This weekend we had some visitors to Warsaw. The Rev. Benjamin Mayes and his wife Rebecca and son Caleb came up from St. Louis Friday, as did my mother Floris from Pittsburg, KS. It was my middle daughter’s birthday Sunday. She turned 5 and was very excited about it. We had a really enjoyable time with everyone. Saturday we had a picnic out at the local park with, and we were joined by friends Keith and Susan Guess, along with their three boys. The weather began to look threatening, so we decided to pack it up and head home.
Sunday I had a surprise in store for me. After my second service I had to go to Walmart to pick up a few things, and when I got back to Warsaw I noticed a bunch of cars in the parking lot, even cars from Messiah. I kept asking Ben, “What’s going on? Did I forget about a pot-luck?” I had absolutely no idea what was up. I thought that maybe Amy had invited members of the church to celebrate Lizzy’s birthday, because I knew that she had made a cake for her. But that just didn’t seem right either. So, we went down into the basement of the church and as I walked in Amy, my wife, was there with a camera saying: “Happy 5 yrs. in the Ministry!” and snapping my picture. Surprise! Everyone had me completely fooled. I never even suspected anything. Members of both congregations were there. They all had kept straight faces after church.
It was a really nice celebration. There was great food, a wonderful cake with a cross and the words: “Preach you the Word and plant it home” on it. Ben said a prayer for anniversary of an ordination, and then we enjoyed the meal. I have never been so surprised in my life. They really pulled a fast one on me. Five years in the ministry on June 2. Hard to believe. Many thanks to my dear wife for setting everything up, to my dear mother for making the trip up to Warsaw, my friends, and the members of Messiah and Concordia Lutheran Churches!