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When Roger and Debi Jonker came across this verse in 1997, it perfectly described the stirrings they felt to start Father’s Love.
Father’s Love is an outreach to at-risk youth based in Jacksonville, Texas (with former outreaches in Pennsylvania and Virginia). The ministry reaches impoverished youngsters, ages 10 to 19, with the message of God’s enduring love for them. The approach at Father’s Love is simple: No matter the situation, they can know the love of their heavenly Father and be assured God has a special plan for their life.
Although many of their biological fathers may have deserted them, kids here learn that their heavenly Father will never leave them nor forsake them. The goal at Father’s Love is to introduce as many young people as possible to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the tangible love of the Father.
The Father’s Love outreach center is open four nights a week and includes a gymnasium, workshop, chapel, classroom and kitchen. Older youth have additional opportunities to learn practical life skills and to serve the community.
“The biggest challenge a kid from Father’s Love deals with is… coming from a fatherless home.”
Tasheena attended Father’s Love as a Thee Girl and Teen Girl and has accepted Christ as her Savior. She’s an alumnus now & has since this video graduated from Dallas Baptist University.
“Father’s Love definitely holds a big part of my heart.”
TEEN GUY: Antonio & Treyvon
Antonio & Treyvon are teen guys who attend Father’s Love meetings on Friday nights.
Antonio: When asked what he’s learned from Father’s Love: “To love one another and to respect your parents.”
Treyvon: “My favorite thing about coming to Father’s Love is playing basketball and going to the chapel.”
Linda is a fifth grade elementary teacher that helps with the tutoring program at Father’s Love.
“You’re not allowed to talk about God in public school…this is a good way to reach out to kids & share the gospel with them.”
Terri is apart of the van ministry that picks up & drops off kids for the weekly meetings at Father’s Love.
“Most of the kids who attend, if it wasn’t for this ministry here, they probably wouldn’t go to church at all.”
Mike is a volunteer who brings a van full of teen guys from a neighboring city to the FL meetings on Friday nights.
“Friday nights are tough, but it’s probably one of my favorite nights of the week.“
Tyesha is a Father’s Love alumni who attended Father’s Love’s Thee Girls & Teen Girls meetings & has been on many trips with Father’s Love, including camp, from where she became a counselor & traveled overseas doing missionary work.
“My first night here, I was so happy… had been waiting months to come to Father’s Love.”
THEE BOY: Brayleen/Dezerrek
Brayleen & Dezerrek attend the 10 – 12 year old boys meeting at Father’s Love and have accepted Christ as their Savior.
Brayleen: “I was failing Math and Reading; I wasn’t that good at it. Now I’m better because of the tutors.”
Dezerrek: “The Father’s Love staff accepts me for who I am & Jesus accepts me to.”
ALUMN/ STAFF: Channie
Channie has been a Thee Girl, Teen Girl, and alumnus volunteer. She is now part-time staff at Father’s Love.
“My favorite thing about Father’s Love is the worship.”
VOL/ STAFF: Melissa & Madelyn
Melissa is married to staff member Brett Wagner & was formerly on staff herself. She’s a full time mother & continues to stay involved with Father’s Love.
“When you go into something with the mindset that you want to help people, what happens almost always in return is you realize you are the one who that is blessed & your the one who is helped.”
Madelyn: “The thing I love about Father’s Love is when we get to always learn about Jesus.”
TEEN GUY: Avante & Kameron
Avante & Kameron are teen guys who attend Father’s Love meetings weekly.
Avante: “I’ve been coming to Father’s Love now for six or seven years and the main thing is, we talk about God.”
Kameron: “The thing I liked about one lesson taught at Father’s Love was that God changed a greedy man into a giving man and he can do that with anyone.”
Alexis & Lillian are young girls that attend Father’s Love 10 – 12 year old Thee Girl meetings.
Alexis: “The things I like about Father’s Love is we get to play games. We get to learn about Jesus & the Bible.”
Lillian: “Father’s Love is the best place to go & the most funnest church ever.”
Debi has been loving on kids who attend Father’s Love since she and Roger began the Ministry 20 years ago. She brings craft projects with her to the meetings to work on with the girls.
Oz is an alumni from Father’s Love who now volunteers at the boys meetings.
“What inspired me to come back is how much fun that I had & the wonderful staff we have here.”
Chris is a teenage guy who attends Father’s Love
and volunteers at the 10 – 12 year old boys meetings.
“When I became a Christian I wanted to help others.
I asked if I could come during another age group and help out.”
Dave was a carpenter on staff at Father’s Love and specialized in community projects.
“Sometimes the families will ask, ‘Why are you even doing this?’ It’s because of what God did in my life.”
TEEN GIRL: Nana / Eryka
Nana has been attending Father’s Love since she was 10, she’s a teenager now & attends the teen girls meetings.
“My favorite thing about coming to Father’s Love is we learn about God. Father’s Love breaks it down so we can understand.”
Eryka attends our 10 – 12 year old Thee Girls meetings.
“I heard about Father’s Love when my sister started coming. I felt jealous because I wanted to learn more about God also.”
TEEN GUY: Ty
Ty is a teen guy that began attending Father’s Love at the age of 10. “I just recently got saved and it’s really turned my life around. I’m happy.”
Ken is a volunteer at Father’s Love. He helps tutor 10 – 12 year old boys. “There was a big hole in my life in terms of being involved with youth. Father’s Love has helped fill that gap”
STAFF: Roger Jonker
Roger Jonker is the co-founder/director of Father’s Love Ministry, established in 1997. “God knew who was hurting in Jacksonville and needed someone to love them and care for them. They needed to know that God has a plan for them.”
Tamia began as a Thee Girl at Father’s Love and continued to attend throughout her teen years. She has accepted Christ into her life & was recently baptized.
“I fell on my knees, wept and asked for forgiveness.”
Ministry to youth at Father’s Love focuses on four areas:
Modeling Christ likeness through Bible lessons, scripture memorization and community service projects. Laying a solid foundation that will withstand the strong pull of the world, especially as they enter into adulthood.
This is the key component in any child’s growth. Kids need to feel loved and to be special to an adult. The individual attention they receive at Father’s Love pays immense dividends in their lives.
At Father’s Love, kids are matched with adults from local churches. By spending just a few hours a week with a child, an adult can have a huge impact on the youngster’s life.
Children at Father’s Love normally don’t have the means for many activities. Father’s Love provides opportunities of all kinds for their growth, fun and education.
Each of these ministry focal points has led to gospel inroads with the children’s families. As kids begin to thrive, their struggling parents are relieved and grateful – and are blessed in turn by Father’s Love.
Having grown up in Christian homes themselves – with loving parents who provided for them and encouraged their walk with Christ – Roger and Debi have sought to provide similar opportunities for kids who are without. The result is “pure and spotless religion” that is transforming lives one by one – as well as a community – for the gospel’s sake.
Thee Girls (10-12 year old girls)
I am at Father’s Love because I want to teach the girls the gospel and impact their lives just like Father’s Love impacted my life.
Teen Guys 13-18 and Young Men 19+
I am at Father’s Love because I want to share with the students of Jacksonville about the love God has for them according to the Gospel.
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If you would like to make a donation by check or money order, please mail to:
PO Box 458
Jacksonville, TX 75766