A Man and His Boy
What do an 8-year-old boy and a 60 year old man have in common? Not too much,
especially if they are unrelated, BUT when they are part of Fathers in the Field,
they discover many commonalities. The man can demonstrate his hard- earned fishing
skills, his joys in the woods, his love for a special hobby. The boy brings something
even better to the relationship: a youthful curiosity and contagious enthusiasm that
the man may have long left behind. In addition, they share one other thing, the desire
to have a mentoring relationship that brings a man into the life of a fatherless boy.
For the first time in years a boy may experience the positive impact that a man
can bring to his life.
This describes perfectly what the relationship between Dean Mueller and his 'field buddy' Gabe, looks like. They have been involved since early May in the FitF program and it has been very rewarding for
both of them. Dean is semi-retired and had been praying for a number of years that he would find a new way to walk out his faith. When he heard of FitF, God spoke deep into his heart that this was the ministry for him. There was a step of faith since Dean had not worked with a young boy for many years, but he believed in God's leading. Once he saw how the program had been carefully developed to help walk the mentor father through practically every mentor meeting, he knew that he could do this.
Every week, Dean and Gabe get together to do one of a variety of options.
They go to church together twice a month, do some type of community service one
time per month and play at least once a month. They have been hiking, wading, fishing,
gardening, ping-ponging, and exploring, just to name a few. The family dog Catan looks
forward to seeing Gabe and they have developed a special bond. Many weeks Gabe
joins Dean and his wife, Janie, for a meal and Gabe amazes both of them with his insatiable
appetite. On a fishing adventure, Gabe caught his first fish and performed a celebration
which would have rivaled any end zone dance.
Gabe looks forward to seeing 'Mr. Dean' each week and usually is outside waiting for him to arrive. Through all of this activity is woven a thread of God's plan for Gabe's life. Every month, Dean and Gabe spend time working through a journal that shares God's message for both of them. They discuss important questions that are more easily talked through in the trust environment developed by the consistency of the relationship. It is a natural extension of just spending time together on a weekly basis. There is nothing that either Gabe or Dean would want to do to hinder their time together. It has become a significant part of every week that both Gabe and Dean anticipate.
Gabe Wisdom: People are sort of like cucumbers.They can be prickly on the outside and I don’t want to be around them,
but when you open them up there is a soft inside that tastes good.