Dad’s desire

When I first went to work in Africa, I was gone for 3-5 years at a time. Turnaround time for a letter was 4-6 weeks. Phone calls were expensive, so we called home once a year with a stopwatch running. I was really absent.

When we returned home for brief stays, my dad would want to see us of course, and he sure enjoyed his grandchildren. But when we were going back he would pray God’s blessings on us and encourage us to follow him.

He often said that all he really wanted was for his children to follow the Lord. He said that again the day before he passed away. He got great joy and satisfaction from knowing that I was following the Lord. That was enough for him. If I were to tell him I was going to establish a mission at the gates of hell and take his grandsons, he would bless me for following God.

He would rather have his children and grandchildren far away if that’s what they had to do to follow the Lord. It wasn’t just that he wanted his children to follow the Lord, nor that he wanted that the most. It was more than that. For him, having a child following the Lord was enough. It was so satisfying that it filled the void left when we went away giving him joy when he thought of us.