Sunday, September 9, 2007

30th Birthday

Well, last week was my 30th birthday. I know, I'm getting old. On the other hand, it doesn't feel so much like getting old as growing up.

We actually had my party in August. Korea is hosting the Under-17 World Cup (for Soccer) this year, and Cheonan was able to host several games. Our church took about 30 people to the USA vs Belgium match, and we had my birthday party at halftime. It was great. The US won 2-0, and we had lots of friends to celebrate my party. (A few rebels from New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, and other such places cheered for Belgium - anybody but the USA - but we still allowed them to sit with us.) We even got to see the USA play again later in the week, but they lost a great game to Germany to be knocked out of the tournament.

Sarah had a great idea for my birthday. She asked lots of our friends and family to donate to charities in my honor as a birthday gift to me. We were overwhelmed by the response. People gave a total of well over US$1,000 to a wide variety of charities. I got gifts from around the world:

- supplies for missionaries in Turkey

- relief for flood victims

- relief for 5 families recovering from the Lima, Peru earthquake

- seedling trees for a poor family in a developing country

- support for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries

- food and education for needy children

- food for hungry people in Africa

- private support for a family in need

- support for “Home Alive” - self-defense classes for women

- 2 hens, a wheelbarrow, and medicine for AIDS orphans in Africa.

- support for Madagascar Street Kids Ministry, NCM

- a beehive for a poor family in Uganda

- support for Mercy Street, possibly the coolest church I've ever heard of, www.mercystreet.org.

- other unspecified charities

This is so cool! What great gifts! I am really thrilled. This is so much better than a sweater or some socks! The creativity and variety of these gifts is really overwhelming. Also, many of these gifts, like the trees, the chickens and wheelbarrow, and the beehive will keep on giving for years to come. This round of presents is collectively the best birthday present I've ever received!

On the actual day, Sept. 5, we went out to the Pink Beacon in the Night (Baskin Robins) for some ice cream with our good friends, Joe, Elena, Brett, and Ian. That was nice, but we had to brave another night of endless rain from our strangely extended rainy season here. (The rainy season finally seems to be over now. I actually got to play soccer yesterday!)

I have heard the calls for pictures, but I'm afraid that's Sarah's department. I'll ask her if she could post something or at least some links.
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