Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Days such as these mean a lot of different things to different people. I am sure that for some, this is one of those days that only serves to bring back hard or painful memories of a dad who has passed away or maybe a dad who was never there to begin with. The "dad" relationship is a tricky one for a lot of people, especially with the kids I interact with day in a day out at the orphanage. It makes sense. Statistically the dad is the one who most of these kids don't even know or remember. Many of their hearts have become so hard to the concept of a dad that the thought of a "heavenly"dad is just plain confusing. Compounded with abusive figures that are all too common, I feel like sometimes the hope I have slowly dims and fades. But I believe in fathers. I believe that from the get-go, God's design of a father of which he would be the ultimate model, is such a part of our DNA that every human being LONGS for that paternal relationship in spite of all the abuse and pain they could ever experience. 

I recently heard a podcast by Andy Stanley talking about the one impossible thing in any line of business and how we should have a perspective of considering that one impossible thing as one day being possible. The first thing that came to my mind was that all of the 4500 children that currently live in institutions in Guatemala would have a family of their own. Simple. But, impossible. In our line of work, we know that there is little hope that families will raise up to take in kids that come from terrible situations but I have begun to ask God for that to happen. How are the boys that grow up in institutions (where the vast majority of their caregivers are women) going to learn how to be fathers? Are they even going to want to be fathers? In Guatemala, I know that these boys that age out of institutions have a much higher rate of getting a girl pregnant pretty quick so how well are they being trained to be fathers? 

So, as I reflect on this day to celebrate the amazing dads all over the world I ask God with even more fervor that he would give these 4500 kids an earthly father of their own. We have kids that are turning 18 this year at the orphanage and they don't have that "dad" who will take them to college for the first time, teach them how to drive a stick shift, interrogate the new boyfriend prospect, show the boys how to treat a lady, show the girls how they deserve to be treated and so much more. As the #1 fan of one of those institutions, I can say we are trying our best. I dedicate my life to raise the standard of care these kids get in a loving and empowering environment. We even have incredible couples that strive every day to BE the love of God to these kids, but it just can't compare to the love of a father in a  family that they can call their own.  I hope you will pray with me that God would use a day such as this to speak into the hearts of Guatemalan fathers to be bold and courageous and open their homes to children that today live in institutions. Kids that didn't have the opportunity to say "Happy Father's Day" today.