Dallas Church Serves First Thanksgiving to Area Refugees

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DALLAS - St. John's Episcopal Church opened its doors to refugees from all over the world to experience one of America's favorite holidays.

The big feast was put together by Gateway of Grace, an organization that helps refugees from war torn countries who have experienced severe trauma.

The organization helps the refugees get a fresh start in the U.S.  Samira Izadi Page, Executive Director of Gateway of Grace, understands what it's like to walk in their shoes.

"When my family and I came here about 18 years ago.  Holidays were extremely difficult because we had no idea what was going on and we had no resources to celebrate.  It was really dark and difficult for us.  So when I started Gateway of Grace I wanted to make sure that holidays are special times for refugees."

Father David Houk, Rector of St. Johns Episcopal Church, is happy to welcome the refugees for a third year.

"I'm thinking of a verse in book of Roman that says welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you.  We who are Christians believe that our job is to open our doors and our arms wide to others."

Maryam, an Iranian refugee, was very thankful to experience the traditional turkey day with her family.

"Because of American life everyone is very busy.  We just get (a) chance to come here and see each other.  I can say each year it's a good opportunity."