Honoring the Father Figures in Our Children's Lives

06/10/14

For Father's Day, we asked some of the children to tell us about a father figure in their lives. Because so many of them have lost their parents, having adults in their lives who support them and who they can look up to is so important. Your support doesn't just provide children with resources like education, food, and clothing. You are also helping provide for the staff members who care for the children daily, often filling the roles of parents for them. 

Every child we asked knew a staff member who has become like a father to them. Here's one story:
 
Fourteen-year-old Hellen of Uganda still remembers the day both of her parents were brutally murdered. She was only four years old when the Lord's Resistance Army attacked her displacement camp and killed everyone they could get their hands on. Hellen escaped, but her parents weren't so fortunate.
 
Hellen's life has not been easy since that horrible day. But today, when she thinks of the word father, Hellen doesn't think of the pain and loss she experienced on that day. Instead she says she thinks of the new father figure who has come into her life through Children of the Nations—our country director in Uganda, Pastor James.
 
Hellen's parents were killed in Uganda's civil war. But today she has a father
            Hellen's parents were killed in Uganda's rebel war. But today she has a father figure in Pastor James.
 
Pastor James is a busy man—he oversees and leads our entire ministry in Uganda, in addition to his role as pastor at a local church. But no matter how much is on his plate, Pastor James always makes time for the children—whether he's greeting them by name, taking a few moments to play with them, or encouraging them to pursue their dreams. 
 
"Reverend James is like a father to me because of his humble and welcoming character," Hellen says. "Always when I pass near him and greet him, he asks me about how my life is and my academic performance in school. This shows he loves, cares, and is concerned about me." 
 
"Reverend James is like a father to me," Hellen says.
          "Reverend James is like a father to me because of his humble and welcoming character," Hellen says.
 
Hellen used to be called orphan, despised, rejected, hopeless. Today, when Pastor James greets her, he reminds her of her new identity in Christ, and as a child in the COTN family. "He calls me 'princess, honorable, doctor, engineer, church leader,'" Hellen says. "This makes me feel great—like I'm someone with value and worth. This drives me to work hard in school because I know Pastor James sees me as a future honorable member of parliament." 
 
"Having a father figure is so important," Hellen explains. "A father's voice is strong and his presence is defense and protection to the family. He is also strong enough to provide all the basic needs of the family by whatever means. A father can solve problems amongst children without bias of heart."
 
"Having a father figure is so important," Hellen says.
"Having a father figure is so important," Hellen says. "Pastor James' love helps me understand that God too loves me and cares about my future."
 
Today, Hellen can rest in the love and strength of her father Pastor James, knowing that he will always work his hardest to make sure all the children of COTN are provided for, and knowing that he will always be there to encourage her. His love has taught her a thing or two about her heavenly father as well. 
 
"Pastor James' love helps me understand that God too loves me and cares about my future," she says. "Because of Pastor James I know that God can also meet my needs and wants me to be well both spiritually and physically."
 
You can help a child like Hellen find the support and love of a father. Sponsor a child in need today.