My Dad was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
I sometimes think about this young boy living in the time of war. I do wonder at times about the pre-teen who left the Netherlands and came to Canada and learned about a new land, a new language and a new way of living. And then there was the young man who had a career as a tool and die worker but opted to leave secure employment to go to Calvin and enter the ministry. And then there was a young adult who married a beautiful woman from Sussex New Jersey.
And then there was making a way while studying and working, and then parenting one son, and then another son, and then a third child and in 1969, a fourth child and his first Church in Salt Lake City, Utah….and on and on and on it goes…and then one more child and a few more moves…but all the time, there was connection to family, friends, and the Church community in our every day life.
My Dad is a man who lives out of his calling and convictions. He speaks what is on his mind and is very gifted in leadership. He understands entering into chaos and finding purpose in the pain. My Dad is a leader, an advocate, a husband, a parent, a Pastor and a friend. I am thankful that my Dad has been one of the most influential people in my life. He has taught me about living true to my convictions and being compassionate with those around me. He has shaped my views of spirituality and theology and reminds me that our faith does not bring answers to everything, but leaves us room to wonder and grow in faith.
Our family is far from perfect. We struggle with real life issues and have battle wounds from the journey of life. But one thing I know for sure, my Dad and Mom have taught us about being loyal and true to one another. My Dad and Mom have taught us to laugh and enjoy one another. My Dad and Mom have modeled to us that it is important to save money and more important to be generous in our ways. In my adult years, I have found that my Dad and Mom are always ready to welcome and embrace us back home!
Happy Happy Birthday Dad. May this next year be one of deep satisfaction because of what you are able to give and also because of what you receive. May you experience rest, relaxation, purpose and productivity. It is delightful to not only see you grow and change in your role as husband and father, but to delight in being a Papa to Janneke, Henry, Anne, Karolyn, Ellie, Andrew, Ryan, Olivia, Noah, Sonta, Jean Marc, Peter, Isaiah and Johanna!
Thank you Dad for being you,
All my love,