Honor your father and future fathers

By June 14, 2011

USA (MNN) — In the United States, the third Sunday in June is Father's Day. It's a day set aside to honor our fathers. For Christians, it's a time to honor the spiritual legacy our dads have left with us. This year, Medical Teams International wants you not only to honor your dad, but to make it possible for dads around the world to be a dad.

President of Medical Teams International Bas Vanderzalm says his dad survived World War II in the Netherlands. "At the end of the war, he was in between two opposing armies, and there was no food and no shelter. American humanitarian aid workers dropped food and blankets to my dad, and it made an enormous difference."

Vanderzalm is asking you to make a similar difference in the lives of people in Japan who are devastated by the March earthquake and resulting tsunami. "In Japan, right now, we're working with local churches to distribute pots and pans and blankets to people who have lost everything and who are trying to rebuild their lives."

It's not just about helping physically. "I trust that when we help support that effort, it will transform not only the lives of the people, but their hearts too, and that they will see what we are doing there–the love of Christ."

Vanderzalm says he has the blanket that was given to his father in his time of need. He says it's a reminder to him that everyone can be victims. "They are people like us. They are fathers, mothers and children. And they need our help. I think they will always remember what we do for them in the name of Christ for them, just as my dad always remembered."

God uses these events to open hearts to the Good News. "We're not just looking at the physical needs that people have, but we realize that so many disasters touch people's hearts and that there are deep spiritual needs, as well. We try whenever we can to support local churches and what they're doing in the area because we know that what people really need is hope. And that only comes in faith in Christ."

Vanderzalm is encouraging you to support the work of Medical Teams in your father's name this Father's Day. You can make a difference for a father in need both physically and spiritually. Click here to give today.

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