Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Dad

 In front of a village thatched house, in the Amazon jungle, around 1971.
(I am sitting on the platform, my sister is turning her cute face away from the camera).

Just a few things that I appreciate about my dad:

He can tell a joke.
Even when I've heard his jokes before, I listen with pleasure,
because he tells them with relish
and he remembers the punchline.

He's athletic.
He played baseball as a young man, but when we were growing up, he learned tennis.
He taught most of our children how to ride their bikes.
(Don't lose your edge, Dad. Just five more years and you can teach Malachi, too).

 Painting pots with the Chayahuitas.
Defying convention, he took his family to the jungles of Peru, giving me the best childhood ever.

He can roll with the punches.
(Flexibility is the number-one trait of missionaries).
(And as you see in this photo, so can my mom. This was her kitchen. Not all the time, just during the summers that we spent with the Chayahuitas).

He's brave.
He figured out  how to manuever a deeply-laden canoe through the vagaries of Amazonian rivers,
with an Indian guide along to keep us pointed in the right direction.

Church with the Chayahuitas.
He somehow adapted to being the father of three girls.
(Even though he grew up with all brothers).
And he's a bit mystified by us, but proud of us, too.

He's a born teacher.

 Lake Yarinacocha, the dolphin-filled lake that was the soul of our mission center.

He seeks the Lord continually.
One of my favorite memories, which I found embarrassing at the time, was when he used to shout out from his hammock, "Thank you Lord!" or, "I love you, Lord!"
The parrot learned to imitate the squeak of the hammock, but not the heart-felt praise and worship.
I think the hammock was consistent, but my dad's shout-outs were varied.

 My dad, Dr. Dodds, and George Hart running a TB (tuberculosis) clinic in the tribe.

He has spent his life serving others, and has found that giving continues to bring him life.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you!

Pilot Me by Josh Garrels. Listen here.


  1. Simply beautiful. What a truly amazing father and incredible childhood. I love getting a glimpse. Thanks for sharing, Laura!