I didn’t know this weekend would be for me too. I gained so much confidence as a father this weekend. I was always too embarrassed to play basketball or fish with my son because I never learned how. But here, I found other men to teach me what I was missing, and to teach my son at the same time. – Paul P.
I realized how much my son wanted and needed purely one-on-one time with me as his daddy. We got some great time together and that couldn’t have happened at home the same way. My son and I connected in some rare ways, and I praise God for that. Thanks for the freedom to get my true feelings for my son out of my heart and into his. – Reid S.
I was honored and humbled by how much time, care, and support the other fathers poured into me and my son. I thank you all for answering God’s call and hosting this powerful weekend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! – Mark C.
I loved taking an art project that started out as a disaster and my son ministered to me and encouraged me that we could use our creativity to redeem it, and sure enough, we managed to stick with it and make it exactly what we wanted to capture. – Bryan C.
Great experience! My son thoroughly enjoyed. This was my first father/son weekend event, so I was probably more impacted evaluating my own emotions, past, and role as a father. Definitely want to attend next year. – Len G.
My most meaningful experience was the times I would cry and my son would cry as well, not in sadness but in happiness. He kept telling me how he would never forget this weekend. – Shawn M.
This morning I asked my son what he would tell his yonger brother if he asked you why he should come when he gets older. he told me that he would tell him “cause you got what it takes”. I guess the lesson sunk in! – Jim G.
Thank you to Abba’s Way for an amazing weekend of activities for boys. You challenged me anew to spend time with my son and teach him more of what it means to be a man. We both had an outstanding time. Thank you! – Kevin F.
This was nothing short of a divine encounter. I appreciate your sensibility to the Holy Spirit in planning the events. It was as if you looked into my son’s own heart and planned everything for him. He loves guns/laser tag. He loves art. he loves freedom. I am speechless about how it was so divinely orchestrated. – Traylor W.
The Affirmation Ceremony was perfect! Thank you for the opportunity to share with my son in that setting. Great job! – Keith M.
The affirmation ceremony was awesome! Cal, my son was strong in the ring of fire. Austin Mitchell
The encouragement my sons received from the staff and other Dads was fantastic. The blessing and affirmation ceremonies were truly a gift and my son’s favorite part. Eric Fuller
One of the most meaningful experiences during the weekend was looking into my son’s eyes and sharing love for each other through the activities and one-on-one time. Amazing experience-priceless! Steve Smitherman
I appreciated the times during the weekend when my son accomplished something and he was able to share it with me. It made our time together doubly meaningful! Gary Peat
Giant Swing, Wet Willy, Banana Boat and football rocked! I told my son that I loved him and he confidently said, “I know.” Brett Berneburg
The affirmation ceremony was very touching for me, not only with my own son, but watching other fathers and sons. Richard Hunter
When we arrived at the fire and removed the blindfolds, Noah looked at me and said, “I will remember this forever, I love this!” Joel Mayes
Abba’s Way is a crucial ministry addressing a huge void in our society and churches. Thank you for leading us on this journey. – Joe Cook
The most meaningful experience was a simple and honest hug my son gave me as he decided to get into my bunk and go to sleep. – Bryan Coley
The affirmation ceremony hit a home run with my son. – Mike Bellini
I was able to totally unplug and actually forgot where I was…so close to home yet so far away. It was great. – Chris Slover
Being here with my son afforded me multiple opportunities to put him first, for us to walk together and talk uninterrupted. – Charlie Babcock
Our free time was amazing! You haven’t lived until you have rubbed lake sand in each other’s hair. – Blake Boyd
A life changing experience that I am going to not only continue, but recommend to all my friends! – Jay Cannon
I loved the balance of activities and down-time/fun-time. I loved seeing excitement in my son’s eyes. – Bill Reeves
This weekend was a memory-maker with new and unique activities. The bonding with my son and other men was invaluable and unmatched by anything else we do. – Roy Roper
I really can’t express my gratitude to all of you that have developed, nurtured, and volunteered for the Father’s Heart weekend. There are so many moments of blessing that I keep reflecting on since the weekend ended. My son Joey remembers big and small events “the sword, playing hockey, and the brownie with the cookie at the bottom!”.
