We lost our dad Oct 3, 1999, to cancer. He was 67 – far too young. I learned so much from him and have so many sweet memories. He taught me about God, faith, to work hard, take care of others, the love of camping … and to fish. Armed with a new cane pole, I remember getting up before dawn and going to what became our special spot at White Rock Lake, assured I would catch my first fish. I was maybe 6 years old. He made me bait the hook with a wiggly worm and showed me how to swing the line out and plop it into the lake, cautioning me to keep an eye on the bobber and to jerk the pole up fast if it went under 3 times. It eventually did and I jerked the pole up so fast the poor little fish went flying. Dad taught me to clean it and cook it; the first of many times we had fish for breakfast!

Each Father’s Day my sister, brother and I share memories of our Dad, treasuring the times we had together, knowing how very blessed we are.

Unfortunately, many of our Agape children have not experienced the blessing of a loving dad. About 90% of the women-led families that Agape serves are abuse survivors, meaning about 90% of our Agape children have experienced the trauma of abuse in some form. Studies indicate that about one-third of people who are abused in childhood will become abusers themselves. The research also confirms that abuse in childhood increases the likelihood in adulthood of problems including depression, substance abuse and severe mental health issues. At Agape our passionate goal is to break that cycle. Our amazing Manager of Children and Youth Programs, Tameka, helps each child personally experience love, learn to dream and aspire to a future not limited or defined by their past. Counselors help our youngsters recognize their hurt and learn coping mechanisms to help them manage their anxiety and fear.

We are so thankful for the godly men (and women) who share their time, talent and treasure so our women and children may see their futures differently and begin to know they are beloved children of God, worthy of respect, kindness and a future with hope. Mark D takes each new family Shoe Shopping so they can start the Agape Program off on the right foot. Stan H, Darrell H, and Bill W keep all our homes and properties in good shape, so our families have safe, stable, comfortable homes. The many Chase Oaks Church yard teams, led by Chuck and Julie M, Jim & Donna R, Phil & Annette A and Tom B, keep our yards neat and tidy showing our families they care by taking care of our homes. Steve J leads a whole flock of Bentwood Trail Presbyterian Church Agape supporters, keeping the connection alive! We are indeed grateful.

With our SIX new Agape families, there are new opportunities – and needs – for Godly men (and women) to help keep Agape going and to be models for our children and youth. If you like movies, consider hosting a movie time this summer for Agape kids – and going along to join the fun. If you like sporting events, maybe introduce Agape kids to the Love of the Game. Or just come and read a story, play a game or provide a snack. I assure you lives will be changed for the good. Email us at ExecAdmin@Hope4Agape.org and let the fun begin!

God bless and keep you,

Rev Janet

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