Thank you to everyone who e-mailed birthday wishes and for the 2 birthday phone calls from my daughters. I had a wonderful birthday, with a cooling motorcycle ride to and from church, a hot meal waiting for me, and my African grandchildren singing “Happy Birthday” as I arrived and presenting me with a large bouquet of plumeria (my favorite flower). If you have ever smelled this tropical flower, you will understand that only God could have created such a wonderful fragrance- it filled my bedroom for several days! Although it was VERY strange to have a January birthday that was above freezing (actual temp was around 90 degrees), it was a wonderful day.
In Africa, birthdays for adults are barely mentioned and for children it is not much better. In the Kasenga District where everyone is very poor the mother may prepare a special food for the family meal, but a gift is rarely purchased or given. They do sing Happy Birthday here and the song has 3 verses. After one of the verses you have to state your age, however my African family omitted this verse for me out of respect.
Isn’t it amazing how God’s love can be felt all around the world? Sending love and hugs to everyone who reads this blog. -Jane