Memories of my Father

barefoot father and son walking through the rice field

I grew up in a home full of love and music.

My dad was happiest when we were all together, very often with church friends making wonderful gospel music.

My mom loved cooking for a large crowd and so our home was often filled with friends making music and sharing wonderful meals.

Because he loved music, my dad encouraged me to learn to play musical instruments, and although we were never wealthy, he told me he would buy me any instrument I wanted to learn to play.  So that the instruments were always quickly accessible, my father hung them on our living room wall, and I remember small children coming to our home, asking if we owned a music store. 

My dad had a gift for encouraging children to learn a musical instrument and for many years he led a children’s orchestra of more than 20 children in Kitchener, Ontario.

Later, when we were older, we drove to Aylmer, Ontario every Thursday evening so my dad could give lessons to the children and young adults there.

My dad loved music, but he was also a man of prayer.  I remember as a small child getting up at night and seeing my father on his knees talking to his Heavenly Father. That had a deep and lasting impact on me and created in my young heart a desire to also know God.  

I remember my dad often telling me: “Junge, vergiss das Beste nicht”, meaning don’t forget what is most important in life, which for him was a close relationship with God.

He was a great and godly example for me.  He worked as maintenance man in a large medical arts building, and when I was older I remember him showing me the small nook he had created for himself in the building’s heating room, where he would kneel and pray whenever he found time for it.

My parents loved the Church of God and were very involved and active in the church services, setting a good example for my sister and myself.

I remember having very little time to study for a major exam in high school and asked my dad if I could stay home from prayer meeting to study some more.  His answer was: “If you put God first, He will help you with your exam.”  I went to prayer meeting with my parents that night and when I received the results for the exam that I had written, they were the highest I had ever received in that subject.  What a lesson for life!

My dad was very handy fixing anything broken: watches, cuckoo clocks, and even our family car.  He wanted me to help and work along and I am thankful for the lessons I learned from my dad and especially the time I was able to spend with him repairing things.

Both of my parents have gone to be with the Lord, and my dad has been gone for over 28 years, and yet I still often remember and cherish things he said and the love he showered me with.

I consider it an incredible, undeserved privilege to have had parents who loved the Lord with all their heart, loved His church, loved us, and were such a great Godly example to us.

Now it is my deep and sincere desire to be a godly example for my children and grandchildren. May God help me.

Sieg Henkelmann

Edmonton, AB

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