You Would Like to Be a Mentor

Mentors for “Mentors of Bethany in America” have a proud history of serving men, women and families. MOBIA establishes an agreed upon mission and goals for each mentor taking part in the programs offered to the communities. Included in this orientation PowerPoint presentation for both current and new mentors. This is a short snap shot of what mentoring and coaching will be for you as a mentor. If you have any questions please submit your inquiries to info@menofbethany.org

What Makes Difference!

A long time ago I started on a journey of enlightenment by growing up in a small farm town in Iowa. Over the years I have always had fortune to be blessed by the friendships and the small town education offered to all of us who grew up there. The steppingstones of life gave us a special chronological experience of love, peace, joy and hope. Each of us growing up in the community never seemed to be discouraged from daydreaming of what might be possible in our lives. While being part of the baby boomer years our schools were robust with enrollments. My town had a population of 6,000 people. Education was a primary focus for this small town’s strategic plan like all towns across America. As enrollments grew elementary schools saw the shifting of boundary lines for attendance. Even in such a small town I like many others attended four different elementary schools throughout these years. (1951-58) Junior High School (1959-60) was a formal education that was the foundation of my future. There were no avenues of discovery without exploration nothing was eliminated or were purposely left out. The pledge of allegiance and prayer was probably taken for granted. It just seemed to fit so well with parents who had experienced World War II and the strength of their faith that had brought them from depression, drought and war would now give thanks through their choice of religious freedoms. Our forefathers and now mothers and fathers had fought and lost friends, family by protecting their beliefs. Our strength in life was the assurance by our leaders where we could sustain an expectation where all decisions could be focused on the betterment of the common good. During the high school years, we all became more aware of national news and began to see there was another life much different than what we had experienced in our farm town. Even our town experienced the sociological class system of poor, lower middle class, middle class and upper class. Even with these distinctions our town maintained the creed of love, peace, joy, and hope. As we watched with astonishment with national news, we became aware this wasn’t true everywhere.

In 1967, my life in the small town was now going to come to an end. My educational journey was now going to take me to the city. As a small town boy, I would now face the decisions of a man with college, housing, medical, food, recreation, spiritual life and the absence of all my friends of my small town. Nationally the news was focused on politics relating to the war in Vietnam and racial discrimination. My thoughts and prayers were often with my friends in Vietnam and for those who were experiencing racial discrimination. My beliefs and actions were swayed to more liberalism to support those who held grievances against those who created practices of inequity for the American citizens. These next years were my reality checks in life of what I had not been familiar with from my family values and culture.

So much has happened with change over the past many years and so much has not changed!

The information revolution began in the 1970’s which has changed us as a nation and world forever. Once we could be bergs of ignorance to the tragedies of inequities but no longer can this be an excuse. My lifetime experience, 1946-2020 has been an awaking. What was once a slogan of “Let’s Make America Great Again”, should have been how we change our ways to “Make America Greater”. There is ongoing truth to the fact there is and has been inequalities to race, religion, socio-economic status, economic favoritism, gender, and a justice system with no immediate supervision. It is time to move away from us and them defense scenarios and focus on issues of unity to fulfil equality and justice. Our life situation in society didn’t happen overnight. These grievous practices and acceptance have been overlooked and somewhat hidden in the annals of history.

It is my pleasure that in the past five years I have found a group of men and women who are making a difference in the lives who are suffering with dysfunction, incarceration, homelessness, addiction, absentee parents, the lack of love, peace, joy and hope. Over these five years we have seen miracles coming from the mentorship these people provide. The answers have not been just finding a way to take them off the street or feeding or clothing. It is a change of life with the perception of value and breaking the cycle of life they inherited. You can go to our website to look at testimonials of success which honestly have been miracles in the making. (https://menofbethany.org)

   

 

We are continually looking for volunteers and funding to continue our mission. Our system is being replicated by our mentors using the train the trainer model. Please consider the donation opportunity to strengthen and grow our ability to break the cycle of life that only increase the longevity of hopelessness. You can find our donation button on the opening page of our website. (Nonprofit 501 (3) C, EIN# 83-0845680)

Included are some review reports on an evening with Men of Bethany Mentors. Be reminded this is just one group where we have several groups a week we are mentoring and changing generations to come: This is one of the MOBIA groups working within the Open Door Mission. The mentors meet every Monday evening of every week of the year.

Lead Mentor Comments:

Notes from last night: Kevin came to ODM because he realized he couldn’t fight his drug addiction by himself and with God’s help he is doing it. He wants to mentor and help others when he leaves ODM and what stood out for him from last night was the realization of his boyish behavior.  Thomas came to ODM because his drinking cost him everything, his family, job and home and after being homeless for two times he realized he needed God’s help and is finding it here.  Thomas doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life after he leaves ODM but did like being a delivery man. What stood out for him is realizing that he is lonely even when around others.  He has resorted to hiding in video games,

Lead Mentor Comments:

I really enjoyed last night at ODM my small group went very well

Lead Mentor Comments:

One common theme at my table was loss of a parent and that event triggered heavy addiction.  That might be very common in the room and perhaps a topic that we could spend some extra time discussing.   

