I thought about it earlier this year how I was going to celebrate two milestones in my life and ministry, but completely forgotten about the second one until late last night when a former student formed a group and suggested a reunion of my former students who had been in my College home groups over the three years that I was there. Celebrating milestones is important. It is not for nothing that it is mentioned consistently that kings reigned when they turned 30 years old like David and Solomon, and then Jesus and John the Baptist. By December which is only 7 weeks away, I shall be celebrating my 25th anniversary in full-time service (Silver Jubilee). Without friends, there is no celebration. "Come friends, eat and drink fully," says the Song of Songs.
Who wants to celebrate with enemies? My students are in for a surprise and about a third of them within 24 hours had already indicated that they would make the trip to Kota Kinabalu. It is not easy for most of them to travel far, especially those who are now serving in far away villages and towns, some 4 or 5 or 6 hours' drive to Kota Kinabalu. I am touched by their friendship and eagerness to celebrate with me and hold a reunion less than a year after I had ended my tenure at College. No wonder it is difficult for me to leave this place, this land below the wind "for in the saints of the land is my delight."