PARKVILLE, Md.—Members of the Bhutan Baptist Church had a Thanksgiving Day celebration with a worship service, music, dancing, preaching, food, and fellowship. Senior Pastor Samuel Cho, Pastor Raju Budathoki and Deacon Joseph Passos shared a short message. Cho and Passos preached in English. Budathoki translated both of the sermons to Bhutanese.
Cho drew a parallel between the immigrants at the Bhutanese church and the pilgrims who came to the new world. He shared that the pilgrims immigrated to the United States for religious freedom and they celebrated Thanksgiving after their harvest. They were thankful to family and friends, old and new, who helped them, and they thanked and worshipped the Lord.
Many in the Bhutan church understand religious persecution, including Budathoki, who was persecuted, imprisoned and tortured after he accepted Christ as Savior.
In his message, Budathoki shared from 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” referring to Job, Hannah and David who praised God in the midst of their struggles.
Passos, in his message, said, “For Christians, the deepest roots of our thanksgiving go back to the old world, way back before the pilgrims, to a story as old as creation. God created humanity for gratitude. You exist to appreciate God. He created you to honor him by giving him thanks; appreciating both who God is and his actions for us, in creating us and sustaining our lives,” he said. But man is fallen and we have failed miserably, Passos said.
“God himself, in the person of his Son, Jesus, entered into our thankless world, lived in perfect appreciation of his Father, and died on our behalf for our chronic ingratitude. It is Jesus, the God-man, who has manifested the perfect life of thankfulness. Christians are thankful for all God’s gifts, especially his eternal gifts,” he continued. “By faith in Jesus, we are redeemed from ingratitude and only in Jesus are we able to become the kind of persistently thankful people God created us to be.
“My personal life is an example of someone redeemed by the blood of Jesus, being born in poverty, living in houses made from bamboo and clay, depending on the charity of many for clothing and bed covers to survive winter; living in a home under strong witchcraft influence, humanly speaking, living a hopeless life. God took me from the darkness and brought me to His wonderful light and today I have one million reasons to give Him thanks,” he said.
A youth choir sang and local students performed traditional Nepali dance.
The group ate pork, chicken, curried vegetables, beans, dal, salad and kimchi with cookies for desserts.