Jan Schmidt is an intern with Vision 2 Hear. He has been with us since March and been doing a bang up job! Jan will soon join up with his mission team who is coming to America on July 16 and then they will all return to Germany by August 6. We thought we’d get some insights from Jan’s Dad about parenting for some of our Father’s Day focus since Jan just graduated and this is his first trip overseas alone. We wondered what kind of things Jan’s dad thought through as he wrestled with letting his son make such a journey. Here’s what Jan’s dad wrote us:
Father’s Day – Encouragement Of Faith
“Two things shall children get from their parents: Roots and wings.”
This sentence was written down by the great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the 19th century. Every father wants to be a good father to his children. I wanted to give my children essential things for their life:
Curiosity for the world and other cultures
Respect for other people
Faith who cares also through hard times
The question that I asked myself again and again: “How do I communicate this in a practical way?” I noticed that an essential answer (which never changed during all the last years) was: “I have to exemplify these things to my son through my own life.”
In his adolescence my son grew away from me. I’ve learned to accept him in his growth and his personality, and to endure his (own and other than my) arguments. I didn’t always succeed in overcoming all this difficulty.
As he grew up, I didn’t want this situation to continue so I learned to spend more time with him. We travelled (with an overnight stay), we went to the cinema and we talked together. We shared life.
I’ve learned from him; I also learned to set him free (I gave him “wings”), to make his own experiences, to realize his own dreams, to live his own life. For that purpose I encourage(d) and support(ed) him; with words, with my action – and with my prayers: because the success of good fatherhood only comes from God Himself; the best father for us all.
God bless you, my son!