If you haven’t followed my blog for very long, and you would like to read about my father, go to September 30, 2011. I’m surprised at all the information I delivered last year about my father, my friend.
After listening to Pastor Mario Gonsalez’s Sunday sermon about “Integrity in Crisis,” using Job as an example, I want to give tribute to my dad for being a man of integrity.
The older I get the deeper grows my gratitude for being born into a Christian home and having a father whose mind was set on integrity. “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out” (Proverbs 10:9).
If you always speak the truth you won’t have to remember the details. Sure, because you will always have them right. That’s the kind of person my father is. I don’t have a single memory of him being untruthful!
Love, honesty, sincerity, kindness, generosity, courtesy, patience, joy, faith, humbleness… these are some traits I have seen in my father, but most of all INTEGRITY. He says what he means, and means what he says! He has always done what is right but I have to be honest and say that sometimes I didn’t think he did it right!
My father is not a people person, so to speak. That was my mother’s strong side. He could be harsh, and at times, kind of blunt. My friend Rebekah would say that can be attributed to him as a Swedish trait. How do I know? Because I tend to be the same way and that’s her description of me!
He might not have the perfect people skills but his heart has been in the right place and many people in the Andes of Peru have been blessed by his missionary endeavors.
Mom and Dad spent most of their missionary life in Huancayo, Peru
Before taking up missionary work in Peru we spent six years in Chile. My memories from those years are not so clear. But from the time we landed in Peru and headed for the southern city of Arequipa I have a clear picture of this man of integrity. Later his ministry was based in Huancayo.
One lasting impression is from our voyage to Peru on a boat. We traveled with some other missionaries. They were showing a film on board but Dad would not let us watch it, instead he took us to the cabin and read stories for us. I couldn’t understand why the other missionaries could watch the film and not us. He was not swayed by others. So there was no discussion about it.
An interesting side note is that the stories he read to us were take-home-papers published by Editorial Vida (Life Publishers), the company that I would come to work with thirty years later in developing a new Spanish Sunday School Curriculum. God was preparing me even as a kid!
“Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD” (Psalm 119:1). That’s what my father did. He walked blameless; but he was falsely accused and persecuted, even to the point that he got anonymous letters saying they were going to make sure his blood flowed down Main Street. I thought he should defend himself. But not Dad! He just kept quiet, continuing on with his missionary business. He left the vengeance to God. People that are not brave enough to put their names on threats are often not brave enough to go through with the threats.
THE BIBLE MAN JOB
I don’t think there is a soul in this world that has gone through so much loss at one time as Job. He lost all his oxen, all his donkeys, all his sheep, all his camels, all his servants (except the ones that escaped to bring the reports). If that wasn’t enough, a report came in that all his sons and daughters had died when the house where they were having a party collapsed on them. All in one day!
People usually curse and blame God when things like that happen. Not so Job! The Bible says that he did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. He fell to the ground and worshipped! He praised God.
Were those all the calamities that came upon him? No. Next, his health was taken from him. He was afflicted with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. He sat in the ashes scraping his sores with a piece of broken pottery.
To top it off, his wife asks him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
“The LORD detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless” (Proverbs 11:20). That was Job! He did not know that there was a battle in the heavens; that Satan was trying to prove the point that Job only served God because he was prosperous.
Praise the Lord for servants that prove Satan wrong! But even Job’s friend’s thought that he must have done something wrong, how else would so many bad things have come upon him? At the end, God vindicated his servant, and when Job prayed for his friends God made him prosperous again. And God blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.
If money has anything to say in prosperity, this is what Job acquired:
- 14,000 sheep
- 6,000 camels
- 1,000 yoke of oxen
- 1,000 donkeys
Just think of all the servants he must have had to take care of all those animals. And all the fields where he used the 1,000 yoke of oxen!
But more than money can buy is family. Those are the greatest riches. And Job had seven sons and three daughters. And nowhere in the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters! Can you imagine how proud he felt walking down the street with them?
INTEGRITY BLESSES GENERATIONS TO COME
Talking with Dad this weekend he mentioned his boys, how well they have fared in life. I told him he could be proud of his kids. I’m sure it feels good for a 92-year-old father to look back on a life of service for God and see that his children have followed in his footsteps. He hasn’t forgotten that he has three girls also.
Moses told the people of Israel, “Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time” (Deuteronomy 4:40).
At the end of his life’s journey Joshua declared, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
I could go on and on but I believe you get the picture. I have a father who has served God with integrity and has a wonderful legacy to leave to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Some might not understand what a great blessing it is.
Because of a man of integrity, named Per Hugo Anderås, we are blessed today and blessings will abide with generations to come.
Thanks, Dad, for being a man of integrity!