I woke up on Saturday grumpy. It was a dark day, not weather-wise, but internally. Unfortunately, my husband also seemed under a dark cloud that day. We bumbled into each other a few times throughout the day.
It was time to get ready for service at a Mandarin speaking church. Mike offered for me to stay home since I was so glum. But I decided to go, gloomy mood and all.
It is the custom at this church to share a turkey dinner along with many delicious Malaysian dishes on the Saturday after American Thanksgiving. The pastor leads her congregation in giving thanks on that day. We picked up a prepared turkey dinner they had ordered for the church.
The songs they sung, though in Mandarin, had English translation. I was so touched that in moments tears rolled down my cheeks and just wouldn’t stop. I had to quietly move to the back to keep from drawing too much attention to myself.
The pastor led the people in thanks to all who had helped through the year and to the Lord for His blessings to them collectively and individually. Then, before asking my husband to speak, she talked to the people in Mandarin for a long time. She interpreted for us occasionally. She talked about our long friendship with her and their church, about our family coming to Malaysia, our family life, and more.
After the meeting was over and before everyone went to eat the prepared feast, many of the folks gave us cards, small gifts, personal thanks, and a huge fruit basket. They came and asked us to cut a cake. It said, “Happy Anniversary,” on it. After they lit three candles, they sang, “Happy Anniversary,” to the tune of Happy Birthday to you.
It was at about that point when we realized the pastor had turned their annual Thanksgiving service into a celebration of our 30 years in Malaysia! We were so blessed and so humbled.
It was almost too much to take in. These people were so kind and generous and thoughtful. We cannot even speak their language, yet they treated us so well!
We love Malaysia and the people. We are thankful we have been able to make Malaysia our Second Home. Malaysians have opened their homes and hearts to us. We could not have chosen any better place to live and serve even if we could have made the choice. We don’t feel like we are doing anything so special or unusual. We just do what we would do anywhere. Yet this place and this people have been planted in our hearts and we feel so privileged!
That dark day now stands out with a brilliant silver glow.