Turning The Hearts of Fathers to Their Sons
Malachi 4: 4-6 says, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.” When I came across the Bible verse above, it brought to my mind what is happening right now with the boy child. It made me realize the purpose of Beacon Boys Program; to bring fathers and sons back to one another, to unite them. By so doing, this will save generations to come.
Currently, common news is about murder, rape, alcoholism, drug and substance use, fathers rising against their sons and vice versa etc. Fathers are in a dilemma, wondering what would be the best and most suitable approach to this societal menace. Men are caught up in a web of confusion and helplessness. On the other hand, the boys feel neglected, misunderstood, lost and confused. When a son rises against his father and beats him up, insults him or murders him as is common nowadays, one wonders, is it the said curse? Men rising against women is also out of the norm but has become an everyday occurrence. Could it be that the land has been struck?
Micah 7:6 goes on to say, ‘For son treats father contemptuously…. A man’s enemies are the men of his own household’. This is a very scaring and upsetting situation that needs to be addressed. The Beacon Boys program is doing exactly that, bringing boys and fathers together. The lessons drawn from the curriculum in the facilitator’s guide as well as the many activities done within the program are so enriching and life changing for both fathers and the sons. The BBP curriculum focuses on some of the most critical issues relating to Spiritual connection, Cultural values, Lifeskills and Social empowerment. The Facilitators make each lesson more beneficial to the boys through experiential learning and co-curricular activities.
As a result of our interventions, barriers of fear have been broken through common activities between men and boys such as serving together in Mass animation, participation in competitive sports tournaments, cultural events, hikes, team building activities, recollections etc. Men are reporting how the boys have grown so close to them and showing fondness and friendliness to them. The boys are also reporting how they feel great sharing activities with their fathers. This has raised their self-esteem and confidence. Leadership qualities and other skills are being discovered due to these interactions.
A few Parishes have followed closely to monitor school performance of the boys and have noted great improvement. With the CMA leading by example, some Parishes now report that girls have stopped serving as altar servers and given the boys back their mantle to serve as traditional altar boys. They even lead in prayers of the faithful alongside their fathers and go for recollection. Men have also taken up the role of mentors in their Parishes as BBP is under Catholic Men Association (CMA). Some have taken up initiation programs to give directions and monitoring of the boys’ transition period. Women are also expressing hope that finally the boys have people watching over them and mentoring them. We can only hope and believe that BBP is a God send program that will “break the curse”, give fathers their authority as it was always meant to be, and save Mr. Patrick Irungu of St. Jude Donholm shares a moment with his boys who are generations to come.