I stepped into my favorite coffee shop for my morning cup of java. Behind me a man carried a toddler on his shoulders, bundled to brave the chilly Colorado morning.
“There’s chocolate, powdered sugar, and even sprinkled! You can chose whichever you’d like, buddy.”
The father gave his young son a donut education as they waited in line. He spoke to his son with such adoration!
With so many absent fathers in the world, it’s encouraging to see dads invest in their children. As I watched this dad and his son enjoying their morning outing, I couldn’t help but say,
“You’ve got yourself a real cute son there!”
With a huge smile and welling pride, he responded,
“Thanks! He’s also my best friend.”
What a pleasure for the young boy! What love he will have! Imagine the difference this dad will make, even going as far as to say his little toddler was his best friend. This child will grow up cherished.
On the other side of the world, in many East African cultures, men are responsible for providing for the family and women are responsible for domestic work within the home and, in particular, looking after children. But our staff knows the role of the father in a child’s life is indispensable.
As a result, Child Survival Program (CSP) fathers in Ethiopia are more involved in caregiving and emotional support. Fathers are beginning to help wash their babies, take them to activities at the church, and participate in program activities.
They contribute to their children’s well-being through their own loving presence. They maintain a healthy relationship with the child, providing emotional and financial support.
Whether walking into a coffee shop or walking down a dirt road to a child development center, fathers can use their powerful influence to change the life of a child. These men and babies will change the face of their country.
I left the shop that morning with more than a great cup of coffee. I left with a reminder to pray for fathers and their crucial role in the lives of their children. The next time you grab a powdered-sugar donut, say a prayer for fathers and their continued presence in our African CSP programs.