Stephanie Hamren wanted to surprise her dad in the best way she knew how: by tracking down something he hadn’t seen in 21 years. It took a lot of hard work and dedication on Stephanie’s part, too, but she pulled it off – and her dad’s reaction was priceless.
The dramatic reveal came in August 2014. And, fortunately, the emotional moment was captured on video, which has now attracted more than 1.4 million views on YouTube. In the clip, Hamren’s dad is seen turning the corner of the house before coming face-to-face with his long-lost pride and joy.
But, for those who know her, it would perhaps be no surprise that Stephanie Hamren, who lives in Troutville, Virginia, would do this for her pa. After all, she’s a real family girl who appreciates all that her parents have done for her.
Still, her plan for this surprise was ambitious to say the least. And it all centered around a car. But it wasn’t just any car; this car had a long history.
In fact, when he was 16, Hamren’s dad restored a stunning Ford Sedan that had rolled off the production line back in 1936. It was a real beauty, and he quickly fell in love with it. In all fairness, though, who wouldn’t?
At the time, Hamren’s dad took his treasured vehicle to car shows up and down the United States. And he wasn’t the only one, it seemed, who appreciated the beautiful automobile. After all, in many of the shows he was victorious.
But after he started a family, things changed. Yes, in 1993 Hamren’s dad decided to sell the beloved Sedan in order to raise a bit of cash. And while it was no doubt a difficult decision to make, he needed the money to pay for his daughter’s seminary.
“My dad talked about this car for as long as I can remember,” wrote Hamren later on Facebook. “[He was] always saying he would buy it back if he could find it. Well last year I began the search… it’s been my dream to buy it for him.”
So, in 2013, Hamren and her mom finally got round to putting the gears of this ambitious dream in motion. Yes, the search for the old Sedan began, but it wasn’t going to be easy.
Indeed, the pair spent months on the hunt for the vintage vehicle. Finally, after searching far and wide, they managed to track it down to Ringgold, Louisiana, where it had sat for 15 years.
But now it was time for the car to come home. “After a few months of finding it and arranging the purchase, we scrambled the money together and brought it home on our secret trip to ‘New Orleans,’” wrote Hamren.
So while it might have been Hamren’s idea, she relied on her mom’s support the whole time. And her mom didn’t let the side down: she managed to keep the plan a secret from her husband the whole time.
Suffice to say, things were going well; Hamren and her mom got the car back to Virginia with relative ease. “Finding the car, getting the money, and getting it halfway across the United States with no problems is truly a blessing from God!” remarked Hamren.
And it was all worth it when Hamren revealed the car to her dad. Indeed, he was totally overcome by emotion; he simply couldn’t believe what his family had done for him. After all, this was the first time he’d set eyes on the car since 1993 – 21 years ago.
On the car’s key chain is an etching referencing a psalm, Matthew 19:29, in which Jesus extols the virtues of sacrificing possessions for his sake. It seems especially fitting, as this is pretty much exactly what Hamren’s dad did for his family.
However, this wasn’t the final stop of the Hamrens’ journey with the old Sedan. In fact, there was still a lot of work to do, and fixing an old vehicle like this takes a lot of cash.
Moreover, much of the Hamrens’ time and money has recently been spent on helping Hamren’s mom fight an illness. Consequently, in March 2016, Hamren set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for the repairs to the car.
“All extra money has been spent on my mom’s hospitalization this past year,” wrote Hamren on GoFundMe. She added, “It’s my dream to get this car back on the road for my dad.”
“Many have asked if I had a GoFundMe account because they would like to donate,” she wrote. “So I figured I would make one. We will see how God uses it.”
So far, the campaign has raised $100 of its $6,000 target. Hopefully, though, the Hamrens can pull it out of the bag. After all, they’ve come so far and achieved so much, it would be a real shame if it failed at the final hurdle.