Thursday, July 7, 2011

Celebrating The 4th of July with Non-Americans

It was mid morning on the 4th of July before I realized that it was an American Holiday. Stating the obvious, it is not a holiday that Brazilians celebrate so it was nearly forgotten by our family. I am thankful that Josh had the foresight to give it the honor that it was due. He announced during class that morning that it was a National Holiday for America and that all of the Brazilians were welcome to join us for a nighttime celebration.

About fifty Brazilians showed up around 9:00 P.M. to hear the history of the 4th of July. Josh explained about our countries freedom and how we came to celebrate this important holiday. Marko, Jussara, and Abdu, (a former shiite Muslim) then told the crowd what the 4th of July meant to them. A couple of Brazilians then spoke and shared how thankful they were for America and for our presence in their lives. The Brazilians then surrounded us and prayed for us as individuals and as a country. All in all it was a very moving evening for both Americans and Brazilians alike.

Josh, of course, even played The Star Spangled Banner and posted a picture of the American Flag on his laptop as a display! The evening ended with a small fireworks show that had the Brazilians cheering and gazing in awe. There were Brazilians leaning out the upper story windows as well-hanging onto every word that was shared. I was nearly moved to tears as I stood back and watched this joining of cultures to celebrate the freedom of one.

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