The Daddy Deficit

There wasn’t one in my family.


My childhood was blessed with a present father and two grandfathers—all invested in my well being. Yes, I know that’s often not the case.


Today is Father’s Day, and perhaps your story reads nothing like mine.


Perhaps your father

  • died before you were born
  • abused you
  • murdered your mother


Perhaps he was a

  • “do as I say, not as I do” dictator
  • faithful breadwinner but an absent father


Perhaps his gifts to you were

  • scars—visible or invisible—and unanswered questions


Perhaps then the idea of a Heavenly Father doesn’t bring to mind the same sense of loving embrace and protection and stability for you as it does for me.


It certainly doesn’t for many of the children we serve at Hope Unlimited for Children in Brazil.


Many of our children’s stories include abuse, abandonment, and exploitation by the very men who should have loved them. For them, the word “father” elicits thoughts of danger—until they come to Hope. Our house fathers work hard to develop real, loving father-child relationships with the kids. They point them to the perfect love of their Heavenly Father.

And they make long term (10-year!) commitments to ensure they’re around for all of the twists and turns, ups and downs, happys and sads of their children’s lives… because that’s what real Daddys do.


See what I mean?


My name is Vitor, and I am twelve years old. I’ve been at the City of Youth since I was eight years old.


Last month my house father, Gustavo, got married. I got to be part of the wedding! It was my first wedding to ever attend. I got to wear a cool suit that had a big red bow tie.


I was really nervous to walk in front of all the people, but Gustavo told me it would be okay. ‘When you walk down the aisle, just look at me, and I will help you out,’ he said.


In the end, I was so happy I did it. The wedding was so much fun! I hope we have another wedding soon. I want to have my own wedding one day.


God is using Hope Unlimited for Children to break cycles for kids like Vitor.


Perhaps someday Vitor will have that wedding of his own. Perhaps I’ll attend! Perhaps someday he’ll be blessed with a child for whom he can model the kind of father’s love he’s received over the past eight years—but didn’t receive in his first four.


At Hope Unlimited we are family for many Vitors. We stay. We provide stability and direction. But we can’t do everything. For some of our kids, it’s only when they choose to rely on their Heavenly Father to fill in the holes their father didn’t want—or wasn’t able—to fill that they find peace.


Any chance that’s your answer, too?


Today I am thankful for the “staying power” of my Daddy, Grandpa, and Granddaddy. For my Renaissance Man, his father, my brother and brothers-in-law. For my Favorite Fatigue Wearer.


I’m thankful for the selfless commitment of the house fathers at Hope Unlimited for Children.


If you’d like to help provide that “staying power” for Vitor and his friends, I invite you to make a gift to Hope today… perhaps in honor or memory of the special men in your life. Your contribution of any amount will truly make a difference in the lives of some amazing kids! (Do me a favor? Write My Place to Yours in the comment box when you make your contribution. I’d love the staff at Hope to see just how much my reader-friends care!)


How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  (1 John 3:1)



  1. I’m so thankful that there are groups like this who can spread God’s love to those who might not see it as obviously otherwise. Thank you for sharing about them!