Fatherless boys reason that if their own dad threw them away, they must have no value. Fathers in the Field includes service to widows to strengthen boys’ self-esteem and help them realize that their Father in Heaven values them and has a purpose for their lives—a purpose that blesses others and honors God.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the fatherless and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ~James 1:27
As the boys see the positive impact that they can have on others and recognize that they are valued, they develop the self-esteem needed to ultimately confront and forgive their earthly fathers, just as their Father in Heaven has forgiven them.
Maudie Kenney was one of the first widows involved with the Fathers in the Field program. Over the years, she has delighted in seeing first hand how the ministry has helped her and the boys.
Tell us about your relationship with Fathers in the Field.
Fathers in the Field has been a wonderful ministry to me. The boys and their Mentor Fathers come and clean out the weeds in my backyard, and I can’t tell you what a blessing that is to me.
I love flowers. I think it brightens the day to see a beautiful flower. But now that I am no longer able to take care of the yard myself, the weeds and grass grow up over my flowers. So, the boys and men from Fathers in the Field come and clear out the garden. The boys are working together with their Mentor Fathers, and it seems important to them. And it’s important to me. I get to see my peonies again!
Do you believe that widows should receive special care?
Yes, and God does, too. Many widows in Jesus’ time had no support and no way to care for themselves. Jesus saw their difficulty and He had compassion on them. Fathers in the Field is showing that same compassion. I am blessed to have family and church members who help care for me. But not all widows are that fortunate. And even though I have a lot of help, I still have a hard time getting some things done…like my garden. Fathers in the Field blesses me by helping with my garden, and I am very grateful.
What kind of an impact do you see that Fathers in the Field has on the boys who are serving you?
Fathers in the Field teaches boys to appreciate people when they are older and to feel good about serving them. I remember this one boy who came one time and just sat beside, me and we had the nicest chat. I couldn’t believe it! We visited as if we were the same age.
I also know how important it is for a boy’s self-confidence to have a caring father in his life. Boys need a male influence—someone who they know is interested in them and cares how they grow up. My sons had that with their dad. I hurt for these boys that they don’t have that and am glad to see their Mentor Fathers working with them. I hope they leave feeling accomplished and confident that they are important and have cared about someone else.