Father, daddy, friend, hero, pappa, papito… they say in Sweden that a dear child has many names. My world is empty; I don’t have the man who shaped my life anymore. He was not just my Dad. He was my friend, my partner in mission work for many years, my hero throughout my life.
Per Hugo Anderås did not want to be called hero. He was the faith hero in my life. He was an example to me and my siblings of what it means to live a selfless life, a life in service to God.
As a child I did not appreciate Dad as I should. I thought he was too strict! But soon enough I began to appreciate this. Having a father who led me to find God’s way is a legacy that cannot be measured in gold. And that he was strict helped to keep me on the straight and narrow.
We used to dress up in Peruvian costumes
for our mission services.
Dad was not a people person. That was my Mom’s strong side. Sometimes he was harsh in expressing himself, but he meant well. He had problems with contacts, but his heart was in the right place. Thanks to his selfless love, many people in the Peruvian Andes have been richly blessed by his missionary endeavors.
In 1948, Dad, Mom and I left Sweden for a missionary life in Chile. In 1956, we arrived in Peru as the first Swedish missionaries. From Arequipa we moved to Tarma, and later to Huancayo, where Mom and Dad spent most of their lives. In addition to planting the church, Dad established a Bible institute, a home for children whose parents were in prison, organized children and youth camps, helped single mothers, had clean water installed in a poor neighborhood, opened feeding stations, etc.
My Hero Father feared the Lord and delighted in His Commands. I am most thankful because he taught me to fear God and delight in honoring God’s Commands.
Many times I’ve asked myself, how come I was so privileged to have missionary parents, more than that Christian parents? I don’t have words enough to thank God. Dad hoped to reach 100, but he was given 97 years! I will not be able to attend his funeral but let me leave here some of my memories.
What was the best thing about my Dad? That he led me to know the best Father in the universe, my Heavenly Father. The older I get the deeper grows my gratitude for being born into a Christian home and having received a father whose mind was set on proclaiming God’s love. Dad was a young man when he came to know Jesus.
These are a few of all the things that I will always remember and cherish about my father:
His life as a true follower of Christ has been a role-model for me. One thing that impressed me very much years ago, was when Dad were slandered. I thought he should defend himself, but he said that he would just leave it in God’s hands, and that truth would prevail. The people that were planning on having his blood run down Main Street got the shorter straw. Dad lived to be 97!
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Proverbs 10:9
Love, honesty, sincerity, generosity, patience, joy, faith, humility… these are some of the features I saw in my father, but most of all integrity. He could be harsh, and at times, kind of blunt. He said what he meant and meant what he said! He always did what was right, but sometimes he didn’t do it exactly right!
I love that Dad was my friend. When I was fifteen and Mom worked as a house-mother at a boarding school for missionary kids, I stayed home and “took care” of him. I loved it! I think that’s when we built our friendship. It all started when he lost confidence in me (because I had gotten a boyfriend). He told me I had to rebuild the confidence, and in rebuilding it, I built a friendship.
If you wonder about the boyfriend thing, keep in mind that my parents were “old-fashioned” Swedes and were not used to the American custom of “dating.” At the time we were attending an American school in the jungles of Peru.
Dad taught me to have faith in God, to trust him unconditionally. For that I am most thankful. I have seen him do missionary ministry by faith, building and constructing, helping the needy, and trusting God for every penny. I’ve admired him many times and I am glad to follow in his footsteps.
Dad did a good job as disciplinarian. Of course, as a kid I didn’t like it. He was too strict! Now I appreciate it. I don’t know if I ever got spanked, but he did it with bare hand on bare butt. Sometimes we’d have to go to bed without food, or just go to bed in the middle of the afternoon. My sister Ingrid said one time that she’d rather get a spanking and be able to go out and play.
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER
When we started a church in Arequipa, Dad was my teacher. The interesting thing is that thirty years later, I would come to the United States to work on revising and renewing the curriculum Dad had used back then! What twists and turns life takes!
I have been his student in Bible schools he led and I had the privilege of working together with Dad as a fellow-teacher in the Bethel Bible Institute he founded in Huancayo, Peru. And I have listened to uncountable Bible studies at church with Dad as a teacher.
