What Children Really Need From a Father
Perhaps no term better describes the state of mankind across the globe right now than this one. In many nations this description is practically a one-way guaranteed ticket to poverty, homelessness and starvation. In others, multiple studies show it often sets those left alone or left behind on a path toward lesser and yet still frighteningly negative, threatened results: food insecurity, dropping out of school, incarceration. Of course these results are not inevitable, but the downward pull of the current of culture on a child left with only one parent is a powerful one.
Here’s the sometimes difficult-to-swallow truth: women and children need strong, faithful men involved in their lives to experience all God wants for them. (We needn’t get up in arms about such an assertion, as God Himself already made it clear way back in the beginning that men don’t do well without women, so we don’t even need to go over that. As Rita Rudner once said, “Men don’t live well by themselves. They don’t even live like people. They live like bears with furniture.”) God designed families with a mother and father for a reason: We need each other.
The History of The F4 Foundation
The F4 Foundation began, one could say, as the spark of an idea in June of 2014, when Rob Krasawski was beginning a nine-hour drive back home to Denver, Colorado after a sales trip for yellowblue Eco Tech. Having a broken radio meant the long miles stretching ahead of him through the dark night would have no soundtrack but the one on his phone: an audiobook about the need for funding in ministries around the world.
As he drove home that fateful night, a conversation with God ensued that would change many lives. Step by step, the potential for yellowblue to fulfill their mission of “Sweeping the Nation, Changing the World” became clear as he found himself the bearer of a simple message: “Plus One. “
When Misty and Rob travelled to Dallas, Texas and later Pleasant Hill, Iowa over the following weeks to meet with Billy Cox and Craig Schwienebart, founders of yellowblue, they were thrilled at the men’s enthusiastic response—a scenario that would repeat itself as the idea was presented to their board and later to the entire yellowblue and TruWatch teams, groups of people truly caring about the needs of others but not always knowing how to direct their compassion into something tangible.
In actuality the spark had been ignited many years before, when, in forming yellowblue Eco Tech, the men had determined that their four founding principles were faith, family, freedom, and fun. They’d always wanted to have a benevolent outreach of some kind, but hadn’t found the right people to move forward with that vision … until our meeting that fateful June day.
Today, the F4 Foundation stands ready to meet needs, looking for ways to promote faith, family, freedom, and fun around the world. We’ve served the homeless, assisted in flood relief efforts, and helped develop mentoring and Bible club curriculums for public school children as well as discipleship materials for women’s groups. Over the next few months, we will travel to India to train children’s workers on how to reach children more effectively, spend many hours in investigative efforts aimed at ending human trafficking in the U.S. and overseas, and continue development of a program to promote recruiting, training, and support of foster families around the nation.
“Plus One” has become a theme as we seek to make partnership simple for businesses and people around the world: whether it’s a penny per unit, a week per year, a dollar a day, or whatever formula you come up with, your contribution matters. We are actively looking for partners both personal and corporate that would be interested in joining us by coming up with their own “Plus One” formula and helping take these principles—what we like to call “The Four F’s”—to every place we can reach!
But “Plus One” doesn’t only apply to the way we look at fundraising; it also informs our outreach philosophy. We believe it’s unnecessary to reinvent the wheel; many others are doing great work in areas of need that are of interest to us, and they are thrilled to have partners willing to work alongside them. When we add our efforts to theirs (“Plus One”—us!) great things can happen! We develop partnerships with organizations having similar visions so we can double our impact.
In addition, the call to care for needy children in our own country has inspired another area in which we can “Plus One”—encouraging families to consider foster care and adoption as a response to God’s clear call to us to care for widows and orphans.
We look forward to many years of growth and watching the F4 Foundation fulfill our founder’s vision of sweeping the nation and changing the world! We can’t do any of this without our partners! Every penny counts, and we’re stronger together. If you’d like to join us, please click our “get involved” button above. There, you can subscribe to email updates, make a one-time donation, or offer a suggestion for a service project. We are currently working on an automatic monthly donation process so you can become a regular partner with the F4 team—subscribe to updates so you’ll be the first to know when this opportunity becomes available!
Fencing Our Families
Lifting the latch on the wobbly gate for what seemed the millionth time, my children gathered around to give advice as I tried to remember whether the trick to opening it was to push or pull. My eyebrows knit as I attempted to slide the lever forward to juuuuusst the right spot that would allow us entrance to the neighboring alley on our daily sightseeing walk downtown. Three sides of our yard are bordered by six-foot privacy fence, allowing not even a glimpse of what’s happening nearby unless it’s from the elevated patio area in our backyard or the upstairs deck. The back fence, though, is only four feet tall, three-inch gaps between slats allowing a great view of the garden, alley, and friendly pets of all sorts living nearby.
Fences. We use them to keep things in as well as out. I’m grateful for ours, as the Great Pyrenees puppy coming home to us in August is of a breed rumored to have little respect for boundaries, needing strong ones in place to prevent her becoming lost or injured—even at a young age. The four-foot section of our fence is going to need some reinforcements if it’s to accomplish its task of protection.
Just Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?
The joke plays out in my house on a fairly regular basis. This morning I was trying to get my little guys’ attention, raising my voice over the typical morning sounds of boys giggling, shouting, tumbling over one another like bear cubs.
“Nnnnn … Mmmmm … Michael!” is about how it came out when my still-sleepy brain tried to get the attention of both of them—actually not a bad mash-up of Micah and Nicholas! Thankfully, my guys are used to their silly mama and her name jumbles. As a famous comedian used to say about this oft-observed syndrome, “What’s your name again? Come here, whatever your name is—you live here, and I’ll find out!”
When You Plant in the Dark
I thought I’d waited too late.
When the paper bag with the picture of cheery tulips on the front tumbled off my pantry shelf late last October, the appropriate season for bulb-planting had passed. Snow and freezing temperatures—the first of a surely long Colorado winter–had been predicted for that night. The bulbs, papered bits falling out of their partial-mesh package, had been forgotten after they’d been put away.
I glanced out the window at the gathering darkness, then back at the bag on my floor. Surely the ground out there was hard. Since we’d only moved in a few months before, I had no idea if it had ever been amended with compost, or whether the area would drain well. Surely it was too late, now? Surely it would be a waste of time to find a shovel in the dark.