The Fatherless

Posted on by Vince Sarfraz

The following story was written by a member of the Youth For Christ USA Cities Pursuit Community. These are real stories and pieces showing how God is using YFC USA as a vehicle in raising up lifelong followers of Jesus all across the nation.

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy.” -Psalm 68:5 (NLT)

Many of the youth I work with in Juvenile Justice Ministry are not weak. In fact, many of them are violently strong. But almost all of them lack an earthly father or any sort of positive male mentor in their lives, making them weak, vulnerable, and in need of God’s extraordinary love. The juvenile offenders can’t earn my love because I give it freely like the healthy father they never had. My relationships with my students are less like Jesus and His disciples, and more like the father and his prodigal son from Luke 15:24 (NIV), “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” I celebrate even the smallest of victories with my students because I see them more as miracles from God.

Each day in this ministry, my greatest enemy is the multi-faceted by-product of fatherlessness: violence, brokenness, unacceptance, suicides, and addictions.

“Young boys, if they don’t get hugged by their dads, they’ll get hugged by their gang leaders. We don’t have a crime problem, we don’t have a prisoner problem, an inmate problem or a drug problem; we have a father problem. We don’t have fathers that will take time to spend with their children, train their children, teach their children, and love their children.” –Bill Corum

Bill Corum has been an inmate in ten different prisons in ten different states, and is now a Christian author and speaker in prisons all over the world. Over the last year, Bill and I have talked about issues of fatherlessness in our country and the resulting consequence of our rising prison population.

At Youth For Christ, my job is not to change people, but to model what Christ did for me and accept all my students like a father in Christ. If each dad knew that his role on earth is to be a father even to other people’s children, a lot of lives would be changed.

The most powerful position I can have in my life is a father, and when I serve the fatherless with this superpower, miraculous things happen.


Alex Mathew is the City Director and JJM Chaplain of Youth For Christ Kansas City. He has served and lived in the inner city of Kansas City for over 10 years.

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