 

Lead Mentor Comments:

No parents and homelessness were a big issue at my table. Also, addictive behaviors. All three admitted they were in extended adolescence. One person had his parents murdered at a young age and was raised by his grandparents. He is an Iraq veteran and is homeless. His goal is to work at Open Door and help others. Excellent session. Testimonials and specific prayers were a highlight. Super Job Jason and mentors

Executive Director Gary R. Carlson

Board of Directors

Raul Saldivar

Jason Tonjes

Cindy Schroeder

Scott Gray

Marv Showalter

Jason Krohn

Charles Wilson

 

MISSION

 

MOBIA provides supports to build and strengthen families and the community. 

 

GOALS

 Reject Passivity

Accept Responsibility

Lead Courageously

Embrace Eternal Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Family Matters

Searching for answers in a world of so many pressures that humanity seems to be going to hell in a hand basket. The United States of America is one of the most educated countries in the world. According to Jerriann Sullivan and Craig Donofrio , updated on July 2, 2020 , “Most Educated Countries in the World”. Our approach to satisfying the ills of the world are lineal in nature and not a cyclical practice of what we can teach the population of our communities on how to reach some success in a free society. Seemingly, the answer to our grievances is by supporting education in solving homelessness, crime, abuse, and prejudice. Our courts and educational systems have ignored the value of the family unit and how it works. Family has been a constant through the beginning of times. Mothers and fathers have transformed over hundreds of years. Fatherhood and Motherhood bares immense hurdles for the offspring that continues in  a cycle of distress or success. In both world and American history there is enough factual data to substantiate the uselessness of how to make change. Resorting to violence, punishment, regulatory or pacification has not worked. Our solution has been for improvement falls upon new laws, government programs or the creation of special interest groups who lobby for special dispensations. Our enlightenment has been the path history has taken for hundreds of years. These actions and directions have only enabled wider gaps of incongruent increases of homelessness, crime, abuse, Retribution for ills of the past focuses on the past. Vision of the future is how to concentrate on the most obvious steps needed to improve our state of life for humanity. Family has always been a conduit to the future of any country or community. Each birth has the significance of a mother or father. On what constitutes a good father or mother is taboo for many of our funded educational institutions. The family unit was meant to have the philosophical, spiritual, and concrete experiential models and mentors as a necessity of the discovery for both as a value proposition for mothers and fathers influences. This article is the reflection of where we have been and how we can begin to focus attention on what makes a positive change. 

When we consider family through memories of what it was to have a father or mother will be different for each of us. Experiences of what the roles we play in each of these explicit mother or father roles are not biological but are related to behaviors learned. This linage has characterized itself in the attitudes, personalities, actions and beliefs of what the parent would be by replicating our learned behaviors from our parents. You will find that through history much of what our economy, education, spiritualism and health practices are a direct result of family. During many of our lives the closest we get to any formal education on how to be a good father, husband, mother, wife, may only come by our replication of what we have learned from the life skills with observing the roles through the experiences by you and your family.

Years of history has revealed the consequences of a childhood, adolescents and young adult relationships with parents have lasting affects by becoming a living linage of their life experiences to become their parents. This trajectory is framed in what we visualize as a cyclical pattern where each child grows up to inherent a similar action role as their parents. By these cycles we can see the positives becoming a strength and negatives becoming a burden in our lifelong journey. 

Our existence in this world has bestowed an absolute for every living human being to live an experience of physical, emotional, and spiritual balance to be a father or mother. This similarity may be characterized and defined differently by our society and cultures. Practices of being father or mother has occurred through the osmosis of learning from a mother or father as each of us has inherited. The embodiment of being a father or mother goes back to the beginning of time. The  experience of having a father or mother often differs for each one of us. Our retrospection of the definition of a father or mother has contradictions. Definitions of a mother or father has been learned by you from your cultured experiences throughout your life. While there are many aspects about life regarding life skills to be learned, the actual pedagogy available to society in public education, spiritual education or higher education is limited with formality or aspects of parenthood’s best practices of love, hope, self-respect, friendships, encouragement, accountability, spiritual sensitivity, health, and parent responsibilities. The dependence on understanding the role of a father or mother filters through the practical experience of males and females from birth to adulthood. Conceptually we become a visible entity of replication of our father or mother. This accounts for both present and absentee parents. From this osmosis of learning from birth to adulthood creates a cyclical rebirth of the adoption of parental mores. Recognizing these accepted interpretations will provide a starting point for elaborating on how this circumstance affects our societal outcomes. 

The origins of fatherhood and motherhood were earliest recognized in Christianity in the Holy Bible. Indisputably both of these roles in life play a significant contribution with carrying on the next generation of what they have comprehended to be a father or mother. 

