A Surprise Celebration!

They planned a surprise birthday party for me! They used everything they had to make it special. Paper flowers and balloons filled the room and they prepared my favorite snacks- oatmeal cookies, corn fritters, and empanadas. I had no idea it was coming and when they yelled “Surprise”, I wondered still if it was for me.

My birthday was a month before, but because I had kept a rigorous travel schedule and found myself sick between trips without adequate rest to recover from the typhoid fever that hit the week of my actual birthday— we were celebrating now!

Joy Reyes as Surprise Party


Nero was leading the show and had planned the program. They put a crown on my head and reminded me that I was a child of God. They spoke sweet words of gratitude and shared memories and funny stories.

Then Nero put her hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and confidently declared:
Because of you, “I have a home, a name, and a new identity!”

Group at Party
Just when I thought, “I could die now.” I was handed a letter in a homemade sealed envelope from another sweet girl who had taken time to plan her words.
"Thank you for receiving me in your home.
Thank you for giving me a family.
Thank you for loving me like a mom.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you, Joy,
Because together with you I have learned the meaning of the most beautiful word
LOVE. I never knew how much Love my heart could hold until someone called me 'daughter.'"

What a beautiful time of celebration!
Their words they meant to edify and lift me up were actually providing testimony of God’s great love for all of us.
His daughters!
He is the ONE that LOVES BIG!
Gives us a home, a family, a name, and a new identity, and fills us with New Hope.
And He does it through us!