My heart is overflowing with gratitude and joy for the blessing of being a witness to the goodness of God concerning the founding of a new ministry of encouragement for grieving dads called "Dads Like Me"
In 2012, Bob and I were honored to be a part of a local newspaper article that spotlighted ministries/non-profit organizations/charities created by bereaved parents in response to and in honor and rembrance of the loss of a child.
As a follow-up to the newspaper article, the couples who were featured in the article got together to meet one another over dinner at Cafe' Vino Restaurnat here in Fort Collins, CO.
When introduced to Steve and Julie Christen, as the Director of Mothers Like Me, Steve asked me, with a big smile on his face, "So, where's Dads Like Me?" to which my reply, was "I don't know, Steve, where is it?" I told him that "God placed the idea for a Dads Like Me ministry for grieving dads on my heart, at the same time he gave Cynthia Weightman and I the vision for Mothers Like Me that began in Southern California in March of 2006. "However, so far," I said," no man has stepped up and wanted to take ownership and leadership for such a ministry." Steve's eyes got brighter and his smile bigger and he said "Well, maybe we should talk!"
And, so we talked and prayed, and talked and prayed somemore, and, we can now testify to the faithfulness of God that He knew all the time that the right and best man for a Dads Like Me ministry was Steve Christen!
On Saturday, February 16, 2013, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, Mothers Like Me will host a "Heart to Heart" Couple's Brunch at Timberline Church in Ft. Collins, at which time Steve and Julie will share something of their story of loss and amazing journey through grief, and Steve will introduce "Dads Like Me" bereaved parents and guests who will come together for the first time in a married couple's venue. After 7 years of praying, hoping and believing that one day Dads Like Me would become a reality, we are confident that this is the time and that Steve is the one to lead what he refers to as a "band of brothers" toward hope and healing in response to the loss of a child.
With enthusiasm, wisdom, clarity and a passion for living life with joy and purpose, Steve begins this ministry of encouragement for dads with compassion and humility, and with the understanding and experience that equips him to relate to a "man's grief" and to the need for a husband to "show his love for his wife by entering into her grief." As Steve, and probably any man or woman would say "men and women just grieve differently!"
Only God could have chosen, called and equipped the man for this special ministry, and that man is absolutely Steve Christen!
Here's something of Steve's plan for Dads Like Me . . .
We Believe . . .
*The death of our child is a unique and horrifically difficult challenge to us as men, husbands and fathers.
*Our lives have changed forever.
*Grief is a profound journey we do not have to travel alone.
*Our wife and children are our most precious earthly treasures and we will seek to continue to love them well.
*Even though our grief is an extension of our love, we humbly admit we are sorely lacking in our ability to survive and thrive through this challenge without the help of God and other men.
Our Mission and Purpose . . .
*To create a "band of brothers" who will support one another through the journey called grief.
*To provide opportunities for friendship, education and resources to help grieving dads.
*To encourage grieving dads to ultimately look to God for comfort and healing.
*To encourage and support a group of dads to love more, live life with passion and purpose and an "eternal" perspective,
You can read something about Steve and his wife, Julie, and their beautiful 20 year old daughter, Rachel, who died on May 22, 2008, while driving her car that was struck by a truck @ www.rachelchristen.com.
Steve will be preparing and publishing a website for Dads Like Me in the future, but for now, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please pray for Steve (and my husband, Bob) and the other "dads like me" who will be coming alongside Steve to help him reach out to grieving dads here in Ft. Collins, CO. This ministry can truly make a difference in the lives of bereaved parents and we pray that Ken Hekema's words, as written in his book Treasures of Darkness will be true for the men who join this special "band of brothers" - that they will "emerge from our grief - not afraid of death - not afraid to live - and not afraid to love again."
"Please, God, let this be true for Dads Like Me and bless this man and this ministry in Jesus' Name - Amen!"
Rejoicing in Christ,
Angie Green, Director of Mothers Like Me - "a mom like you!"