Fatherhood

Fatherhood have varying perceptions in our existing cultures, social economic groups and legal institutions. Each of us have a certainty as parents our children are given to us for a period of time. The presence or lack of presence in our children’s lives has everlasting effects on their intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual life. Fatherhood and motherhood are a partnership to accomplish the best potential in both our sons and daughters.  

Asking the question of how do you become a father? Taking the definition from Wikipedia for father doesn’t give us much to draw upon to understand the wholistic commitment it means to be a father. An elementary view is when a male figure becomes a father by legal responsibility, or biological relationship that carries with it certain obligations. Divine intervention posed a very clear delineation why there is a father and a mother. Separate people with separate God given roles. Fatherhood or motherhood has never rested only on the biological or legal obligations as the final definition of being a parent.

What would be a cursory look at what is the qualifications to count as a father? In 2019, the United States Census Bureau released the first ever report on men’s fertility. In June 2019 uncovered were 74.1 million men age 15 and older are fathers. 72.2 million of these men have a biological child. Taking into account education of these fathers 10 million do not hold a high school diploma and 8 million without a graduate college degree. This accounting of the numbers gives us reason to take into account in this report the narrative on how influencing fatherhood positively could have an effect on societal improvements. The attributes and positive outcomes would build a foundation of what a good father would be needs to be addressed by our schools and spiritual lessons. Keeping in our strategy with recognizing good fatherhood versus negative fatherhood.

Fatherhood Strengths

Our American society focuses for fatherhood definitions has relied primarily on the biological and legal accountability. The first step may be becoming a father, the next step would to be a dad. Being a dad calls for much more than the birth certificate with a name on it. Dads or stepdads create a lifelong relationship with their children. It seems trite to express a good dad resembles a pillar of strength, support and discipline. Research and dads who are affectionate, supportive, and involved will contribute to a child’s cognitive, language and social development. A good dad gives a child a sense of security, higher self-esteem and authenticity. Dads take it beyond just being the breadwinner, to the accountability of gender development, intellectual development and psychological development. There is no substitute for a dad’s love. The personality of a dad communicates this love and even with discipline the child is not blinded by the love of their father. Part of a child’s growing up is the love that is represented by appropriate discipline. Dads don’t tell their children how to live but they allow their children to learn how they live as a parent. 

Dads at Home and their Influence

Dads in America are an essential component of the family unit. While the standard view of the dad is a warrior, friend and lover. Dads who accept these roles have a roadmap to be the person available in the household who have compassion for their family members. Compassion opens the opportunity to teach their children skills from the earliest skills of walking and talking. When their children face challenges, dads provide the advice of how to meet the challenges. Dads become the historian in a family who understands the past, present and the future. Imagine a father who has the time to communicate family origins and values. Sons and daughters become familiar with making goals for themselves about their future where their father can support and assist in reaching their children’s goal. Dads will provide opportunities for improvement of intellectual, physical, spiritual and health skills. When all these goals, opportunities, skills, and life skills are presented to their children dads never give up on the success of their children. Through life, families with a dad understands and relates the  rocks in the road to success and understands failures. Optimism for a dad is to continue to believe in the potential of their children. Children were always dependent on the qualities of a dad through infant, primary, intermediate and adolescent years. Mothers can fulfill their role when fathers are available for their God given purpose. Fatherhood has the gift of being the greatest accomplishment a dad could achieve. The birth of a child is only the beginning of a journey which requires a presences of father figure who lays the foundation for the next generation in our lives. This accountability requires a father figure who rejects passivity, leads courageously, accepts responsibility and teaches how to live life eternally. 

Today men lack in some cases the concept of what consists of manhood. Under the surface men are in a state of confusion with masculinity. When men have a lack of clarity about manhood they default to boyish behaviors. Confusion continues to be present when the question arises about when you are considered a man. When we leave it to men with their own definition, they self-defined with boyish behaviors. A father needs four faces of manhood. These faces break down into a king, warrior, friend and lover. (Series 33 volume session 4) A man and the king stage comes often through their relationships with a father or other men.  It could have been from parents, mentors, heroes or friendships. This reflects righteous energy through strong convictions, courageous moral choices, servant spirit and a righteous leadership. These steps in life produces integrity for a father figure. The King face knows what is right. When you are a father he must lead with integrity. Without the balance of the other faces integrity can become a bully or overbearing personality. The next face would be the Warrior face. This is the man’s face which reflects courageous energy. A father shows their expectations by initiative, protection, provision and perseverance. The warrior face is associated with sports heroes, and leaders, because of their self-discipline and fight for the noble and right things. Fathers often are the present person to interpret these behaviors. Children with an absentee father often are left out of understanding this face characteristic. These fathers lack taking on the responsibility of what is right. Authentic manhood to be a father (dad) needs both of these. The final faces of a man’s life is their heart. Without the second two faces is dangerous for life and family. Men cannot be a one-sided person. Tragically the two faces of friend and lover can be unnatural to a man. The lack of being capable to navigate as a friend or lover is the inadequacy to be a complete father. Too many fathers only are attached to their head and hands. They have kept their heart in an absence to being a complete father. At times without the friend and lover face a father can become too critical, harsh and demanding of his wife and children. The chance of intimacy is choked out by your need for control. Friend face calls for men to have relationships with other men. Men need other men when we may need to hear the hard things. Growing up often our relationships were arranged through organized activity. When a man grows up they now struggle to create a relationship with other men unless organized. Friendships for fathers is essential to grow with your family. It is important to make time to build these relationships. Ask yourself “would you want to be a friend with yourself?” 

