Birthday Boy

May 1, 2008

A quarter of a century ago today, a son was born to a young missionary couple in Seoul, South Korea. The birth record reads, “the whole world waits with bated breath…a lovely prince is born and his first cry bursts forth upon the earth.” After their beloved prince was born and his cries had burst forth, they named him Daniel, after the Biblical character, and James, after his paternal grandfather.

A true boy, by the age of 4, he’d already had stitches twice(!). At age 5, it was discovered that he had a rare heart condition. At the time, the only solution was open heart surgery. In God’s providence, it was suggested by Dr. Dreisbach that such an operation be delayed until he was at least 10 years old. During the time of waiting, a new, less-invasive procedure was discovered, and he was one of the first patients to undergo the new procedure…which was successful. Just before the surgery, his parents read in the newspaper about a young man who died of the condition.

At age 11, he wrote this newspaper article (one of many family publications–make sure you check out the graph of Joshua’s increasing badness at the bottom left): 🙂

In 2001, he returned to the States and began his university studies. During that school year, he nervously introduced himself to his would-be wife. Sadly, she only has a vague recollection of the event.

A summer later, he found himself working at the same Christian camp as her, and they both found the other to be quite interesting. It was before the rise of popularity with digital cameras–thus she only has one picture of them together.

The next school year they did many things as part of a missions-minded group of friends. Things like mud fights in the freezing cold…

and other things like standing in the middle of the ocean together on sharp rocks that will forever leave a visible impression on their feet…

Ahh…those were the days when one could survive for months on end with only 1 load of laundry and 5 hours of sleep a night! They even went on a date…on February 14, of course! Months passed (she even made a giant hut-shaped card for his surprise birthday party–with real clay!), and summer led them worlds apart. Well continents, anyway. He wrote often from Africa, and she from camp. But just as friends. One time, he accidentally signed his letter, “Love, Daniel.” Only she wasn’t sure why.

But after much struggle, she gave it over to the Lord and assumed it must haven been a mistake. (Most likely he copied part of an e-mail to his parents, the sources say.) But God answered both their prayers as they began a more serious relationship a few months later. By the summer they were engaged, and a year later married! And now they are still madly in love, preparing for Madagascar, ministering in their church and neighborhood, have a wonderful daughter…and are celebrating Daniel’s 25th Birthday today!

Happy Birthday, Daniel! 🙂


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  • marcia May 1, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    what a sweet post. thanks for making my day happy, too.

  • Lyn May 1, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your husband and to your relationship. It is so wonderful to see couples who have such great love for each other. Have a wonderful birthday together!

  • Kelly Klaustermeyer May 1, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    That is so sweet. Tell Daniel Happy Birthday from us. See you this weekend.

  • Julia May 1, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    Great biography! =) Happy birthday, Daniel!

  • Ben Willis May 1, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Happy Birthday! Loved the graph of Josh’s badness.

  • sashwhy May 1, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    That newspaper article cracks me up!!! I hope my kids come up with stuff like that 🙂 I love the pictures of Daniel’s dad, too!

  • Stephanie May 2, 2008 at 9:28 am

    What a wonderful story. Isn’t it amazing how clear hindsight is; how God ftis everything together. =)

    Happy Birthday Daniel.