DTC Stories

Defending the Cause: Is Cancer a Good Excuse?

Fathers in the Field - Mentor Father Gil Jones and Field Buddy Dorian at Flatirons Community Church, Lafayette Colorado.
Mentor Father Gil Jones and Field Buddy Dorian at Flatirons Community Church, Lafayette Colorado.

“I have stage 3 cancer and it will kill me, but that doesn’t give me an excuse not to be a Mentor Father.”

When you talk to Gil Jones he won’t come right out and tell you he’s dying of cancer. He won’t tell you of the pain, exhaustion or of the potential limitations caused by the disease. What he will tell you is about his Field Buddy Dorian.

“Dorian is a shy kid, but he is turning into a great fisherman. He regularly catches twice as many fish as me and is always up for the long treks to get to the prime fishing spots. While this warms my heart as an avid fly fisherman it’s his passion to serve each month and the conversations about God that really makes me happy. Dorian can’t wait to do our monthly service project, he loves giving to others. On Sunday he thinks of three questions from the sermon for us to talk about and we have some amazing conversations.”

Dorian and Gil signed their Fathers in the Field Year 1 commitment forms in May of 2016. The commitment clearly states that they will get together a minimum of four times every month for a year, ending with a Year-end Celebration event. Each month they go to church twice, serve those in need once and then head into the great outdoors once. “I love it when people ask me where my buddy Dorian is.”

gil-dorian2This yearly commitment will take place for 3 one-year terms. As you read this, in light of Gil having terminal cancer, you might be asking how Gil intends on honoring this commitment. What if he is too tired or sick? What if he dies before he can finish his full 3 year commitment? What if he dies before he can honor even the first year?

Gil would just laugh and tell you, “God is bigger than my cancer. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. That is no excuse not to Mentor a fatherless boy. I have turned it over to Him and I no longer feel the burden of it. Rather I have a deep desire to see Dorian grow to know the love of his Heavenly Father. I was honest with Dorian at the signing ceremony that I have cancer, but that I believe God will see us through our commitment. Dorian has come with me on my cancer run and he knows he can ask me any question and will always receive an honest answer. We are living life together.”

This journey that Gil and Dorian are on is one filled with challenges but they have the support of his family and their church. Gil remarks, “My family is behind my involvement in this ministry and Flatirons Community Church is super supportive. Mike McNeill, the Rocky Mountain Regional Missionary for Fathers in the Field, is constantly helping to train and support us. I know my role as Mentor Father is to invest in Dorian and that Flatirons will care for his family. I never feel like I am on my own in this, but I know the wonderful support network God has given me. It’s comforting to know that if God takes me home before my commitment is over the church will give Dorian another Mentor Father. Dorian will be cared for by His Heavenly Father and his brothers in Christ.”

gil-dorian3There are 13+ million fatherless boys in our country and millions of men able to step into their lives if they would just step up. Gil implores men, “Stop making excuses for not doing it, there are none. I have terminal cancer and could easily have just done financial support, but rather I obeyed the command of Christ to “Champion the Cause of the Fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17). Help a fatherless boy; it will come back to you tenfold. You will find that you are just as blessed as your Field Buddy is.”

Today is the day to put excuses aside and join men like Gil in helping a fatherless boy finds the love of his Heavenly Father.

Contact us today and help change the life of the fatherless boys in your community!