Have You Thanked Your Squanto

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Some foreign sailors took him from a shoreline not far from his home. They took him to a strange land that was beyond anything he could have thought, even with the fertile imagination of a boy of wild dreams. The boy would learn the language of these strangers, learn their ways, but would never return to his family. It was a troubled start to a life that would change the course of history for so many.

Squanto was a Native American from the Patuxet tribe. He died in November 1622; however, before his death, he saved a struggling camp of European immigrants from which would eventually spring the American colony. Squanto
gained not only the language of these new people, but he also traveled and lived in their homeland of England and would observe the culture of the bustling cities and their sophistication. Most significantly, after additional difficult encounters with other “ civilized explorers,” he learned of the God of their faith.

There is no explanation as to why his final years were committed to the survival of the new settlers, other than it was a response of his transformation of this faith. He negotiated for these new families with the other native tribes;
he told them of the ways of survival in a harsh land and he invited other natives of the land to a dinner, a meal that was celebrated by different cultures, but one shared goal of gratitude. He brought together the Pilgrims [his adoptive family] and the Native Americans [his family of birth] to the first Thanksgiving meal.

The Pilgrim governor prayed: “ Thank You, great God, for the bounty You have supplied to us. Thank You for protecting us in hardship and meeting all of our need… and thank You for bringing to us the Indian, Squanto, your own special instrument to save us from hunger and help us to establish our colony in this new land.”

In history far and history near there have been those that God has sent our way to bless us and make life for us richer than it would have been without them. This Thanksgiving, find the “ Squantos” in your life and take time to thank God for them. It is even okay if they hear your prayer; encouragers need encouragers too.

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philipians 1:3 NIV

Dr. Bill Heston
bheston@fpchouston.org

Bill Heston works on the staff of First Presbyterian Church of Houston