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Standing for the Fatherless

June 13, 2016

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Mike Sohm

Today’s post is written by Mike Sohm. Mike is president of CAMA and has served on the CAMA Board since 2007. Read his story here.

 

Reminder: Father’s Day is approaching.

Have you thought of what you want to say to your dad whether in person, over the phone, or in writing? For those of us who are dads, grateful yet aware of the weighty responsibility, we receive words of affirmation from our kids (or a tie). For those of us who have lost our fathers, the day can also bring to surface strong emotions.

My dad died seven years ago from a car accident, and I miss him often. We enjoyed a long and loving relationship, and I am grateful for all of those years. Whether you have known your father for 50 or 15 years, it is a day to honor him for the roles he has played in your life. It is both an act of gratitude and obeying the command to “honor our fathers” (Ephesians 6:2-3).

But this year, I think especially of a group living without their fathers—refugee children. In fact, Sunday may be Father’s Day­, but Monday is World Refugee Day. Today thousands of refugee children have either lost their father or live separated from him due to war. They fled to a place of safety, but their fathers stayed behind. Other fathers had to flee first, to avoid being brought into the war, and wait for their families to arrive.

These children are vulnerable. They are vulnerable because they are refugees, children, and fatherless. These children need help, advocates, and someone who will defend them.

We read in Deuteronomy 10:18 that God “defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” And we read in Psalm 68:5, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

Our God defends the cause of the fatherless and loves them and calls us to do the same.

What might it mean for us to defend and care for the fatherless? Let’s focus for a minute on Syrian children and begin by praying for them as they cope with loss. Pray for those who are working with them in the countries of Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and now Germany. Some of them will eventually find their way to the US as refugees. You could become part of a small group that provides immediate support for families when they arrive. Learn more at World Relief. Along with prayer, consider providing financial support for Christian relief agencies like CAMA who seek to help children and their families overseas.

I’m thankful today for my dad—great guy! I’m thankful for my adult sons—a gift from God. But I grieve for the boys and girls today who live as refugees without a father. Join me in expressing thanks for your dad, and stand with me for the refugee child who has no father.

 

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