Fathers are necessary to be a complete family. There is enough research to show the positive effects of why a father has very specific blended contributions with a mother to make a family experience complete.                                

The institution of fatherhood has some essential mores providing the structure for providing potential success to our family units. It has been proven through outcomes the effects of the family not being complete with father and mother.

Absentee father syndrome has had extreme negative effects on the American society. Recognizing this phenomenon now as a practicing educational professional has only seen the rise of negative societal outcomes and spiraling down effects of failure by our communities lack of addressing these issues.  I first began my experience with working with youth at a facility of incarceration for young men age fourteen to eighteen. These were formidable years for me to watch children and youth with minor offenses translating into adulthood as acting or potential criminals. The question is how long it takes to understand and recognize the symptoms and outcomes of not dealing with the primary issue translating into a major epidemic in America. Our system has consistently dealt with this issue with incarceration where has increased jail cells, inmates in prison, poverty, crime, addictions, alcoholism, welfare, depression, violence, abuse, unemployment, and family unity. Our historical perspective is that we have expended large amounts of money to the problems without any major cure to the systems. Addressing many of the issues examined has resulted in punishment. To turn around this epidemic we must exchange punishment for self-improvement. 

Facts from “Life is Beautiful”, Ministries of Faith

  1. 85% of youth who are currently in prison grew up in a fatherless home. (Texas Department of Corrections) 
  2. Seven out of every ten youth that are housed in state-operated correctional facility detention and residential treatment, come from a fatherless home. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  3. Children without a father are four times more likely to live in poverty than children with a father. (National Public Radio)
  4. Children from a fatherless home are twice as likely to drop out of school before graduating. (National Public Radio)
  5. 24.7 million children in the United States live in a home where there is no biologic father present. (National Public Radio)
  6. Girls who live in a fatherless home have a 100% higher risk of suffering from obesity than girls who have the father present. Teen girls from fatherless homes are also 4 times more likely to become mothers before the age of 20. (National Public Radio)
  7. 57% of the fatherless homes in the United States involved African American/Black households. Hispanic households have a 31% fatherless rate, while Caucasian/White households have a 20% fatherless rate. (National Public Rate)
  8. In 2011, 44% of the children in home headed by a single mother were living in poverty. Just 12% of families living in a married -couple family were in poverty. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  9. Children who live in a single-parent home are more than 2 times more like to commit suicide. (The Lancet)
  10. 72% of Americans believe that a fatherless home is the most significant social problem and family problem that is facing their country. (National Center for Fathering)
  11. Only 68% of children will spend their entire childhood with an intact family. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  12. 75% of rapists are motivated by displaced anger that is associated with feelings of abandonment that involves their father. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  13. Living in a fatherless home is a contributing factor to substance abuse, with children from such homes accounting for 75% of adolescent patients being treated in substance abuse centers. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  14. 85% of all children which exhibit some type of a behavioral disorder come from a fatherless home. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  15. 90% of the youth in United States who decide to run away from home, or become homeless for any reason, originally come from a fatherless home. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  16. 63% of youth suicides involve a child who was living in a fatherless home when they made their final decision. (U.S. Department of Justice)
  17. Children living in a single-parent or stepfamily home report less schoolwork monitoring, less social supervision, and lower educational expectations than children who come from two-parent homes. (American Sociological Review)
  18. Within the African American/Black community, about 2.5 million fathers live with their children, while 1.7 million fathers are not living with them. (Huffington Post)
  19. Even when poverty levels are equal, children who come from a two-parent home outperform children who come from a one-parent home. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
  20. In a 2014 study, only 3% of single mothers fell into the strongest demographic groups, while 44% fell into the weakest demographic groups. (Brookings)
  21. About 40% of children in the United States are born to mothers who are not married. Over 60% of these children were for born to mothers who were under the age of 30.
  22. 25% of children who are the age of 18 are currently being raised without the presence of a father. Around 50% of single mothers have never married. 29% are divorced. Only 1 in 5 are either separated or widowed. (Life is Beautiful Ministries of Faith)
  23. In single-mother households, 50% involve just one child. 30% of single mother households have two children. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  24. 27% of single mothers were jobless for the entire year while taking care of their children. Only 22% of those were out of work were receiving unemployment benefits at the time. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  25. The median income for a household with a single mother is $35,440. The median income for a home with a married couple raising their children is $85,300 in the United States) Two-thirds of low-income working families with children are in the African American community. (U.S.Census Bureau)
  26. Over 30% of fatherless homes are classified as being food insecure, yet only 13% of homes will utilize the services of a food pantry. Over 30% of fatherless homes also spend more than half of their income on housing costs, which classifieds the household as experiencing a sever housing burden. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  27. In the United States, Mississippi has the highest number of fatherless homes, with 36% of households falling in to the category. Louisiana come in second at 34% while Alabama is third at 31%. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  28. Children who live in a fatherless home are 79% more likely to deal drugs or carry firearms for offensive purposes compared to children who live with their fathers. (Allen and Lo)
  29. 92% of the parents who are currently in prison in the United States are fathers. (Glaze and Maruschak)
  30. Pregnant women who do not have the support of the father experience pregnancy loss at a 48% rate. When the father is present, the prevalence of pregnancy loss falls to 22%. (Shah, Gee, and Theall)
  31. 43% of fathers do not see their role as something that is important to their personal identity. 54% of fathers in the U.S. say that parenting isn’t enjoyable all of the time (Pew Research)
  32. Even in homes with fathers, the modern dad spends only 8 hours a week on childcare, which is 6 hours less than the modern mom. On the other hand, 43% of the modern dad’s time is spent with paid work, compared to 25% of the time for the modern mom. (Pew Research)
  33. Only 5% of households in the United States say that the ideal situation is to have the mother work and father stay at home to take care of the children. (Pew Research)
  34. 53% of Americans say that mothers do a better job at parenting than fathers. Only 1% of Americans say that father are able to do a better job of parenting than mothers. (Pew Research)
  35. 70% of adults say it is equally important for a newborn to spend time bonding with their father and their mother. (Pew Research)

