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A Lonely Outpost of Parenthood

Living through a pandemic has had a different effect on all of us. It may not have been that bad of an experience for you if you don’t mind being alone for long periods of time. We all had to come to terms with the closing of a door or two, whether that was the gym, a church, a favorite restaurant, a family situation or a job opportunity. 

Although many doors were closed this last year, it's beginning to feel as Stephen King says, “on the warm side of a door’s closing.”

Hugh was one such man who needed the warm side of a closing door.

Like many others, Hugh needed help. 

He had heard of the Fatherhood Program from Resource Health Services, formerly Rachel House, which was created for people with similar situations. He was reluctant to try it at first saying, “Here’s somebody else who is going to tell me what to do.”

The somebody Hugh was referring to is Resource Health Services Men’s Director, Mike Eklund. Little did Hugh know Eklund had no intention of “telling him what to do.” After getting to know him, Hugh admitted, “We had an instant connection which made me want to come back."

Hugh wasn’t his “usual self” at the first meeting and Eklund recalls Hugh's hesitation. Eklund asked his permission to pray for him right then and there and assured him of his intention to not embarrass him. Hugh agreed, and all of the men got up and circled around Hugh for prayer.

Hugh was no longer alone when he realized he was in the friendly company of men just like himself. He is one example of a life changed in the context of caring relationships and admits he wouldn’t be the father he is today without what he calls “priceless” assistance. C. S. Lewis gave a wise definition of friendship saying, “You too? I thought I was the only one.”

Kathy Edwards, CEO of Resource Health Services, believes an unplanned pregnancy is not just a woman’s problem and that many men believe that to be true because society tells them they have no voice. Resource Health Services has witnessed the power of men challenging other men in their role in an unplanned pregnancy and want to provide guidance in knowing how to participate in the child’s life whether they continue in a relationship with the mother or not.

Edwards says an average of 80% of women end up choosing life for their child after an ultrasound, but that statistic jumps up to 91% when mom and dad see the baby together. Edwards has no intention of asking couples in an unexpected pregnancy to choose life for their child and simply wish them luck. Instead, she wants to walk with them through challenges faced in the critical first year of the child’s life.

"Our focus is to holistically empower the family unit through advocacy, education, mentoring and discipleship. Our goal is to positively impact families now and for generations to come.”

Watch Hugh’s story here at https://f.io/EOKYhnNi 

Visit Resource Health Services at rachelhouse.org/our-services/ for more information on the Fatherhood Program.

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