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"Being Thankful - But to Who?"
231 sec promotional audio clip

"This is what the Lord says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, and ask where the good way is, and walk in it. You will find rest for your soul."
Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

"The Story of Squanto" Part 1

squantoheader_400 “SQUANTO WAS A SPECIAL INSTRUMENT OF GOD FOR OUR GOOD, BEYOND ANY POSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS.”

THE AMAZING PART OF THE PILGRIM STORY, THE PART MOST OF US WERE NEVER TAUGHT IN SCHOOL, WAS JUST HOW CLOSE THE PILGRIMS CAME TO NOT HAVING A THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION AT ALL. WHY? BECAUSE THEY VERY WELL MAY HAVE ALL DIED WITHIN THAT FIRST YEAR WERE IT NOT FOR ONE VERY SPECIAL MAN WHO PROVIDENTIALLY CAME TO THEIR COLONY AND SAVED THEIR LIVES.        

HIS NAME WAS SQUANTO. HE WAS AN INDIAN. A MEMBER OF THE PATUXET TRIBE. IN 1605, WHEN SQUANTO WAS JUST A YOUNG BOY, HE AND FOUR OTHER BOYS WERE CAPTURED FROM THEIR VILLAGE BY CAPTAIN GEORGE WEYMOUTH AND TAKEN BACK TO ENGLAND. CAPTAIN WEYMOUTH’S PLAN WAS TO CAPTURE SOME INDIAN NATIVES IN AMERICA AND TEACH THEM HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH SO THAT THEY COULD COMMUNICATE WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR AREA AND JUST WHERE THE BEST PLACES WOULD BE FOR THE ENGLISH TO ESTABLISH NEW COLONIES. IT WAS A CRUEL BUT CUNNING PLAN AND SQUANTO SPENT THE NEXT NINE YEARS OF HIS LIFE IN ENGLAND AT THE HOUSE OF SIR FERDINANDO GORGES. AND HE WAS TAUGHT PERFECT ENGLISH.   

FINALLY, IN 1614, CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH SET SAIL ON A VOYAGE TO AMERICA AND HE AGREED TO TAKE SQUANTO BACK TO HIS HOME AND HIS PEOPLE. BUT WHEN SQUANTO RETURNED, HIS HOMECOMING DIDN’T LAST LONG. SAILING ON ANOTHER SHIP WITH SMITH’S EXPEDITION WAS CAPTAIN THOMAS HUNT, AND HE HAD ONLY ONE THING IN MIND – MONEY.    

AS SOON AS SMITH HAD LEFT THE AREA, ONLY A FEW WEEKS LATER, CAPTAIN HUNT MADE HIS WAY BACK DOWN THE COAST AND LURED SQUANTO AND TWENTY OTHER PATUXET BRAVES ON BOARD HIS SHIP, AND PUT THEM IN CHAINS. AND THEN, AFTER CAPTURING SEVEN MORE BRAVES FROM ANOTHER TRIBE, CAPTAIN HUNT MADE HIS WAY TO MALAGA, A PORT ON THE COAST OF SPAIN WHICH WAS WELL KNOWN FOR ITS BRUTAL SLAVE TRADE. THERE, THESE STRONG INDIAN BRAVES COULD BE SOLD FOR AS MUCH AS $1,400 EACH. SQUANTO AND THE OTHERS WERE SOLD AS SLAVES.    

BUT SOMETHING QUITE MIRACULOUS HAPPENED.  A LOCAL MONASTERY HAD ACTUALLY GATHERED TOGETHER ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY A FEW OF THE SOON-TO-BE SLAVES, AND ONE OF THESE WAS SQUANTO. THEY BOUGHT HIM AND, UNBELIEVABLY, SET HIM FREE. HE LITERALLY OWED HIS LIFE TO THEM. HOW COULD ANY OF THEM KNOW THEN WHAT AN IMPORTANT PART SQUANTO WOULD PLAY IN OUR NATION’S HISTORY. FOR A SHORT TIME SQUANTO LIVED AT THE MONASTERY AND LEARNED ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.    

FINALLY, IN 1619, SQUANTO WAS ONCE AGAIN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO HOME. HE COULDN’T WAIT TO SEE HIS FAMILY. BUT, WHEN HE STEPPED OFF THE BOAT AND MADE HIS WAY BACK TO HIS VILLAGE, WHAT HE SAW THERE WAS THE MOST DEVASTATING BLOW OF HIS LIFE. THERE WAS NOT ONE MEMBER OF HIS TRIBE ALIVE. NOTHING BUT SKULLS, AND BONES, AND RUIN. WHILE SQUANTO HAD BEEN AWAY, A TERRIBLE SICKNESS HAD COME TO HIS VILLAGE AND HAD KILLED LITERALLY EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD.    

To see what happened to Squanto and the part he played in that first Thanksgiving, make sure and read Part 2 tomorrow.