Happy Fathers Day Dad – From Mike – 2008

Dad long agoMy Dad was born in the 1920s.  He was a Depression era farmer, high school drop out, WWII veteran, drill sergeant, abandoned by his mother, tough guy, 25 year survivor of a triple bypass.  That all paints a picture that fits him perfectly and at the same time misses the mark by a mile.

Part of his youth was spent living in tents or railroad boxcars.  He and his two siblings lived on an Oregon farm with their Mom and Dad, until his Mom decided she couldn’t handle it and abandoned the family.  This left three kids to be raised in the worst of situations by a Father who was physically and verbally abusive.

My Dad played, managed and officiated any sport you can imagine.  He never missed one of my football, baseball or track events.  He brought food for our team and invited everyone over for pool parties after.  He criticized the refs and encouraged our team at embarrassing decibel levels.  But, he was there.

He never finished high school, but, today his three children are all college graduates.  He came from a broken home, but, is rapidly approaching his own 60th wedding anniversary.  He never earned much money, but, his kids never wanted for anything.

His internal conflict has always been that he felt his job was to toughen us kids and prepare us for life, while my Mom provided all the comforting, nurturing, and “I love you”s.  He desired to do all that nurturing stuff, but, it wasn’t done by his father and he really didn’t know how to do it for us.

Dad todayToday, I see it in his eyes.  He is proud of his kids and he is happy the way he raised us.  But, in his eyes I also see thousands of hugs and “I love you”s that he wanted give and regretfully never knew how.

I always claimed that he was never as tough as he tried to portray.  There was often a hollow, obligatory tone behind his, “Clean your room!” or “No, you can’t go!”  I believe now, as I watch him hug my daughter and lavish love on her that the man he always wanted to be is finally emerging.

He has regrets.  I have none.  I love you too Dad.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20. Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism. His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement. He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike's articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies. From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.

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