Reflections on our Father’s Love for the Fatherless

Orphans+Sponsorship+Family // May 2, 2024 //

On Easter Sunday this year, the Lord took my father home after 85 rich and meaningful years.  His departure has left me in a reflective mindset about the blessing he was to me personally, and the importance of fathers more generally to all of us. 

Doug is pictured with his father and grandson in recent years.

My dad worked hard and provided well for our family, teaching me in both word and deed to be a diligent worker myself.  As a boy growing up with three sisters and no brothers, he spent countless hours doing “boy stuff” with me and helping me understand what it meant to grow up into a man.  Meanwhile, he provided fatherly love to my sisters in a different way, serving us all as a protective, benevolent authority in our lives; imperfectly but importantly reflecting the love of our Father in heaven.  While we all feel a sense of grief and loss now that he’s gone, my primary sentiment over the past several weeks has been gratitude.  My life is enriched by my dad in ways I’m not even consciously aware of.  I wouldn’t be the same person without him.  


As I’ve reflected this month on personal gratitude for my dad, my thoughts have frequently drifted to the children in our Orphan Sponsorship Program, all of whom are fatherless.  The blessings afforded me through my father are missing from their lives due to the absence of theirs.  The godly example of manhood a father provides to a young boy, or the security his masculine love bestows on a young girl.  Our sponsored kids are deprived of these important inputs, leaving a void that can be filled by many other influences.  Our aim in Covenant Mercies is to step into that void and make a decisive difference for the glory of God and the benefit of that child.  

“Uncle Pasha” visits a group of young boys in our Orphan Sponsorship Program.


The good news for our children is that they are seen by a God who describes himself as a Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), and who exercises his fatherly care through the hands and feet of his people.  When I’m in Zambia, one of my favorite things to do is to take a walk on Saturday morning with Pasha Magaba, our lead caseworker there.  As we walk through the neighborhoods where the majority of our sponsored children live, it’s beautiful to observe so many of them welcoming him with joyful smiles and exclamations of “Uncle Pasha!”  While Pasha obviously can’t replace everything that’s missing due to the absence of their fathers, he (and the heavenly Father he represents) is a primary influencer in their lives.  He is stepping into that void and providing young boys and girls with masculine love and guidance that might otherwise be completely missing during their formative years.   


And how is Pasha Magaba able to become “Uncle Pasha” to them?  By you, as a supporter of this ministry, mobilizing him through your giving, your encouragement, and your prayers.  A loving father is an irreplaceable blessing, but those who are lacking fathers are not without hope.  As God moves upon the hearts of his people to love them in Jesus’ name, the mourning of the fatherless is turned into dancing as they come to know the perfect Father who will never leave them or forsake them.