I suppose it had to happen at some stage that I would write about my dad. We live in a far away country & we miss our friends and family. And when the going gets tough, I used to go talk to my dad. But he went to heaven in 2005, some months before our youngest was born. He knew she was coming, but never got to meet her or my sister’s daughter who was born around the same time.
My dad was a people person. He understood the delicate balance between supporting me in everything I did, giving advice when I would listen & still not stand in my way when I willingly chose the wrong way. If I chose not to learn from his experience, then he allowed me to learn from my own experience. And then we would joke about it afterwards, and I know it made me a better person.
My dad was deeply devoted to God. Every morning, before leaving for school, I would find him in his study, where he would be doing bible study & most mornings he would say goodbye and add that he was praying for me. And I needed that dearly, come to think of it.
My dad reached out to others. After I left the house, I would often visit my parent’s home over weekends. On regular Sunday mornings, he would leave the house even before I woke up. He would drive to a farm community some distance from home & go and teach in their church hall to some of the least privileged communities in our region. Giving them an opportunity for spiritual growth was more important to him than his own safety.
My dad served. He also took part in missionary outreaches & EE3 programs; walking from door to door in some areas of town & telling people about God. On the day of his funeral, a lady called us to express condolences & gave witness of meeting Jesus on one such occasion. He was also very active in the local church.
My dad gave. We would get beggars arriving at our door about 5 or 6 times per week. Dad had a small stack of money in his cupboard. Every time a beggar came by, he would hand over enough money for bread & milk. And he asked no questions about what they intended to do with the money. We used to tell him that they made misuse of his generosity. But he just said, “They will not make me poor”. They did get more than just money from him though, I will not be surprised if one day we learn that some of them me Jesus through him.
I miss you dad. There is so much I’d like to share with you; I hope you’re smiling up there in heaven when you see your children & grand-children grow. You left quite a legacy.