PASTOR AND MISSIONARY
My greatest experience with Dad as my pastor is when he helped me give my heart to Jesus as a five or six-year-old. He was my pastor as a child and as a teen-ager, and then later when my late husband and I worked with him, and Bengt was the co-pastor.
My first great memory of Dad and I in a missionary endeavor was when he took me on a journey to the jungle, far from the main roads, with just paths for mules and walking. I was thirteen and he looked so young people thought I was his wife. We had a hard time convincing a lady that I was his daughter. Of course, as a missionary, I was with Mom and Dad since I was two years of age and they took me to Chile.
COLABORERS IN CHRIST
Dad and I were co-laborers in Christ. We worked together in Tarma, when he was building a church there. I worked together with Mom and Dad in starting a church in Huancayo. We have co-labored in the Bible Institute I’ve mentioned above. Dad was not only my father and friend, but we worked together for the sake of Christ.
This was a hat that Dad wore with all honors. Since the beginning of the 90’s I’ve had a freelance translation ministry. Dad helped me very much to keep it going and he helped us stay alive as a family because we all depended on that extra income. When Mom and Dad lived in Wisconsin we had “Branch 2” of Royal Palm Translations. I cherish that memory!
Not only has Dad helped me with translations but for a few years he was a very prolific typist. All the materials I had written over the years and that I started to publish on my Spanish web sites he typed. He has typed at least 160 lessons and for sure 100 stories at least. It was sad when his eye-sight failed him and we could no longer have that working relationship. With Dad helping me, he helped so many others.
When Dad as a young man told his mother that he would become a missionary, she said, “How are you going to be a missionary? You cannot build a house?” He couldn’t, but he learned! He did a lot of constructions over the years! A carpenter father is what all his children probably remember very well!
Mom and Dad starting one of the many building
projects during their missionary journey
When I was a kid Dad made me a dresser with each drawer a different color. When that dresser was “lost” due to sad circumstances, he made a replica, in the United States, a little dresser that now has an honored place in my home. I love it! Dad made the changing table for my babies. What a sad day it was, years later, when somebody had taken that treasured piece of furniture and made it a rabbit-cage! Dad also made a bunk-bed for our girls when we lived in Peru. Many people have benefited from Dad as a carpenter, and he has taught many young men and women to do carpentry!
Dad has been very helpful to me and Bengt through the years with packing. He packed up our things in Chaclacayo, when we had left them for a family to use and they messed up. He helped us pack when we moved to Bolivia. And he came to Springfield to help us pack up when we sold our house and moved to down-size a bit. It was cheaper for me to buy him a ticket from Sweden than to enlist movers. My late husband’s health was too weak for him to do the job. Dad was a good packer!
I appreciate so much the way Dad took care of Mom. During the worse of my cancer treatments, sometimes I felt a little “envy” because of the good way Mom was taken care off. He surely showed what a loving husband is like. After Mom’s passing Dad remarried, and in his last years he had a cute little wife that took care of him!
A BLESSED FATHER
Dad was blessed with 5 children, 19 grandchildren, and 38 great-grandchildren.
Dad with my grandson David in 2004
I’m leaving the best for last. What better can be said of a father than that he has been a spiritual leader? For that I am forever grateful. I’m walking the paths of God because Dad walked before me. He appreciated my talents and let me develop them during the times we labored together for Christ.
Let me wrap this up with declaring Dad my hero. I am sure Ingrid, Agneta, Pepe and Lars agree with me. Dad is our hero! How privileged we are to have had such a Dad. He was not perfect; none of us are. But as perfect at a father can be, he was. Whenever I told Dad that he was my hero, he didn’t like it. He did not consider himself a hero
I’m sorry I will not be able to attend the last farewell. It will be in Sweden, January 8th. I got a strong flu the same day Dad moved home to God. But I will be part of the welcome party in heaven!
My biggest wish is that we should all meet there one day.
At Jesus’ farewell discourse to his friends he talked of the many rooms in his Father’s house and that he was going to prepare a place for them. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (john 14:3).
There is room for everyone around the table with Jesus. I will meet my loved ones that have gone before! Dad we will meet again!
Do you have the hope of meeting up in Heaven?
Jesus invites you!