Tuesday, November 11, 2014

“Genuinely good people create goodness in others. The sun shines out of them. They warm you right through.” ― Michael Morpurgo

The quote above is certainly true of the people who truly warmed my heart yesterday afternoon.  Our Australian Anglican missionary friend, Samantha Archer, and her whole family (her husband, Matt, is an Anglican Priest, and they have five children) invited me, Karen, and John to their home here in Bunda to celebrate my 70th birthday.  The actual birthday isn’t until Friday, but Samantha will be in Dar Es Salaam on that day.  For the past several years, Samantha has always baked me a cake on my birthday and brought it to me with several of her children and gifts.  Each time, I was touched as my birthdays in general have been depressing as a result of childhood traumas, and Samantha’s kindness has always lifted my spirits and warmed my heart.  She and her husband are the kind of role models as parents the rest of the world should admire.  Yesterday was truly special, however, as we all went to her house for a barbecue.  Also present was Steffi Kroppach, a German missionary we know well and have hosted her husband, herself, and their four daughters on many occasions when they were serving in Geita, Tanzania.  They are back in Germany now, but she said they will probably be returning to Africa next year to serve in Kenya.  She brought all the makings for a Black Forest German chocolate birthday cake and baked it herself when she got here.  She also brought gifts for each of us, and we were touched once again.  She is kneeling next to her cake in the foreground of the picture at the right.  Steffi and her husband are also the kind of role model parents from whom the world could learn a lot about parenting.  Also present yesterday was Sam Leppanen, a Canadian/Finnish missionary who, with his family, have also stayed with us several times when they were serving near here at Balumba.  His family is back in Canada at present, but Sam’s heart is still here, and he was here helping with some projects he started last year.  Sam is leaning over behind me in the picture.  He says he is still a resident of Tanzania with his family currently vacationing in Canada.  He, also, hopes to return.  He brought me a gift as well, a tee shirt from Canada that says, “Don’t Moose With Me.”  We sang grace in Swahili, ate, played games with the kids, and then had that special German birthday cake with muffins spelling out “70” and failing to acquire 70 candles, they had one big one on the cake that was spectacular.  To be with family and friends who love you and want to make your day special is a gift beyond price.  I was moved, humbled, touched, and had my heart warmed and my spirits lifted.  Hard to ask for much more than that, eh?  (That “eh?” is for my Canadian friends.) 
Post a Comment