Anne Geddes once said “Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a dad.” This is the inscription on a plaque that my children gave me on a Father’s Day. I believe a dad is someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you succeed, and has faith in you even when you fail. My focus as a father is to share the love of Jesus Christ with each of my four children. I hope to demonstrate that through faith, truth, and unconditional love. As a single parent of four I know firsthand how challenging parenting can be, and I also know just how rewarding raising children can be. As I spent time this Father’s Day with my four children, I celebrated the opportunities that the Lord has allowed me to have as a Father and a Dad.
In my early years with Orange County Rescue Mission, I saw broken men recover, but still be without their families. And always, the dysfunction of a father harmed the family as well.
I envisioned a place where fathers could experience what I experience as a father; a place where fathers could learn to be a dad, and where families can be restored, together. Village of Hope is that place. Fathers, whether single or along with mothers, have a place where they can be restored and grow into the men they were created to be, without being separated from their children. At Village of Hope, families stay together to grow together.
Harvey is one such father. The overwhelming joy he felt when his first daughter was born was true, but the claws of poverty and addiction to heroin since he was a youth growing up in a rough neighborhood proved to be too strong. Harvey attempted to act like a father out of his love for his daughter, but it was an act built on shaky foundation without the character, skills and knowledge to be the dad she needed.
Child Protection Services caught on, and Harvey and his wife lost custody of their oldest of now 3 daughters. His rock bottom was the threat of having all paternal, legal rights terminated. The hard work of recovery began, and Harvey, his wife and other daughters were accepted into Village of Hope.
Their hard work and determination to change paid off. With a relationship with Jesus Christ, support, accountability and education Harvey has all of his daughters with him, including the oldest. He has learned how to take care of and provide for his children, how to be a dad, and how to be a man of God.
No longer the hardened man, Harvey loves being a dad. His daughters are his greatest gift from God, and he knows it is a privilege to be their dad.
June 25 will be another day of joy in Harvey’s life. He and his daughters will graduate from Orange County Rescue Mission, with the strong foundation to build a future for their family.
To learn about the Orange County Rescue Mission, click here.