Building Bridges: American as pumpkin pie

Trinity Fellowship Church shared a free Thanksgiving dinner with international students at Richland as part of its outreach program, Taste of Thanksgiving. They are building relationships with the international community through a campus ministry called International Students Inc. Bridges. 

“It’s a unique opportunity to invite international students to some unique American cultural events including Thanksgiving,” said pastor Keith Hileman.

The church has been hosting Taste of Thanksgiving for about four years. After the meal, church members introduce the students to families from the church and invite them to their houses for Thanksgiving Day, which they see as being a good way to build relationships and share experiences.

The church focuses on Richland students, but everyone is welcome. The number of students who participate varies year to year. Around 30 students usually attend the event.

The church brings the international students together to teach them about American culture and why Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s also an opportunity for the church members to learn about other cultures. 

The Thanksgiving meal was American food that included turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, beans and apple pie for dessert. The ladies who cooked the meal are volunteers andserve the food with enthusiasm. The church also serves inexpensive meals on Wednesdays. At $4, it might be the cheapest meal in town.

Trinity Fellowship Church hopes the international students are benefiting from the events and look forward to working on other events with the ISI Bridges program.