Birthday Present Stuns Missionary

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN (June 2, 2015) — Covenant missionary Aaron Thompson wept when his teenage nieces who traveled here last week presented him with his birthday gift on Sunday: $13,150 that they had secretly raised for him.

From left to right: Morgan, Raegan, Stina, Aaron holding Ruth, and Iris

From left to right: Morgan, Raegan, Stina, Aaron holding Ruth, and Iris


He wrote on his Facebook timeline Sunday that he had “received the best birthday present ever” for his 34th birthday.

Morgan and Raegen Espe raised the money to give Aaron, his wife, Stina, and their two daughters because they knew the Thompsons had been struggling to raise the $15,000 in contributions they need for the year. The stress was becoming almost overwhelming for Aaron.

The girls initially hoped to raise $1,000 when they mailed 168 fundraising letters and asked all the recipients to keep it a secret. They raised the $1,000 from one person in two days. Then the checks kept coming.

Aaron, Raegan and Morgan

Aaron, Raegan and Morgan

Aaron and Stina were sitting on their couch when the girls broke the news and held up a poster that illustrated how much money they had raised. The names of all the contributors were listed on the back.

Morgan, 15, and Raegan, 14, initially had drawn a thermometer to highlight the amount of money they were raising. “Our thermometer was growing, and we had to add more and more paper,” said LaVonne Thompson, Aaron’s mother and the girl’s grandmother.

“Morgan had the idea to draw a plane since they were traveling to Sweden for the first time so they used that as the ‘new thermometer,” LaVonne said. “That also stretched beyond what they imagined. “The cloud had to be added to show our final amount raised.”

Aaron wrote, “When they showed the fundraising amount I broke down crying….I saw all the names of those who gave and I cried even more. It is as if God had heard my cry for help. All at once all the stress, all the anxiety of wondering where the support would come from was gone.”

Aaron added, “Genesis 12 says that we are blessed to be a blessing and that’s definitely what happened to me today.”




  • You are so right Nancy Reed! There are so many demands physically & emotionally to just do the “work” let alone raising your own support for yourself & the covenant offices. I have watched my son and we as a family have seen the physical results. We are so grateful to all who have given!

  • Such a great story – part of a much wider one on what it costs physically and emotionally for missionaries to raise their support. They are diligently serving the Lord and the Covenant. Let´s get behind them!

  • Great news for Aaron Thompson and the Swedish church where he is pastor. God has blessed with a magnificent gift of needed support.

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