"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling"
Psalm68Five Ministries was created in 2015 to help those without a present earthly father come to know God as their heavenly father.
To serve the fatherless by:
Providing opportunities to attend Christian camp;
Creating, collecting and sharing ministry resources that intentionally serve the fatherless;
Encouraging camps and other Christian partners in their calling to care for the fatherless.
To help the fatherless experience God as Father and embrace their true identity as God’s child through faith in Jesus Christ.
THE 3 PILLARS OF PSALM68FIVE
Written by our president, Bryan Johnson
Fatherless Children, almost as if by default, have shame-based identities. In some places, this is called an “Orphan Spirit.” Shame is painful emotionally; it whispers to us that we are not good enough. Shame finds out that it can be initially quieted or medicated. Such self-medication can include alcohol, drugs and sex among other addictive activities. But this “medication” makes the shame affliction eventually worse, as it then becomes more fuel for shame. And the cycle continues...and leads to bad outcomes. God, the Father, wants fatherless children to have a different identity. He says (in our Ministry foundational verse) that He “is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows (their mothers) in his Holy dwelling.” Through faith in Jesus Christ, He wants His Holy Spirit to testify to their spirit that they are children of God. (Romans 8:16). To those who receive and believe in Jesus Christ he gives the Right, the Power, to become children of God, no matter what our earthly father situation is. (John 1:12-13). God, the Father, sent his Son not to Shame us or condemn us into behaving right, but to rescue us and make us true sons and daughters. (John 3:16-17). Fatherless children have a great father hunger that only God the Father through Christ can satisfy. By accepting and receiving the free gift that Christ’s sacrifice provides, fatherless children can enter into that True family relationship and be True sons and daughters of the True Father, that is, sons and daughters of the King. We seek to help fatherless children gain this True identity and increasingly come to make choices in life consistent with their new identity as true sons and daughters of the true Father. Our first Pillar then is to plant seeds of the Gospel message that fatherless children can each become a son or daughter of the True Father, through Jesus Christ.
SECURITY OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
When I was growing up fatherless, I was blessed with an amazing mother. She was not perfect, and in many ways was wounded by growing up in a dysfunctional family like almost everyone is. But deep down, I don’t remember a time when I felt her love for me, as her son, was conditioned upon my behavior. That is, she could be (and sometimes was) mad as the dickens at me, but that never cracked the foundation I had that I was loved unconditionally. She did not give or withhold love as a means to control my behavior. Again, that does not mean there were not consequences for my behavior. But it did not affect my core sense of being unconditionally loved. - A major part of our message is to show how God the Father gives unconditional love to His sons and daughters. In Luke Chapter 15, the story tells us that the Prodigal son squandered the wealth of his father with prostitutes and wild living and ended up literally in the pig sties of life. After he “came to himself,” he decided to return to his father and in verse 20 it says, “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” This Parable told by Jesus is to share--in earthly terms--Kingdom of Heaven reality: God the Father loves his sons and daughters unconditionally. That is who He truly is! The worst kind of living by the Prodigal son did not change the Father’s unconditional love. - At Camp, we seek to use trauma-informed care, specifically Trust-Based Relational Intervention, as a means to come alongside fatherless kids in unconditional love, at least as much as we can display this side of heaven. We seek to de-escalate and help heal the inevitable behavioral and emotional issues which will arise by specific loving methods and not by any methods which might “shame” our kids back into line. TBRI® is designed for children from “hard places.” Because of their histories, it is often difficult for these children to trust the loving adults in their lives, which often results in perplexing behaviors. Trauma informed care is essential in working with at-risk and traumatized children. - We also seek to let our kids know that they have a place at camp: this year, next year, the year after that and the year after that, etc. They belong. They have a place of belonging. They are part of our family. Again and again, we notice a significant improvement in campers at their second year of camp as they embrace the beautiful love of the Father and begin to understand they do have a place where they belong, in God’s family. - With the mothers of our fatherless campers, we share how important it was to have that foundation of unconditional love and to encourage not giving or withholding love as a desperate (intentional or unintentional) means to control behavior. Consistent consequences and boundaries can actually show love and care.
EMOTIONAL HEALING THROUGH FORGIVENESS
The emotional scars left by the trauma, shame and insecurity in the lives of many fatherless children can last a lifetime. Further, fatherless children are at much greater risk for being abused than intact families. Statistics everywhere reveal the sad and seemingly hopeless outcomes for so many fatherless children: crime, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, gangs, incarceration, early death. Although many emotional issues need healing, for fatherless children, anger is often the trigger which allows for making spur-of-the-moment choices in life which can have life-long negative consequences. Further, anger helps fatherless build walls to protect their wounded emotions, even against a relationship with a heavenly Father. If a child feels wronged by not having a father in his or her life, that wrong and the accompanying shame will often express itself (especially as they grow older) as anger. Mothers will often also harbor anger (understandably so) about the circumstances of being either abandoned or deprived of help in raising their children and supporting the family. Furthermore, the mothers will sometimes want the children to help carry that anger. Even though justified in many circumstances, anger-held for the long term-results in bad outcomes to the one holding onto that anger. Further, that anger poisons the atmosphere when any attempts are made by the earthly father to reach out, connect or develop a deeper relationship with his children. If the father is, himself, triggered by shame when in the presence of his children and their mother, he will inevitably decrease his attempts to intervene, convincing himself that his children are better off without his presence in their lives. We help our fatherless campers see that the negative energy required to hold on to anger surrounding their circumstances is actually energy they could free up for positive pursuits as sons and daughters of the True father. The anger they hold on to really often hurts them more than it does the one against whom they harbor the anger. We seek to help fatherless children take their emotional wounds including their anger to the cross of Jesus Christ and leave it there as a means of healing themselves and freeing them from the burden of carrying the negative, long-term anger. We seek, when possible, to share with mothers how anger held by them and their children can: •Cause them to use precious energy in negative ways to carry those wounds which Christ wants to take. •Creates an environment which lessens the future potential for reconciliation and safe relationship with the child’s father. •Provides a trigger cause for children to make seemingly justifiable choices, in their anger, which can sometimes lead to bad outcomes and life-long consequences. As part of our Mission at Psalm68five Ministries, we should not only seek to send as many fatherless children to Christian Summer Camps as possible, but also to help develop, gather, accumulate and disseminate Ministry Resources which specifically and intentionally serve fatherless children and their mothers consistent with the Pillars of: • Identity: Child of God Identity overcoming Shame-based Identity • Security: The Father’s Unconditional Love overcoming the Conditional Love in our Lives • Emotional Healing through Forgiveness: addressing Emotional Wounds and Anger and taking the first steps on the path to healing We seek to help fatherless children change, through faith in Jesus Christ, how they see themselves to how God sees them-as true sons and daughters of the King. This holistic, comprehensive, faith-anchored approach is making an impact on individual lives through summer camp ministry. Psalm68five is eager to expand the utilization of its approach, best practices, and fatherless-focused resources to Christian camps nationwide.