When Dr. David Gunaratnam & Christina walked into Wang Restaurant, the crowd applauded their presence and spontaneously sang 'happy birthday' song. David was astounded to see 150 friends crowded in a room with expression of appreciation written all over their faces. Russel and Dee and their two grown up children Joy and Andrew came from USA to grace the occasion. Joy later gave a speech to thank David for having impacted her parents. She had heard so much about David from Russel. Now she knew why her parents have so much admiration for this man of God. It was a night of great memories. Most of us have been impacted by David's life and ministry one way or another.
Fatt Sian & Teo Chew, who were TAR college students 27 years ago, took turn to narrate their stories how each has been mentored by David. David and Christina had not only opened their home to host many students but also shared their lives. David took pain to study Bible and guided them in decision makings. His professional, family and church life was a model. Today Fatt Sian, Teo Chew & many others are leaders in their own right because of the godly influence of David.
Pastor Tony Lim presented to David a book 'The Soul of Mission- Perspective on Christian Leadership, Spirituality & Mission in East Asia' edited by Dr. Tan Kang San. Kang San too was a mentee of David. Way back he was just a college student. He is now head of the missiological department in Redcliffe Mission Organisation. This book is a unique book with essays written by Western & Asian theologians, missionaries and pastors in honor of David Gunaratnam who celebrated his 70th birthday. I contributed a short article sharing my reflection on the impact of David's ministry on mentoring a young generation. His leadership is relatively a quiet one and yet impactful.
In an age where the public applauded celebrities, platform charismatic leaders, David's quiet leadership offers a new perspective and freshness of spirituality. We thank God for a man like David. He is indeed God's gift to His church.