These are the facts as reported in the research done. Even though some of these numbers may be inflated where marital status may reflect absentee fathers the fathers may be very involved with their children. Even with this caveat it is evident we have a high mountain to climb. Our current solution is obviously not working. The clarity of the research gives light to where we need to address our future attention. 

Looking into the mirror we can all see the reflection of where the answer to our issues are derived from past linage or experiences. As a young boy it was an ordinary phrase on the playground when one of your friends showed they may have liked someone of the opposite sex they would hear “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby carriage.” This was used more a s taunting to someone in the 1950’s and 60’s. When we fast tract from those days to now we see the innocence of such a time has disappeared. It was a simple phrase but the sequence of love marriage and parenthood has proven by the research that it is not the norm today. Forty percent of the children in the U.S. are born to unmarried mothers. Forty-three percent of children under age eighteen are living without fathers according to the U.S. Census. The expectation of a dad staying in the picture has become not the norm. When a dad is more likely to become part of a family unit is when there is a marriage. Where there are cohabitating parents chances are increased three times, more likely to have a departing dad. These children may never even know their dad. From the National Fatherhood Initiative forty percent of children who do not live with their father have not seen him in the last twelve months. Twenty-six percent of these fathers live in another state. The outcomes of an absent father produce volumes of resources on a simple Google search that clarifies the negative effects. There have been articles written and talk show host communicating with their followers the devastating effects of absentee fathers in the home as being an epidemic. Our society has done a great job of monitoring and describing the outcomes of absentee fathers but very little has changed these outcomes by not addressing the systematic changes that wold be necessary. Those that have experienced this phenomenon in most situations have ended up in punishment rather than self-improvement learning activities. While discovering most of us have learned how to be a parent by our own parents and those we associate with during our younger years of life. Absentee fathers in the U.S. has grown in actual numbers for the past fifty years. While pursuing the cause and effect of absentee fathers’ syndrome we see very clearly the cycle of a clear repetitive practice. What gets practiced gets done. This practice could be positive or negative. Measuring the ills of life often can be traced back to the family unit and the origins of how a child was raised. The cycle cannot be broken until children and our society understands being a deadbeat dad or a single mom is not the norm in our lives. There is enough evidence to prove the majority of those experiencing a life of crime, imprisonment, poverty, shorter life spans, drug addiction, alcoholism, depression, homelessness, school dropouts, poor health habits, lack of goal setting, unemployment, no transportation, lack of credit, no life skills, and most of all no spiritual connection or beliefs is the makeup of these dysfunctional families. Throughout my professional life I have worked with people who exemplify high potential while facing all of these ills of their life. Our society separates our population into those of us who may not experience or understand how inflicted people are not oriented with a remedy of self-improvement but are withstanding punishment and segregation through limiting their resources for the ability to reduce the ever present societal issues of absentee fathers creates in the U.S. Men of Bethany in America is a nonprofit organization that has dedicated itself to support and guide adult men and young men how to be better fathers, sons, husbands and becoming an authentic man. By having a lifelong experience of observing the epidemic of absentee fathers and who have a high likelihood of becoming a dead-beat father our organizational members have first-hand solutions to these ills of our society. 

