Newly arrived migrants enjoy Thanksgiving feast in East Flatbush
About 150 asylum seekers from shelters in Brooklyn and the Bronx celebrated their first Thanksgiving in the United States Saturday during a feast in East Flatbush.
It was organized by the New Hope Christian Fellowship Church, who work with asylum seekers and prepared the meal.
Pastor Orlando Findlayter said many of them arrived three to six months ago.
"We want to show them that they are our brothers, our sisters," Findlayter said. "We want to introduce them to an American culture and one of the biggest things in this country is Thanksgiving."
A few had some knowledge as to the significance of Thanksgiving. The asylum seekers got a brief lesson as they joined in prayer.
They enjoyed chicken, ham, rice and other Thanksgiving favorites. One of the asylum seekers, Mari Marencko, said she did not expect to have such a feast in the United States.
"Coming here, they've blessed us like great friends," Marencko said in Spanish. "I don't know what would've been of us given everything that's happened. I'm very thankful."
The pastor said the church plans to host a Christmas dinner next month for the migrants.