Strengthening Connection: a Father’s Day story

written by Back2Back Cancun Staff,  Jenn Holden

The basement of Back2Back Cancun’s mission-guest house was full. The repetitive sounds of pounding hammers took over the room, the air thick with the smell of wood stain. The fans and blasting air conditioning gave relief, as a constant buzz of chatter and laughter occupied the space. There were homemade decorations everywhere, but the best part was the people who were in the room – fathers connecting with their children.

It was Father’s Day, and the men whose families are a part of Back2Back’s Strong Families program, were the guests of honor. Fathers arrived with their children and took a seat at a table. Each family chose a pattern to make out of nails on a wooden frame. Alongside their children, fathers pounded each nail using a hammer that read “Feliz día del padre” (Happy Father’s Day.) They worked together to attach colored string to their shapes made of nails. As thread connected the dots of their creation, an even more important connection was being forged between each father and his children.

Meanwhile, at the grill and in the kitchen, team members from Red Door Church were preparing gourmet carne asada. After the guests of honor completed their projects, everyone gathered together for a feast. The laughter and chatter continued as they shared an incredible meal with their children and with people who had come so they felt seen, known, and celebrated.

At the end of the afternoon, everyone gathered again in the full basement with full bellies to worship together. They experienced a tangible reminder of our Heavenly Father and how He loves us. Fathers and staff took a moment to imagine together about the futures of the children and teens sitting among them. Most were moved to tears, while others embraced their little ones.  Words of encouragement and honor were shared with each dad, and they were reminded their children are precious. Throughout the day, there was one singular message – presence is important.

Father’s Day can be hard for the orphaned and vulnerable children Back2Back serves. Often, their fathers are absent, distant, or a source of pain. This is why a victory was won in the Cancun basement this Father’s Day. We were created for a loving connection with our fathers, and while they may be far from perfect, this day the connection was strengthened. God is in the business of restoring families, and there is a taste of His goodness in moments like these.