NEXTSTEP SOLUTIONS

The institution of fatherhood, marriage, children and what constitutes the expectations of being a man have resulted in ongoing changes by the strengths and weaknesses of a society that was intimidated to actually embrace the positive effects of a present father in the lives of their children. Society has endured the effects of an absentee father but what would be the results of a society that embraces the need for self-improvement of the category of being a father. 

As citizens we experience categories of learning by culture, experience and justice. The next steps are to consider past, present and potential future with the importance of parenthood. 

First, it is important to concentrate on the fatherhood role. How has our past and present been a cause of the dysfunction of today’s world. Research and data have been an icon of light which paves the road to what has been lacking and what needs to happen. We will first start with our justice system for changes of self-improvement and not punishment.

Justice System Changes

It is well known a father has many duties and roles to play with his family and children. Our justice system has ignored the roles of a father and has focused on one specific duty. This duty is the role of being a bread winner. 

  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Parent Visitation
  • Custody

While we consider these resolutions to a dissolution of a marriage doesn’t correct the familial rights of a children to have a father and mother experience constituting love, hope, accountability, leadership, spiritual and life success. 

In contrast our schools treat family with what it means to have a baby and how to nurture an infant with safety and health. Family roles of father and mother is a lifetime venture. Stages of parent influence exist continually with the relationships with sons or daughters. 

Government Subsidy Support Programs.

As families are cast into categories of poor, homeless, and unemployed have been clients cast into a vast hard to define system of bureaucracy govern by the federal government has the purse strings of an investment that has a poor ROI. If taxpayers were to be considered entrepreneurs, they have a business that is bankrupt. Our systems mission is not returning families into freedom but incarcerating to the dependence of acceptance of being poor or unemployed. Children who are born into welfare and poverty usually stay in welfare and poverty. Today, more people than ever before depend on the federal government for housing, food, and income. The true cost of welfare or aid to the poor is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into programs. Current welfare is focused largely on increasing benefits and enrollments and redistributing income. Self-defeating behaviors that increase the need for assistance are rarely even mentioned. Policymakers should replace welfare’s current focus with a new set of interlinked goals: reducing self-defeating and self-limiting behaviors, increasing self-support, and improving true human well-being. Welfare reform should (1) require all able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid, (2) remove the substantial penalties against marriage within the welfare system, and (3) fund programs aimed at improving behavior on a payment-for- outcome basis rather than today’s fee-for-service basis. (Understanding the Hidden $1.1 Trillion Welfare System and How to Reform It April 5, 2018 Over an hour read
Authors: Robert Rector and Vijay Menon) The federal budget for Welfare is difficult to review because of the number of line items it consumes. Social Security and Medicare have single budget codes to review. Federal welfare spending is spread across 14 government departments and agencies, nine major budget functions, and 89 separate programs.
 As we traverse through the catacombs of verbiage and departments of our welfare system presents a glaring fact that it does not work.  It’s time to try policies that will actually strengthen families and create good jobs, better educational opportunities, and safer communities. It has been reported that the U.S. government spends over 10 trillion dollars on welfare each year. The title or name of this service is a misnomer when it should be the journey to no returns. Social workers, psychologist, probation officers, and regulatory systems are overwhelmed with duties and task that do not change lives but only report back into a system about redundant senseless rules for reporting. Caseloads are unrealistic so actual mentorship for changing behaviors is not realistic. So, what does the money go for? Normally, in any business we would say look at the business plan and budget. Good luck on finding one budget or program cost that clarifies where the money is going. 

Corvid 19

Corvid 19 opened our eyes to what was being taken for granted.   Educators in K-12 schools become the go to institution to solve the issues of the low-income communities they work. It wasn’t long after quarantine became a must in our families and work it was discovered many of these students received their best meals each day at school. Schools began drive by programs at the schools to help these young people eat appropriate food while they were in quarantine. Food drives were coordinated by schools for food donations. Online education was a alternative for young people in K-12 schools but in low- income homes there was no WIFI, internet, or computers. Welfare is not a way out but is a trap within a cycle of family members growing up and repeating the same behaviors over and over. 

Gary R. Carlson Ed.D. Executive Director MOBIAÒ

“Mentors of Bethany Inspiring All”

Women Front Stage

MOBIA from the heart with our team of women mentors!

MOBIA is excited to announce our specialists are developing our new program to match the authentic man courses that have brought positive changes in the lives of the men who have attended the course. The women’s program will be directed with leadership from experienced women who will be the newest mentor to the team to MOBIA. RightNow Media at Work has assigned a specialist to create an abundance of resources for the use of all the young and adult women taking the course. It is similar to the faith-based program our men have been experiencing but with the emphasis on what constitutes what a woman should expect from life. Topics will be and not limited to marriage, dating, daughters, sons, husbands, men, and a woman’s role on their faith journey. The program will be implemented at the Omaha Open Door Mission starting in the fall of 2020. MOBIA looks forward to continuing its dedication to families and the communities they serve.

