Let's hear it for the fathers

June 2013 

One of my earliest memories is my dad teaching me how kick a soccer ball, to enjoy a sport with him, to laugh and celebrate. I grew up with a dad that was my coach and also my biggest fan. I learned about perseverance, hard work, and dedication to improvement from my father. He is both strong, but gentle. And, when I fell off my bike for the 59th time, he was still there to not just bandage the wound, but to encourage me to try again. For this, I am so very thankful.

Fathers play a vital role in the development of children. The spirit of a father is something that a child needs to be affirmed and be told they are valuable and capable. It is often the father that defends and protects. It is often the father that provides. It is often the father that believes. Those characteristics are not solely exclusive to men, but that does not diminish our capacity to appreciate them.

For those with HIV in Kenya, many women live as single parents, having lost their husband to the stigma or to death. This has created a void that the community is trying to fill. As Christians, we believe in the worth of every person. We need men in our children’s lives as much as we need women. We continue to rely on God to provide for the needs, and we thank those who are caring as fathers for others. There is a contribution men need to have in society. We need the wisdom of generations.

Whether you are father, grandfather, or have no biological children of your own, thank you.