"Sarah, Dad is here." I called out to Sarah when I spotted her at Grand Rapids airport. "Dad." She ran towards me and gave me a hug. Sarah was obviously excited to see me and her smile took away all the tiredness of a very long journey. You got to be a father to understand the heart of a father. I was in Charlotte airport at 12pm and I was re-routed to Cicinnati instead of Cleveland because of bad weather. It was the eve of the Thanksgiving Day and every airline was overbooked. I had to wait at Cicinnati for 4 hours. When the plane finally touched down at Grand Rapids airport, it was 9pm. It was really cold in Grand Rapids as compared to the warm climate in Charlotte.
Arriving at Sarah's dormitory, she was very proud to introduce me to her friends. "Akiko, this is my dad." I was equally pleased to meet her friends in Calvin College. "Dad, this is Theresa, my good friend." "Dad, this is Jiyea, my roommate." "Hi, Akiko, hi Theresa... Jiyea, Aun Yong Har Seh Oh (Korean)."
Sarah has forgotten that her dad has seen them before. She posted their pictures on her blog. I thank God for enriching her life with friends from different nations. I could sense that living in dormitory is fun - interactive and engaging.
"Sarah, look at all the stuff that your mum has bought for you." "Here is the Indon Mee, the 3 in 1 instant coffee, the Alcafe (given by Grace Chong - the bride of David Chong), the Sushi stuff, Bak Kut Teh paste..." Sarah has been generous in sharing whatever Malaysian food with her international friends. She is a good ambassador for Malaysia. Patriotism comes in all shapes and sizes. One size does not fit all!
When I went to Scotland 31 years ago, I was all alone. Dundee's winter was bitterly cold. Malaysian foodstuff was nowhere to be seen.
It was so good to catch up with Sarah. We talked for hours the next day. It thrills my heart to know that she still has the conviction to come back to Malaysia. I am so glad that she really enjoys her study in Calvin.
We celebrated first time (its first time for Sarah as well as first time for me) Thanksgiving in Chicago at her friend's home. As the Americans thank God for His blessing of providence and protection upon the puritans, their ancestors, I thank God for His grace, mercy and love for sarah.
I cried silently with tears of joy and thanksgiving because God has been so good to us.
I never expect to see Sarah so soon. She has grown in just a few months. She is in the hand of God whose heart as a heavenly Father is gracious, generous and gentle. I can trust Him, his wisdom is above mine. He knows what is best for Sarah. My vocation as a father is simpler - to be a good, loving and godly father to my children. This is my gift to Sarah and Samuel.
"It's not where you are at but whom you are with that makes the difference." - Anonymous