Messages to My Mentor

I have been participating in Men of Bethany in America Men’s’ Series 33, since October 1, 2019, at the Open Door Mission. Before this, I was in the Douglas County jail and the Men of Bethany in America men started me in the Men’s’ Series 33. It was great to able to continue this journey of study. We meet every Monday evening for two hours. Men’s’ 33 is different than anything I have experienced before. This is the best program I have ever been involved with. So you know me a little better let me disclose who I was. I was a young man who exposed myself to meth, weed, alcohol, promiscuous sex, guns, starting all at age 11. Now when I look at my 11-year-old and couldn’t imagine him doing the things I have done. I grew up in north and east Omaha. since I have attended Men’s 33 I have had the opportunity to meet some great men. One of my mentors stands on how he relates to me. He is a retired police officer who worked in my area where I grew up. He is there for me every week and knows what it was like working on the other side of the law. I have issues I can trust him with and he relates back to me a better future. He has opened up my eyes. The program has given the second chance to see how great life can be. I am a new creature who has been forgiven for my sins and giving my life over to God. My path has taken me to a new time where I have become a friend with a man who probably was chasing me at one time during my teenage years doing stupid things.

I asked him if he knew my name? He responded with a yes. The name was well known. That really had me thinking about how I was raised. My goal in life then was to be the toughest, going to prison, robbing families in my area. All the families living in my area were probably part of the criminal element. I thought things I did and wanted to do were normal. Men’s 33 will touch you with issues and problems in the past and gives you the path and source to deal with them by identifying the source where it could have been father, mother, childhood or something else. Once you realize the key issues you can start doing the right and start the steps to fix or work on changing in the future. It has changed my outlook on serious life issues and has changed me for the better. I think Men’s 33 is also going to be something I am going to part of for years to come.

Thanks,

Michael D

Volunteers Are The Answer

We need your dedication to help!

Our life stories we hold dearly all have special meanings which influences our journey. Men of Bethany in America has member volunteers who provide support to men who have had absentee fathers or may have lived in a dysfunctional family. Our volunteers facilitate and advisee men in their lives with their challenges. Participant men need support focus on their future with key actions of best behaviors revealed to them by using the Men of Bethany in America curriculum.

Our volunteers promote brotherhood by partnering with fellow volunteers and communicating with men seeking an improvement plan in their lives. Our volunteer team represent a diverse distinction of careers, income, families, religions and experiences. The commitment they share embodies their willingness to share life experiences and follow the authentic manhood curriculum training for men. The authentic man program is now in its fifth year.

As we observe many of the tragedies in America today we are assuredly confident in one fact that continues to reveal an epidemic in our society. When we have negative affects from guns, drugs, prison, domestic abuse, sex abuse, and pornography; we find a common truth with these generations who often experienced absentee fathers.   We at Men of Bethany in America would like you to view our website testimonies where our men participants have communicated their thoughts about the Men of Bethany in America program. Upon graduating from the designed curriculum our volunteer men stay in contact with our graduates. 

Included in this packet is an executive summary and a description of the definition of MOBIA. Our success has presented a larger demand for us to expand our services to more men in search of how to be a better man. Our Board of Directors has committed to raising the necessary funds to continue to offer this opportunity to more men in the metropolitan area of Omaha, Nebraska. Stage two will be implementing the program nationally. It is time for us as a society to bring these men out of the dark to become better husbands, fathers, and most importantly authentic men.

I will be calling upon you to discuss any questions you may have regarding our mission and how you can be of some help to the success of changing lives.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Gary R. Carlson, Executive Director

Breaking the Cycle

How to Make Difference

In my lifetime I have been very compassionate about education and its value to our youth and adults. So much has been written about the benefits and the statistics to bear this out. My dedication has not varied on this premiss during my fifty years of continued engagement in the philosophy of the necessity of our society to be well educated.

After leaving ITT  my path continued to serve colleges through consulting schools on improving student retention, faculty performance, compliance, college board assistance, student success, school administration and curriculum development. During the last nine years I have had the privilege to serve over two hundred colleges. Three years ago my life gave me a new additional mission in life. It was parallel to my education efforts of the past but it was a clear direction focused on families and youth. During these years a small group of men began to assemble a new curriculum for young men and adult men who had experienced an absentee father. My first teaching experience in 1967 was in a county jail for young men age 13 to 18. These young men were mingled with youth who had committed crimes to others who had been at the hand of abuse. I often worked until 11 pm at night. My drive home couldn’t come to grips with why these young people didn’t seems to have a chance in society. Looking at what existed fifty-two years ago has only gotten worse. Our solutions to these problems by increasing the size of prisons and supplementing finances to the afflicted. We are still looking at increasing prison sizes and our welfare dollars are increasing.

I am pleased to tell you there is an answer. Again, it is a reflection on education. The cycle of increased crime, addiction, alcoholism, abuse and poverty can be broken. The cycle is our willingness to engage in the cognizance of the people closest to the ones who experience this blight of life.

