The best results in life are the product of hard work.
No one knows this better than firefighters. They work hard and train constantly to be ready to help others in a moment’s notice.
So when I heard about the commitment of John Quinn, a Mentor Father in Denver Colorado, I knew I had to tell his story.
John has been a firefighter for the past 28 years. Some days he is running into burning buildings other days he is rescuing strangers; the perfect candidate to be a Mentor Father.
I can tell you first hand that the 25+ million fatherless children in America live lives that are a burning wreck; a wreck that will only get worse over time if someone doesn’t intervene. This is why we help local Christian churches to equip their men to step into the midst of a life on fire with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over 2 years ago John committed to helping his Field Buddy Qayden. Over these years John has helped Qayden to see the value of hard work. The hardest work has been the hurt that Qayden feels because of his earthly father’s abandonment.
John tells it this way,
“When we first started Qayden had some behavioral problems that progressively diminished as we walked through life together. I noticed it less than his mother and grandmother did, but for them the changes were dramatic. As we finished our end of Year 2 Celebration Trip we were talking about signing for year 3 and Qayden said he didn’t want to continue. I felt like I got punched in the gut. I asked him why? Laziness: he didn’t like doing the Journey Guide work. He wanted to do Year 3 without the book.
I told him I was sorry but if he wasn’t willing to do the book, an integral part of the ministry, then we couldn’t continue on with our relationship as it is. We talked about the value of hard work in our lives. It took several conversations but in the end he agreed to sign.
He has honored his commitment, but it’s been hard work these past few months. Year 3 focuses on writing a letter of forgiveness to his earthly father and this has stirred up lots of strong emotions in Qayden.
Together we face these emotions that he has been trying to avoid. Qayden would be the first to tell you how hard it was to admit he’s angry, but doing that has helped him move forward. It allowed us to talk about forgiveness and what that looks like in all our relationships but especially in relation to his dad. It has gotten us into some great, but painful conversations. A little hard work, but lots of great growth.”
I know firsthand the hard work it takes to forgive your earthly father for abandoning you. I also know the incredible joy that comes when you forgive. The key to this ministry is men like John who are willing to invest time in boys like Qayden to help them with the hard work of learning to forgive.
Hard work here results in a fatherless boy knowing the love of His Heavenly Father; that he is not alone; that he has value; that there is hope.
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Yes it is hard work, but the best things in life are the product of hard work.
Standing in the Gap,