My top 5 would be: 1. war paint and “YOU ARE!” 2. singing 3. Wet Willie 4 times 4. 10:30 PM bike ride and 5. fishing, hockey and bike riding all before breakfast!
God revealed to me on the first day that my son and I are very different, and that I need to celebrate that instead of trying to correct and control it. Joey is all about the journey, not the destination. I need to live inside that more often myself. The weekend allowed me to do just that and let him call the shots.
I was blown away by Saturday night, moved forever and then again Sunday morning all the more.
I’ll never forget it fellows, and I’ll be back next year.
Thank you Richard Hunter
Abba’s Way Ministries,
Praise the Lord for each of you and for your commitment to the “Father – Son” relationship. My prayer is that each of you is blessed without measure, pressed down, and overflowing from the gift you have given me and my son of relationship grounded as beloved sons of a risen Lord. Both Andrew and I truly experienced something special this weekend and for that I am so very thankful. I could never even begin to repay you for what you have given us. Wow is all I can say. Absolutely WOW!
Thanks again and know that each of you is in our prayers for the selfless sacrifices you have made to ensure each of us had an incredible time.
You all are awesome men and beloved Sons of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Marc and Andrew
I will be forever greatful for you and this weekend. You created a space and time that surpassed the troubles of this world. It was the closest picture of Jacob and I playing in heaven with the Lord smiling
and waving at us. Beyond what I expected or even hoped for. I will never see my son the same again. Watching him laugh, smile, walk, eat, run, climb, swim. Especially laugh. I can’t stop the tears from the image of him laughing with such innocense, freedom, spirit and power.
I received thanks from many men for putting together the bird-house project. What’s funny is that it was such a blessing to me and I want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to share in this experience. I just realized that at 34 years of age, my dad bought me that power saw for when we framed and trimmed in our home theatre and in-wall beer fridge. A step up from bird-houses but the same experience of working together like when I was a kid. It’s been in storage for three years.
On the way home, actually at the exit to Deer Run, Jacob, with a look of wonder and kind of talking to himself said, “I cried a lot this weekend. I cried when I put the sword in the ground and looked in your eyes, I really cried when you sang to me and I cried a couple times when I thought I’d lost you.” After two hours on the road I had shared a few things I loved watching him do over the weekend. I asked him, ‘What are some things you like about your dad?’, He thought and said, ‘I like that you’re funny. I like that you’re fun (a pause and looked at me) and I like how you love me.’ My breath went out of my lungs, tears fell, welling up from the deep in my heart. There was silence for a while.
That was the purpose of the whole weekend. For him to know that he has my heart, that he is my beloved son. With fresh excitement, he said loudly several times on the way home, ‘I am Jacob, son of Rob, and I am a beloved son.’ He found out this weekend, who he is. And so did I.
The most profound experience of the weekend was Dave’s ritual yesterday morning with the Fathers’ ring of protection. I could go on about it, but I’ll just say that my dad didn’t protect me. I must protect my sons’ and I cannot do it alone. If I had been alone yesterday, the dark forces would have devoured my son. I would not have been able to stand strong, no matter how hard I tried or strong my desire. As I was crying out from my soul in that overwhelming realization, I saw Billy across the circle with mud on his shirt and tears dripping to the floor. He and I shared that same burden and for a few moments we stood strong as men, real men. I must find other men to lock arms with here at home. There just seems to be so many dad’s with the attitude of, ‘We’re doing fine.’ They just don’t know. I will find them, I will now have my eyes open wide. As Nate Larkin says, ‘God will bring them into my life, it’s my job not to run them off!’
