I walked out in the front yard of the Weichardts to glance at Table Mountain. The majestic landmark is beautiful. Clouds drape over the corner and appear to be smoke stacks coming from God’s mountain.
The last three days of wind, rain and cold has transformed into a gorgeous day. You can see the ocean, the mountain and remember the refreshed splender of God’s creation. I guess we need more rainy days in our lives to appreciate the spender of God’s presence on a daily basis.
Many thoughts flash through my heart as I remember yesterday and a summary of research conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa. It was the introduction of Teenage TATA, the voices of young fathers in South Africa. “Tata” is the isiXhosa word for father or daddy. It is a polite form of address to an older African man. This research was conducted in Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria over the last two years. It was fascinating information.
The conclusion of the research was that children benefit greatly from the prescence of a caring and supportive father. One of the young fathers, Lonwabo, said, I wish I could have bonded with my father growing up. I missed all that. . . I am longing for that father bond! So, I wanted to give like that to my baby.
The real truth is that 63% of children in Africa have no father involved in their life. I wonder what the statistic is in America? I know that we have met thousands of young people who live in blended families and have little to not contact with their real father.
Over these 40 years there have been many young people who look to us as their Table Mountain. We are the landmark that stands out in their life of faith. Someone they can look to for a bearing or a waypoint in life. Continually we get surprise calls from former young people seeking guidance for their adult life.
Who is looking to you as their Table mountain? Glance around and see the young eyes looking at you. Don’t miss the gleem in their eye and smile from their eager heart. You are the landmark, the father figure for some you may never notice.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.