Monday, August 27, 2012

Surprising the Septuagenarian

Traditionally our family hasn't done much for birthdays.  Once you reach a certain age you start hoping people won't notice when the odometer registers another year.  The last really big party in our family was when I turned 10.  (And in case you were wondering, that wasn't last year.)
But it's not every year your father becomes a septuagenarian.  And besides, a birthday is a good excuse to publicly praise Jesus and thank friends and family who have invested in our lives.

Actually his birthday was celebrated first in India.  Yes, you read right.  The evangelist-training school he visited earlier this year held special celebrations and prayer times for Dad's birthday.  They sent us pictures of the celebration.

For security reasons, this is the only picture I am showing online of the India celebrations.

At home, we had to plan carefully because Dad was suspicious that we would do something to surprise him.  On his actual birthday we gave him a "fake" surprise celebration at a church family's home, complete with delicious carrot cake and ice cream and blowing out the candles.  Mom's sister and brother came in from out of state.  Here's a video from that:

Other friends who couldn't come in person recorded audio greetings for him.  Here are a few classics:

One friend even recorded a video for Dad (his first time to make a YouTube).
Then after a few nerve-wracking near-giveaways of the big secret, the real moment of surprise arrived.  We were (supposedly) invited to a surprise party on Saturday for our pastor's mother.  Unbeknownst to Dad, it was actually a party for him.  He walked in and... Mom and I, still in the parking lot, could hear everyone shout "Surprise!!"
This is actually the look on his face at the moment of surprise, not Dad being a ham.
Now the embarrassment is setting in...
My aunt and uncle were still here, and my brother and his wife and daughter came.  In fact, a total of 51 people showed up!

Back row: my brother, me, my uncle
Middle: my aunt, Dad, my sister in law, my niece
Front: mom!

Friends also donated nearly $600 to help buy MegaVoice digital audio Bible tools for evangelists in India.

Here's a video of the speaking portion of the party, after the food.  

Thank you friends for your labors and time in honoring my dad.

Thank You Father for giving my father another year of life.  And thank You for giving us Your Son, so that we might know what life truly is.  Amen.


  1. I wish I could be there. Happy birthday to you

  2. Hello Ward,

    Congratualitons for staying so young.
    Regards from Leipzig, Andre.