Giving Thanks for the Generations That Came Before Us

Three years ago, I took my kids to see their daddy on a business trip 7 hours away in Pennsylvania (really it was more like 10 with all the stops for the kids). Can I just say for the record – traveling alone with kids is hard. Even with the DVD player going and bags stuffed with toys, it’s hard. We weren’t able to leave our sin natures at home – so it wasn’t long before there was bickering in the back seat.

So we arrived in far east Pennsylvania, and we met my husband. From there we took a train to Penn Station, a taxi to Battery Park and a ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. How grand she is!

On the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty

Together in front of the Statue of Liberty
Did I mention we waited in line for nearly 2 hours to catch the ferry? As an impatient American, that was not my favorite experience of the day! Did I mention there was a security check that made us feel like criminals? Did I mention how we were all squished on the ferry to the island?

Our Ferry Back!

From the Statue of Liberty we boarded the ferry to head to Ellis Island. God had a life lesson in store for me!

Ellis Island

My great grandfather came over on a boat from Hungary in the early 1900’s – so I stood where he stood. As I read the history of the horrific 1+ month boat ride from Europe – to the land of opportunity – I was humbled. The pictures of the travelers squished onto the boat with the clothes on their backs and nothing but hope packed in their hearts touched me.

Pictures of the travelers on the walls of Ellis Island

Suddenly the 10-hour drive, train ride, taxi ride, long line, security check and ferry ride seemed minor compared to what my great grandpa went through to see Lady Liberty!

Great Grandpa came with a dream – to make life better for generations to come, and there I stood – living out his dream. Could he have imagined how amazing his great granddaughter’s life would be – all because of his sacrifice?

Thank you Lord for such a brave and visionary Grandpa!

His name is on the wall of Ellis Island – he is Jozsef M Degi. He left his wife behind to come and work and earn money to send for her. It took him TEN years to get the money to send for his wife – could you imagine? Her name is under his – Katalin Szasz Degi.

My Great Grand Parents Names on the wall of Ellis Island
Their sacrifice is my reward.

As I looked at my overflowing trunk to come back to Ohio, I was humbled. I had more in my car for a 4-day weekend trip than my Great Grandpa had on the boat.

I want a piece of my Great Grandpa’s courage.

I want his fortitude.

I want his vision.

I want his strength.

I want his endurance.

I want his diligence.

I want his hope.

Psalm 145:4,5
“One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.”
This Thanksgiving, tell your children how God has blessed your family, and tell them about the people he has used to create your present.

Tell the stories; let the next generation hear of God’s marvelous works, his grace, and his love.

See to it that your children are inspired to have courage and hope like those who have come before us.

Lets give thanks for the generations that came before us!

Walk with the King!


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