Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Fatherless & The Fathers Who Care

Have you ever doubted the role a man plays
in his son’s or daughter’s life?
What if he is a criminal offender serving time in prison?

Most of us would like nothing more
than to keep these men away
from the children they fathered.
Why?

Because we are afraid of what they will do
with the power they possess
over the minds and lives of these young ones.

But, what if...
What if they cared?
Now, if we consider this
we have to ask what type of influence they will exert.

I remember being in prison and watching
grown men crying,
who tell stories of the wreckage they left behind.
And then of hope...
that things will be different when they return home.

Is it possible?
Could their lives be so dramatically changed by the experience
that they learn to live a life of love and encouragement?

We may never wish to entertain thoughts of these men
coming anywhere near our kids,
but what of their own?

Can they...
be a positive influence
with the time they have left here on earth?
In deed they can.
No matter what they have done
they still have a chance to love those they left.

Doubt my naivete'?
Then read more about Mark Ingram (Here),
the Heisman trophy winner of 2009
who was drafted into the NFL this year.
I have no doubt the positive influence his father had on him.

So what can YOU do to encourage the incarcerated fathers?

Well, there is already a program in place!
Called: The InnerChange Freedom Initiative
The program summary from their website:
Your taxes have been used to keep offenders in prison. Wouldn’t you like to invest in something that helps keep them out? Out in the community living productive, responsible lives . . . rather than reverting to crime and heading back to prison? The InnerChange Freedom Initiative®—a values-based reentry program developed by and affiliated with Prison Fellowship—is proving that prisoners can get out and stay out.
 
The part of the program I love most?
 
Dads able to read to their children from prison!
To learn more, watch this short video Here!

How does this idea touch you?
Perhaps you want to do MORE?

Well, if you have been reading this blog for long,
then you know I support Big Brothers/Sisters
especially their Faith based program, titled: Amachi.
Designed to connect adults with the children of incarcerated parents.
And now, Best-Selling Author, Donald Miller,
has a project designed to connect entire churches with fatherless children.
Its called: The Mentoring Project.
Together with Tony Dungy, Superbowl winning Coach,
they are leading mentors into the fray
to help the children who need it most.
So take a pick.
Or perhaps, do both.
Know this...
Either way,
You WILL make a difference!

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