I Have a Father
by Paul Hester
Sitting in between two oceans, Costa Rica's mountains, rain
forests, and beaches are truly breathtaking. My early childhood
was spent in this beautiful country. Some would call it a
paradise, especially for a child. But things aren't always as
I had been adopted when I was two years old, by parents who
never seemed to show any love for each other. When I was five my
mom left Dad in Costa Rica and took my younger brother and me to
live with her sister in Dunn, NC. After first grade, I don't
know what happened, but we all moved back to Costa Rica. Four
years later, Mom took my brother and left again.
I always felt closer to Dad, and my brother was closer to Mom. I
enjoyed just hanging out with Dad, especially when I got to go
to work with him. But when I was visiting my mom and brother a
year after they left, she somehow talked me into saying that I
would stay with her in North Carolina. I remember regretting my
decision right away, especially when she made me call Dad to
tell him I wasn't going back to live with him. I felt like I had
really betrayed him.
Over the next few years, I talked to Dad on the phone
occasionally, and we'd see him about once a year. One day, Mom
told us they were getting a divorce.
There went my hopes for a safe, secure, and complete family. For
as long as I could remember, my parents never showed any love to
each other, and now they were confirming it. Then, in July 1981,
while I was waterskiing and enjoying life, we got a call from
Costa Rica. My father had killed his girlfriend and another man.
Then he turned the gun on himself. The father that I wanted and
needed so badly was gone forever.
I was so shocked that I don't remember what I was thinking at
the time, but I do remember my life drastically changing. I
blamed my mother for everything. I became cold and distant from
both her and my brother. I was very rebellious. I started
drinking and using drugs. I was immoral and reckless. I became
addicted to pornography. I got caught up in everything that
would let me escape and forget about my home life. I didn't feel
loved at home, so I tried to find love everywhere else. I hung
out with the wrong people because I thought they cared about me.
I guess I was trying to show everybody that I didn't need a
father; that I was in control of my own life and could do
whatever I wanted.
The summer after my first year of college, I was fired from my
part-time job as an arcade worker. That served as a wakeup call.
I was very embarrassed for being fired from such an easy job.
The only other summer job I could find was with the city's
sanitation department as a garbage man.
Looking back now, I can see specific people in my life that God
was using to draw me to Christ.
One of them was Tammy, a girl who was working at the arcade when
I was fired. Tammy was a Christian. She bought me a Bible and
invited me to attend church with her. I'll never forget the love
she showed me. When I was around her I had a real interest in
spiritual things. I even stated my belief in Christ, but when we
broke up that fall, I went right back to my old way of life. I
was like the seed planted in stony ground. But like young
plants in such soil, their roots don't go very deep. At first
they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems
or are persecuted because they believe the word. Mark 4:17 NLT
A year and half later, I was in a whirlwind of dating in and
every girl that would go out with me. But I will never forget
that summer night when I met a girl who was so beautiful that I
was completely caught off guard. We fell in love, just like in
the movies. I knew I was hooked, and two years later I married
Jacona got us going to church every weekend. One Sunday morning
in January 1989, when the invitation was given, I knew I was
lost. As the song "Just as I Am" was playing, I felt God was
seeking me. I went to the altar and surrendered my life to
Christ. I know without a doubt that He called me and He saved
me. Jesus said, "And I, the son of man, have come to seek
and save those like him who are lost." Luke 19:10 NLT
From that day my life was different; not perfect, but different.
I now have a Father that walks with me and talks with me every
I'd like to share something that God did for me since becoming a
Christian. He allowed me to meet my birth father after 25 years
of being separated. Though we haven't been together as father
and son throughout our lives, we are now great friends and are
building a close relationship. It's amazing to learn things
about my own personality and passions that I acquired from him,
even though I never knew him. After a period of not having a
father, I now have two fathers. I had to find the one in Heaven
before He allowed me to find the one on earth. There is only one
way to find our Father in Heaven and to be considered a Child of
God. Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the
life, No one can come to the Father except through me" John 14:6
My lifelong need for a father has been filled and my heart is
flooded with joy.
Meeting both of my fathers reminds me of the
song that goes:
I have a maker
He formed my heart.
Before even time began
My life was in His hands;
I have a father
He calls me his own.
He'll never leave me,
No matter where I go;
He knows my name,
He knows my every thought.
He sees each tear that falls,
And hears me when I call.
It's obvious to me that God had plans for me
from the very beginning. It was through finding my birth father
that God revealed the purpose of my life and the work He wants
me to do. I am now using my passion for computers and the
Internet to provide free web hosting for other Christians to
share their testimonies and ministries. This ministry is called
Witness Today because 1) it is God's desire that all
Christians witness and 2) it expresses the importance of
Have you found what the purpose of your life is? Have you been
concerned about your relationship with God, or do you have
questions about your eternal life? If you do not yet know Christ
as your Savior, you can pray something like this now:
Dear Father: It's been a long time
since we last spoke. I am so ashamed of all my sins. Please
forgive me. I believe Jesus died on the cross and arose on the
third day to pay for my salvation. I need a relationship with
you. Thanks you for saving me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Name: _____________________________ Date:
If you prayed this prayer, print, sign and date this tract so
you'll always remember when your new life, with peace and joy in
Christ, began. It's important to read your Bible every day, find
a Bible-believing church and Christian friends, and always share
your story about how you Found Your Father. God Bless You!
marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living
Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton,
Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.