Your brother, cowboy, warrior, beloved son,
I want to share with everyone that after the Sunday ceremony I was leaving with my son Caleb. We stopped at the entrance to Deer Run, because I felt a prompt that the week-end was not yet complete. I asked Caleb what would happen if we were going down a path and I took the road to the right and he the one to the left. His answer “we would be separated”. If we kept going down those wrong roads we would really get separated. I explained that Sin seperate’s us from God. I gave him the bible to let him read Romans 3:23. I explained that until we ask Jesus to forgive our sins, and take his proper place in our life that we are separated from our heavenly father. With tears flowing I explained that I asked Jesus to come into my heart at his age, and what a difference it has made to not feel separated from my heavenly father. I don’t know why this was such a tearful moment, but God was in it as Caleb asked Jesus into his heart and to forgive his sins. Now I know that I will never be separated from my son as we are in the Lambs book of Life for eternity.
“My son and I drew closer this weekend, a closeness that I did not know how to achieve by myself! I have the utmost respect for every person this weekend-Thank you!”–Ernie Eash
“I found the fun of following my son into a boy’s life. We did several things together that were new for both of us—the joy of discovering adventures together was amazing, and that’s harder to pull off in the course of “normal life” at home.”–Ben Ellis
“The Father’s Heart Weekend was so powerful. I’ve been on a high from all the incredible, life-changing experiences. I already ordered and received the book Adam’s Return. I hope to start it this weekend. Keep me posted on ways I can stand with you for this ministry. And thanks for being faithful to God’s call in regards to this gathering. The fruit of it is beyond measure.”–Allen Arnold
“I’m realizing the importance and impact about intentionally spending time with William. I believe the experience of this weekend will strengthen William and I through the memories.”–Joe Hoffert
“I loved watching my son find and establish his own identity.”–Bradford Crowther
“I can’t begin to thank you guys enough for doing the Father’s Heart Weekend Experience! I am praying that this grows and spreads across the state, the Church, and the world as one of the tools we need to revitalize men as Sons! You don’t need but a few experiences like that one to write a best-selling book….
I thought Joshua might be just a little too young and distracted to really get much out of it, but he was DEEPLY affected by it. On Sunday night, 8/24, at bed-time, he was in tears and couldn’t really explain it. Only that these were not really tears of pain, but longing; and though he couldn’t explain what he was feeling, it was coming from me. So I stopped trying to understand or get an explanation, and just relished in our connection.
Please let me know how I can help with any future efforts. And, hey, we need to work to bestow femininity to our daughters, too…” In Christ,–Joel Goehner
“I really enjoyed the obstacle course—I’m reminded how difficult it has been in my own life to HEAR my Father’s voice.”–Mark Snider
“The Father’s Heart Weekend was a great time to reconnect with my son and I hope will be a catalyst for more intentional time spent together.”–Kevin Vedders
“Andrew and I are closer. He is my beloved son. God has and is healing me.”–Marc Kochumba
“The opportunity to connect to my boy’s heart—in a place where we could all drop our guard and let each other be each other was great. Looking forward to what God does in our relationship in the future.”–Jack Noonan
“This was an incredibly facilitated event—tapping into men with giftings that I don’t have–that allowed me to share my heart with my boys in a way that I desired. It also helped me to become a better father because I was impacted by other gifted men that are called by God and answered the call.”–Eric Martin
“This was an amazing memory maker and I can’t commend the leadership or thank them enough! It was simply awesome!”–Roy Roper
“This weekend was the perfect time for me and my son to play, laugh, love and pray. Not only did I celebrate the boy he is—but I called out the man he will be in the company of other boys and men. Incredibly, God as my Father did the same to me. We both savored every single minute.”–Allen Arnold
“It was an incredibly moving weekend as a father and healing as a son. My son and I needed this connection. It was incredible.”–Jim Schettler
“This experience was intended to be primarily for my son, but I discovered tht it meant a lot to my own growth as well. I felt God stirring my heart to be the King and Priest He meant me to be for my children. Thank You!”–Jared England
“I would like to again thank you for the wonderful weekend !! As a dad I feel equipped to be a “Dad” now, my heart is filled with so much joy, I am seeing glimpses of a relationship that I have desired to have with my son for years. Thank You, Thank You, first hearing God on this and then following through with it!!”–Ernie Eash