Happy Birthday!

Today we have a first for our blog: A guest blogger. I'm so blessed to have my parents here vistiting with us at this time. Not wanting to sound self-serving I've invited my mother to write about my recent surprise Birthday party at the church.

We were so happy to be with John on his birthday, something that hasn't been possible for ten years. Debbie let us in on a secret: the church folks were planning a surprise party for John! We all played dumb and on Sunday at church " Happy Birthday" was sung and best wishes given and we all went home. Monday, John's actual birthday was routine, except that I fixed his favorite meal of meatloaf, creamed potatoes and brocolli with cheese. Just as we finished dinner, There was a phone call from Daniel, the Peruvian pastor at the church. An emergency! Daniel was in the neighborhood near the church, had left his keys at home and could hear water running inside! As there had been serious water leaks before, this was a likely scenario. Junior and I went with John to see if we could help with mopping up. As soon as we left the house, Debbie called a cab and she and the girls left, carrying the birthday cake and candles. When we three mopper-uppers arrived, a worried-looking Daniel was outside the church wringing his hands. As John unlocked the door and swung it open, there was a blast of warm air (the people had been shut inside for a hour with doors and windows closed to maintain the " surprise") and then a loud shout of " Surprise and Happy Birthday!" John was so surprised that he clutched his chest and said "infarto!" (heart attack) There were more than 40 people there, from infant through adults. We had snacks, chips, cookies and soft drinks, played games and heard many heartwarming testimonies from the church folks about how John had impacted their lives for Christ. It was especially encouraging to hear some of the teens pray aloud and give testimonies, when only a few years ago they had never heard the good news of the Gospel. We lit the candles on a"torta tres leches", and John, with help from Elizabeth and Olivia, blew them out, and everyone enjoyed a slice of John's favorite cake. We sang some favorite hymns and 2 versions of Happy Birthday. As parents, it was so wonderful to see that our son and his family have a church family here to love and care for them when they are so many miles from us. This was an occasion we'll never forget!