Blog Written by Ray Haakonsen, Oceans Ministries South African Ambassador:
This being the third post highlighting the country of South Africa and the role Oceans Ministries could have as we set up our Oceans Ministries International office at Oceans Retreat Center in Cape Town, I thought I would highlight the pressing challenge of Fatherlessness in our country.
Our core calling as Oceans Ministries is
“To make the love of the Father known to physical and spiritual orphans around the world.
With this mandate, we will no doubt be faced with and minister into the pressing challenges of ‘Fatherlessness’ in this nation and beyond. Our prisons are overflowing, gang warfare and drugs are rife in our burgeoning and vastly unemployed townships, and crime threatens our society as a whole. Many children today admit they grow up not knowing their Father at all.
Much of this situation can be attributed to an apartheid separation policy that ended only in 1994. This policy had literally closed economic and education opportunities for most SA citizens. But 25 years after this legacy ended, we see that Fatherlessness is also a result of Father’s having to leave home to find work, or just “checking out” due to the massive challenges they found before them, in trying to provide for their families.
A study done in 2017, (Stats SA General Household Survey)shows that 61.8 % of children in South Africa grow up in homes with absent Fathers! In this study, a ‘resident’ in a home is someone who spends more than 4 nights in a week in that home and a child is anyone under 18. This figure would include Fathers who had passed away (10.1%)
Many single Moms, grandparents and even children themselves, are expected to take on the role of providing for and bringing up children in the homes. This puts huge pressure on so many in this beautiful nation. As Oceans, the following scripture would be significant to us in our reaching out;
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. – James 1:7
The widespread ‘Fatherlessness’ in our nation and continent has in many ways ‘clouded’ the reality of what a ‘Father’ should be, and at the same time, made it virtually impossible to see God as a loving Father. Our deep desire to minister into this brokenness, is found in our mandate below:
‘In a world full of people whose pain, suffering, and loss has made it difficult for them to accept the idea of God as a loving Father, Oceans Ministries exists to help people overcome their brokenness and renew their relationship with their heavenly Father.’
As Jesus was baptised by John in Matthew 3:17 ABBA spoke out his Fatherhood over and identity of His son Jesus;
“And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.(Have delight)”
In the same way, as we recognise our relationship in the family of God, we do so by acknowledging Jesus and are adopted as sons and daughters of ABBA Father. ABBA speaks the same words over us as His children. All need to hear the joy of this invite into His family so that a renewed understanding of love of “Father God” would be made known to them.
Please stand with us as we seek His plan and will for us to minister in this vital area.