The Champion Father

By Esther Waruiru

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Sarah Imbuye Mutua, one of my dearest friends and peers, plays an influential role in the Navigator work in Africa. She serves many people in a personal and Christ-centered way.

Sarah and I have been co-laborers since the 1970s. She is a woman of great faith and great passion for God. About a decade ago, Sarah lost her husband in a terrible accident, leaving her to raise two sons without a father. The following letter from Sarah expresses how God has fulfilled His promises to be a faithful Father to her and her children. I trust that Sarah’s experiences with God will encourage you as much as they encourage me.

A Letter from Sarah Mutua

Just last month I entered a house filled with mourning. A woman’s husband had died that week, and many people had come to console her. Next to the bereaved widow was her 22-year-old daughter who had just arrived from the U.K. to mourn her father. I asked if I could take a moment to share an encouraging thought.
 
I briefly introduced myself and said I wished to share one blessing, something I had experienced since my own husband died ten years ago. I told them that the Bible contains numerous references to “the fatherless and the widow.” In each reference, God positions Himself as Father to the fatherless. One such reference is Ps. 68:5, which says: "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling."
 
As I spoke, I could see that the daughter was bright-eyed and eager to hear about this Father who promised to be an ever-present and never dying Father. As I left the house, both the widow and daughter followed me outside. They asked me to visit them soon and to share more. I understood their hearts’ cry for a father figure—from personal experience.
 
My late husband, Simon Mutua, had a special love for his children. Our two sons had developed a deep fondness for their father, who always made a deliberate effort to give them quality time. On the eve of his fatal accident, he had finished a busy day in a school ministry and still needed to prepare for his long trip that same night. But he made sure to prepare the boys’ school kits and to talk with them. He assured the boys that he would be back the next day.
 
That night’s accident led him to his home in heaven instead. The memories of a champion father lingered in our sons’ minds. My sons, ages 11 and 13 at the time of the accident, had already confessed Jesus as their savior. It was an uphill task for me to explain how this same God could allow their father to die in a road accident. But I saw God assume the title of Father in their lives. He was the kind of friend their father Simon had been, and my sons welcomed Him as their Father.
 
In my own cry to God as a widow, I often asked God to look into the detailed affairs of my sons at school and in the community, and to help with rebuke and discipline. He has been faithful, even beyond what my late husband could have done.
 
My sons have fresh memories of a caring, concerned, loving father who would do anything for them. But we also have a Father who is all powerful and who can orchestrate events to work for us. Sometimes He uses circumstances to correct and teach us, but He does this as an ever-present friend.
 
I also have the same Father as my sons. John 1 says that everyone who believes and receives Jesus has the right to become children of God. My widow friend and her daughter can both receive the right to become children of the Father to the fatherless.
 
When Jesus taught us to pray, he said: "This then is how you should pray . . . Our Father in heaven . . ."

Esther Waruiru served with The Navigators of Kenya and the Africa Regional Team before coming to the U.S. Esther is an International Vice President serving field ministries in the U.S., Canada, and Africa.