This is a question that I often hear when I am leading a mission team in Africa. The answer is summed up well by Diana, a mom from Haven of Hope in Ghana (you can read her story in this newsletter). She says, "My husband had run away because of the huge responsibilities. We don’t know his whereabouts." As a man, a husband, a father, and a follower of Jesus, her statement cuts me to the core. Every part of me cries, "This is not the way it should be!" Yet this is the devastating reality for our kids, families, and communities. Too often, the men are missing in action.
As a ministry, we can react to this sad truth in two ways. We can give up on the men and put all our focus on lifting up the women and children, OR we can continue to help the women and children, while at the same time trying to address the problems that lead to men "running away." For ECM, we have no choice but to do the second.
God designed families to care for children, and his plan was for women and men to play important roles in the process. If we are looking for long-term, sustainable growth (which we are), we cannot simply ignore the role of husbands and fathers, or pretend they aren't really necessary. On the contrary, we believe that they are the key to strong families where children can grow and thrive.
That's why our Family Empowerment Program focuses on helping men lead in godly ways, and why we have initiated Bible studies for men in our communities. We are investing in men and helping them learn how to be the men God wants them to be. We will not give up on God's plan for families!
Strengthening entire families together,