“You might believe that getting shot twice in the head at 25 yards with a shotgun is the worst pain you can experience, but you’d be wrong. I believe having your soul torn apart when your father abandons you is by far worse.” – Jason Baker
Every day we make sacrifices to pursue careers, hobbies and a myriad of other activities. The more passionately we care about something the more time and energy it receives, often at the expense of other aspects of our life. When we are immersed and dedicated to these activities only a truly monumental event will cause us to reevaluate our priorities. For Jason Baker his monumental event was being shot twice in the head with a shotgun at 25 yards during a duck hunt.
Jason Baker loves duck hunting. He loves it so much that he started a Christian Wounded Warrior and Disadvantaged Youth Program called Montana Mallards and spent every weekend during duck season taking vets and youth down to Dillon Montana to let them experience the joys of duck hunting. In the off season he would go to Dillon to make sure everything was perfect for that coming season. He was obsessed with making sure that everyone would get the perfect hunt. Jason was a man consumed by ducks.
Then on December 7, 2013 his whole life changed. Jason had called out for hunters to stop shooting and then headed out to retrieve a few downed birds when an older gentleman, seeing movement in the field, shot him twice. “I thought I was going to die, so I called my wife and told her I loved her. I said goodbye and started crawling back towards the duck blind.” For the next few years Jason had to learn to rely on others; how to cope with being blind in one eye, pain and balance issues; about living life after a traumatic event.
It was during this time that Jason connected with Chuck Raches. Chuck is the Church Champion for Fathers in the Field at Springhill Presbyterian Church in Bozeman, MT. Chuck had heard about Jason’s program in Dillon and Chuck invited Jason out to Bozeman to meet with John Smithbaker, the founder of Fathers in the Field, and Rob Goff the Western Regional Missionary. Jason had seen the Fathers in the Field commercials on the Outdoor channel and it kept popping up on his Facebook feed; meeting with John confirmed in his heart that God was calling him to this ministry. After the meeting, as he drove home to Missoula, he asked God to help him see how he could help Fathers in the Field get started in Missoula.
The physical and mental trauma of being shot took Jason several years to recover from, and the healing is ongoing. Fatherless boys suffer the emotional and spiritual trauma of being abandoned by their earthly fathers. For these boys recovery takes years and many of them will never fully recover. Part of the trauma these boys suffer from are feelings of worthlessness, constantly wondering if their earthly father was right to abandon them.
- “Dad won’t honor his commitments to me because I’m not important.”
- “He doesn’t care if I live or die.”
- “He thinks I’m garbage. Maybe he’s right.”
- “Maybe if he sees my accomplishments he will love me.”
Fathers in the Field exists to help fatherless boys see past these lies. To help them understand the truth, that their Heavenly Father sees them as having infinite value. This is done through the intentional and consistent commitment of a Godly man, who leads them into manhood. Mentor Fathers promise a Right of Passage Journey at the end of each year of commitment, coupled with a minimum of 4 commitments each month. These Heroes take their Field Buddy to Church twice a month; serve side by side with them to help the widows and people in need in their church and community; they lead them through outdoor activities; they take the time to share the love of our Heavenly Father; they take the time to talk about the healing that comes through learning to forgive their earthly father for abandoning them.
Jason notes that: “Through my shooting accident, and my subsequent injuries, I have come to understand that you can overcome any physical or mental condition. Through my involvement in Fathers in the Field I have seen the one condition that cannot be healed, and that is the injury of the soul, brought on by being abandoned by your dad. The only way out of these doldrums is a godly man intentionally stepping into a fatherless boy’s life, to introduce him to his Heavenly Father and His love, which is all healing.”
The man whose whole life was centered on duck hunting has changed his focus to helping fatherless boys find healing. Through Jason’s hard work Zootown Church in Missoula Montana has committed to helping the fatherless boys in Missoula. They currently have 4 Mentor Fathers, including Jason. Jason’s goal is to have 10 Mentor Fathers actively working with Field Buddies by the end of 2016, with twice as many by the end of 2017. He is a man obsessed with following God and being a “Champion of the Fatherless.”
What are you obsessed with? Are you willing to follow Jason’s example and turn that obsession into one that tirelessly helps fatherless boys or will it take a monumental event for God to get your attention?
The time is now! Contact us today to help heal a boy’s injured soul by helping him see the love of his Heavenly Father.