My parents lived in Brazil for three years. My dad was asked to go and watch over a group of young men and women who were missionaries for our church. For some of those missionaries my dad was the closest thing to a father they had ever known. And oh how those missionaries loved my parents.
It was hard on those of us left at home to be without our parents for three years, but each of us had the opportunity to visit, and as we saw the good things our parents were doing, it was easier for us to have them gone.
My visit to Brazil lasted for two months. I lived with my parents and did what they did. When they traveled, I traveled with them, when they ate at the delicious Brazilian restaurants, I ate there too, when they went to meetings...you get the picture. I was their shadow and I loved it.
One evening one of the missionaries called my dad and asked for his help. He and his companion (another missionary assigned to work with him) were meeting with a family that night and they wanted my dad's help in teaching the lesson they were going to teach.
I was incredibly surprised to hear my dad tell the missionary yes...but only because I knew how busy he was. Not only was he in charge of watching over 150 plus missionaries, he was also in charge of the welfare of a large group of people in several cities in Brazil. He and my mom would drive for hours and hours to meet with people...people who were counting on my dad for their spiritual edification...and he did this every single day for three years.
I asked my dad if I could tag along. We arrived at a very humble home on the outskirts of the city. We were meeting with a man and his wife. The purpose of the meeting was to teach this couple more about God. When the missionaries introduced my dad to the couple as their 'President Platt' I could feel the love and respect they had for my dad and my heart was touched.
The meeting began with a prayer and then the missionaries started by asking the couple what they believed about God. (Because I speak Spanish I could understand most of what was said in Portuguese.) The husband answered that they believed in God but wanted to learn more...that's why they had asked the missionaries to come to their home.
And for the next 30 minutes or so, I sat and listened to my dad teach this couple about God...about His plan for His children, about Jesus Christ's role in that plan, and about the love that God and his Son have for each of us. And as I listened to the emotion in his voice as he expressed his own knowledge of a living and true God, I also got emotional.
I loved my dad a little more that day, and for that time, there was not another place my dad should have been.