The lack of a father figure is killing our generation as we end up killing each other.
A good friend of mine said this today as we talked about a project I am starting.
At Huntington University, we are in the midst of our J-term session. J-term is a period between semesters in which we take one class over the course of two weeks. The class I am taking is on social media and how it can be used as a valuable tool to build a business/brand or increase awareness about certain endeavors we are passionate about. My fellow students and I are currently using Twitter as our main platform, and you can join on the conversation at Twitter if you’d like.
This brings me back to my conversation with my friend.
In his life, he has experienced a difficult trial: growing up without a strong father figure.
This topic has hit close to home within my heart, and it is one that I have discovered over the last two years as being one of a few causes I am quite passionate about.
A statistic was recently given to me by my professor, Andrew Hoffman: over 2,000,000 children have at least one parent incarcerated in state or federal prison. I did some further research, and in December of 2006, there were 1.57 million people in state or federal prison. Of that population, the ratio of male to female prisoners was 13:1. *
This is a rather dautning figure, and one that must lead us to wonder: how many of those male prisoners have children at home?
And an even larger question: what about those fathers who aren’t in prison, but aren’t in their sons’ lives either?
I’ve heard far too many excuses given for the absence of many fathers, and nearly all of them are completely insufficient.
The cause I am choosing to speak out for is that of the fatherless. It is that of each boy who comes home each day, knowing that Dad will not be there. It is of the kid who goes to bed each night, not knowing where Daddy is or if he even cares.
One organization that has taken huge leaps of faith in this area is The Mentoring Project.
Headquartered out of Portland, Oregon, this faith-based ministry was started by Donald Miller (Author of Blue Like Jazz and others) as a response to the lack of father figures in many young boys. Seeing the problem firsthand based in his own life experiences, he wanted to help churches and other organizations mobilize volunteer men, all older than 18, to get connected with boys ages 7-14 who have lived most of their lives without a strong male presence, mentoring and guiding them through many of the struggles of adolescence and life.
They are currently only working with fellow organizations within the Portland area, but are planning on going national in the Fall. My hope is that I can aid them in that endeavor by helping to spread their news and awareness to those that might listen to my voice.
I will continue to post updates from their website, as well as articles that might be of use to helping anyone understand better the need for action to take place.
As those who claim Christ, we are to take action. We are to “go out” into the world.
What call will you answer?
*Statistics provided through the Hoover Insitution.