For Father’s Day this year, we decided to ask two of our leadership team members their thoughts on being a father in light of their work with Forgotten Voices; one father new to the guild, the other with a few stories to tell. Here’s the second post:
Technically, I’m eligible this year. That is, for the one day a year when fathers are lavished with an assortment of ties, steaks, and sports apparel. In fact, the holiday itself was established on a national level by none other than, “those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday … the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present to fathers.”¹ Nonetheless, I don’t think dads have ever been heard opposing the special recognition given to the third Sunday of June.
In my case, I have thus far only felt the gentle nudges of my firstborn, a daughter restless in her mother’s womb. The books, classes, and countless snippets of ‘wisdom’ I’ve received from so many have succeeded in fully terrifying me of this new responsibility. That being said, I’m incredibly excited to meet her. What will she look like? How will she respond to me? Will she grow up to do great things? Will she come to understand her need for a savior?
Whatever the answers to these questions may be, I am most grateful that she will be welcomed into a place with top notch medical care, plentiful food and water, unlimited opportunity, and a loving support network of family and friends. Things we’ve all likely come to overlook and selfishly expect. Can you imagine not having any of the above?
This is unfortunately a reality for countless children in southern Africa. Nearly 1,000 children become orphans everyday between the populations of Zimbabwe and Zambia. These precious kids have no one to celebrate on Father’s Day, and many children identified by partners of Forgotten Voices are in desparate need of medical, food, water, and the love of a support network.
For me, it’s incredibly difficult to even imagine holding my daughter in my arms for the first time. Receiving a ‘world’s best dad’ t-shirt or a thank you card from my child seems so far from reality. I’m truly blessed to have this opportunity, and I’ve been blessed by the love and support of my own father. Moreover, my heavenly father has blessed me more than I could ever imagine, adopting me into his royal family despite my state of selfish disrepair. My grateful heart compels me to give back through supporting the local church partners of Forgotten Voices who are daily going on my behalf to give countless children an opportunity for life. Without support from their local church, these children are likely left with options that only lead to darkness.
Brian Reilly – Volunteer Director of Marketing