Once a year we set aside a whole day to celebrate fathers. But the reality for many of the vulnerable children we serve is that they have lost a father or a mother, or both. The pressures of living in poverty and trying to provide critical resources for a family can be ginormous.
To celebrate Father’s Day this year, we are sharing four stories of men who are wonderful dads. These men in HopeChest CarePoint communities are bearing some massive responsibilities for their families and have experienced renewed hope through CarePoint support.
Hope after a painful divorce
Divorce can be a major life change and a jarring experience. Mulugeta is a father in Ethiopia who became his 11-year-old son’s sole guardian after his wife asked for a divorce. As a daily laborer, Mulugeta worked hard each day, but his pay was not enough to provide for his son, Kaleab’s critical needs.
When he went to his local CarePoint for school supplies for his son, he told CarePoint staff, “I was worried about how I can purchase school materials and send my son to his education. Now my burden is taken away. I am happy to see my son’s school materials gift. God bless you all.”
This single-dad was doing all he could for his son, and his family just needed a little support and a little hope.
Resilience after an unexpected injury
Moses* is a 35-year-old single-father living in Uganda with his four children. For work, he is a security guard at his local HopeChest CarePoint and a farmer. He is an amazing father and works hard to provide for his children. One day in 2019, as he was standing outside a shop, he suddenly realized he was laying on the ground. He looked down at his leg and saw that he had been shot accidentally. The bullet had damaged the bones in his leg and he was bleeding and unable to walk back to the CarePoint.
Moses said, “At that time I had nothing, including a person who was going to stay with me in the hospital, because my children were young. They cannot take care of me in the hospital. Great thanks to Children’s HopeChest CarePoint. When they heard, immediately they took me to the hospital and paid all the medical bills, including the metals put in my leg. Apart from that, they are caring for my family, including me.”
He is now able to walk without pain, although he is slowed slightly by a limp in his injured leg. The CarePoint that Moses works at has a program to help improve the income and opportunities of the staff members. When it came time for Moses to benefit from the program, he used the opportunity to buy a bicycle to enhance his mobility. He shared, “If it was not for Children’s HopeChest, I would not have hopes of walking again because I knew my leg was gone…The bicycle will help me in long movement to look for food for my family.”
Even through an unexpected injury, we are inspired by how he still worked hard every day for his children.
*Name changed to protect individual’s identity
Bravery stepping into the role of fatherhood
Kwanele* is a young boy who attends a CarePoint in Eswatini. In the past he had stayed with his mother, who took care of him alone because his father left their family. However, three years ago his mother was in an accident and due to mental illness was no longer able to care for Kwanele. Recognizing this young boy’s need for a loving and consistent caregiver, his uncle stepped up to take care of him. His uncle cares for him deeply, but does not have consistent work to provide for all of Kwanele’s critical needs. To eat consistent meals, Kwanele would often steal corn, sweet potatoes, and peanuts.
After going to live with his uncle, Kwanele’s route to school changed. Although he has a far walk to his classes, he now passes the local CarePoint and is able to get a meal before school and on the way home to his uncle’s house. The CarePoint staff is also hoping that Kwanele will join the Ngesikhatsi grief counseling course so he can continue to grow from his pain emotionally and spiritually.
Men like Kwanele’s uncle are bravely stepping into the role of fatherhood so children know they are valued, loved, and protected.
*Name and photo have been changed to protect child’s identity
Redemption after finding faith
Around five years ago, Agustin’s family was in turmoil. His father was dependent on alcohol and had behaviors that were not healthy for his family. He divorced from his first marriage, and eventually began a new family; but his old behaviors and habits followed him and even became worse. Agustin and his siblings were attending a local CarePoint in Guatemala and his father heard that the CarePoint was connected to a church and shared the message of Christ. That’s when he realized he needed God in his life.
He began attending the church with his children and accepted Jesus. He was transformed and three years ago he was baptized. Now he is part of leadership at the church and started a discipleship class. His family is committed to the Lord. He shared, “Thank you very much, because in hard times in my life there was always a hand helping me with my food and health expenses, and watching over my family. God bless you richly, and I am glad to know this ministry takes everyone in.”
A relationship with God has transformed this man’s life so he can be the best father possible for his children.
Poverty can put monumental strain on parents who want to care for their children and give them opportunities to succeed. Mulugeta, Moses, Kwanele’s uncle, and Agustin’s dad are all trying their best to be great fathers for their children, and we are inspired by their daily commitment to their families. Their local HopeChest CarePoints are always nearby for when they need support, critical resources, and encouragement.