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Father’s Day 2017

Today, thousands of refugee children have either lost their fathers or live separated from them due to war.

by Mike Sohm, president of Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA), the relief and development arm of The Alliance. Formerly posted 6/18/16.

Have you thought of what you want to say on Father’s Day to your dad, whether in person, over the phone, or in writing? For those of us who are dads, we are grateful for words of affirmation (or a tie) from our kids, yet we are aware of our weighty responsibility.

For those of us who have lost our fathers, the day can also bring to the surface strong emotions.

My dad died seven years ago from a car accident, and I miss him often. We enjoyed a long and loving relationship, and I am grateful for all of those years.

Whether you have known your father for 50 or 15 years, this is a day to honor him for the role he has played in your life. This is both an act of gratitude and obedience to one of God’s commands (see Ephesians 6:2–3).

World Refugee Day

This year, I think especially of a group living without their fathers—refugee children. Sunday may be Father’s Day­, but Tuesday is World Refugee Day.

Standing for the FatherlessToday, thousands of refugee children have either lost their fathers or live separated from them due to war. They fled to a place of safety, but their fathers stayed behind. Other fathers had to flee first to avoid being brought into the war, and they wait for their families to arrive.

These children are vulnerable. They are vulnerable because they are refugees, they are children, and they are fatherless. These children need help, advocates—someone who will defend them.

God Defends the Fatherless

We read in Deuteronomy 10:18 that God “. . . defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” In Psalm 68:5 we learn that He is “[a] father to the fatherless, a defender of widows . . .”

Our God defends the cause of the fatherless. He loves them and calls us to do the same.

How Do We Defend and Care for the Fatherless?

Let’s focus for a minute on Syrian children:

Standing for the Fatherless

  • Begin by praying for these children as they cope with great loss. Pray also for those who are working with these hurting children in the Middle East and now in Europe.
  • Some of these youth will eventually find their way to the United States as refugees. Consider becoming part of a small group that provides immediate support for these families when they arrive.
  • Along with your prayers and practical assistance, please also consider giving to our Alliance family of workers who care for these children and their families. You can do so by giving to CAMA’s Syrian Refugee Relief fund.

On Father’s Day, I’m thankful for my dad—a great guy! I’m thankful for my adult sons—gifts from God. Yet I grieve for the boys and girls today who live as refugees without a father.

Join me in expressing thanks for your dad, and stand with me for the refugee child who has no father.

Adapted from a blog post first published on the CAMA Web site