake REAL chocolate chip cookies one night.

7. Friends. We are thankful for new friends here and friends back in the States. We are thankful for their selflessness, support, encouragement, smiles, and phone calls. Thanks guys.

8. We are thankful for Rachael. ALWAYS thankful for Rachael. I’m going to write a whole blog post only about her some time…

9. We are thankful for Vitamin C supplements to fight vicious colds.

10. Last but not least, we are eternally thankful for our amazing Father in Heaven and His provision to my family and me.


  1. Missed you so much this year but I’m glad you got to celebrate in Britain! Love and hugs!

  2. The guy in the banner picture at the top of the page that’s wearing chef garb and serving us food? That’s Dan. He works in Cedars and is the drummer for praise and worship. He’s teaching me drums! Yay! Thanks you, Dan! Woo Hoo! (For those who don’t know, I’ve wanted to play drums for a very long time. :D)

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Cannon family! I’m praying for your family and the people you work with.
    There’s a dog we sing in church a lot and the bridge goes like this:
    Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    Let me walk across the waters wherever you would call me
    Take me deeper than my feet could ever wonder and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior

    I love that song so much and I think that your family is living that out. You are literally walking across the waters to a place where you’re trust is without borders! You’re family is a true inspiration to me and sometimes I wish I could come visit you! You keep trusting in Christ because he is good and he HAS been good to all of us! I’m so excited to see everything he’s going to do in your life this next year!

    1. Awww! Thanks Emily! I wish you could come visit us, too! I know you would love it! Thanks for the encouraging words! (I love that song, too!) Love and miss you!

  4. I’m a little late on getting to read this – have been traveling for weeks! You all were (and are) in my thoughts and heart over the holiday season. I’m so grateful you had a nice Thanksgiving. Distance may separate us, but our hearts are connected always! I love you each one and miss you more than you can imagine. Your stories keep us close…very enjoyable! Well done Jocy!

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