In the last three years a small group of men began to dedicate themselves to break the cycle. Their journey took them to open door missions, jails, alternative high schools, churches and neighborhoods to address dysfunctional families and absentee fathers. Their hard work and dedication has opened an opportunity to change our path of a cycle that has existed for half a century.  Two hundred men a week from all ages come to weekly meetings to understand what a good father, husband, and authentic man would mean. Absentee father syndrome exists in America. The U.S. Census Bureau reports there are 19.7 million youth without a present father. What does this mean for the American society?

Our three years of service has changed the lives of many of our men. I would encourage you to visit the website of Breaking the cycle!

After clicking on the tab with testimonials help us grow this program nation wide. We are putting absentee fathers into a better understanding of what a good father and husband means to the family unit.

Go to the Donations button on the site and become part of breaking the cycle.

Every donation of any amount will help us continue to spread the news through our volunteer mentors.

Stats

FATHERLESS STATS

1. 23.6% of US children (17.4 million) lived in father absent homes in 2014.

[US Census Bureau, 2015] Living arrangements of children under 18 years and marital status of parents, by age, sex, race, and hispanic origin and selected characteristics of the child for all children: 2014. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau.

2. In 2011, children living in female-headed homes with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6%. This is over four times the rate for children living in married couple families.

[Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2012). Information on poverty and income statistics: A summary of 2012 current population survey data. Retrieved from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.cfm%5D

3. A study of 1,397,801 infants in Florida evaluated how a lack of father involvement impacts infant mortality. A lack of father involvement was linked to earlier births as well as lower birth weights. Researchers also found that father absence increases the risk of infant mortality, and that the mortality rate for infants within the first 28 days of life is four times higher for those with absent fathers than those with involved fathers. Paternal absence is also found to increase black/white infant mortality almost four-fold.

[Source: Alio, A. P., Mbah, A. K., Kornosky, J. L., Wathington, D., Marty, P. J., & Salihu, H. M. (2011). Assessing the impact of paternal involvement on Racial/Ethnic disparities in infant mortality rates. Journal of Community Health, 36(1), 63-68.]

4. A study of 263 13- to 18-year-old adolescent women seeking psychological services found that the adolescents from father-absent homes were 3.5 times more likely to experience pregnancy than were adolescents from father-present homes. Moreover, the rate of pregnancy among adolescents from father absent homes was 17.4% compared to a four (4) percent rate in the general adolescent population.

[Source: Lang, D. L., Rieckmann, T., DiClemente, R. J., Crosby, R. A., Brown, L. K., & Donenberg, G. R. (2013). Multi-level factors associated with pregnancy among urban adolescent women seeking psychological services. Journal of Urban Health, 90, 212-223.]

5. A study of 1,618 Latina high school students found that lower perceived father support is a predictor of suicidal ideation and behavior.

[Source: De Luca, S. M., Wyman, P., & Warren, K. (2012). Latina adolescent suicide ideations and attempts: Associations with connectedness to parents, peers, and teachers. Suicide and Life-Threat Behavior, 42, 672-683.]

6. Disengaged and remote interactions of fathers with infants is a predictor of early behavior problems in children and can lead to externalizing behaviors in children as early as age 1.

[Source: Ramchandani, P. G., Domoney, J., Sethna, V., Psychogiou, L., Vlachos, H. and Murray, L. (2013). Do early father–infant interactions predict the onset of externalising behaviours in young children? Findings from a longitudinal cohort study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54, 56–64.]

7. Researchers using secondary data from the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research examined gun carrying and drug trafficking in young men, linking father absence to the likelihood of engaging in these behaviors. Results from a sample of 835 juvenile male inmates found that father absence was the only disadvantage on the individual level with significant effects on gun carrying, drug trafficking, and co-occurring behavior. Individuals from father absent homes were found to be 279% more likely to carry guns and deal drugs than peers living with their fathers.

[Source: Allen, A. N., & Lo, C. C. (2012). Drugs, guns, and disadvantaged youths: Co-occurring behavior and the code of the street. Crime & Delinquency, 58(6), 932-953.]

8. A study of the relationship between father absence and lower educational attainment for African American females found that a longer duration of father absence is a predictive factor for lower educational success. Researchers discovered that longer duration of father absence often leads to lower income and family economic stress, which puts young women at risk for lower educational achievement.

[Source: Gillette, M. T., & Gudmunson, C. G. (2014). Processes linking father absence to educational attainment among african american females. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 24(2), 309-321.]

9. Children with negative attitudes about school and their teachers experienced avoidance and ambivalence with their fathers. On the other hand, children with a secure attachment to their father and whose father was involved had a higher academic self-concept. The father-child attachment was more associated with the child’s social-emotional school outcomes than their academic achievement.

[Source: Newland, L., Chen, H., & Coyl-Shepherd, D. (2013). Associations among father beliefs, perceptions, life context, involvement, child attachment and school outcomes in the U.S. and Taiwan. Fathering, 11, 3-30.]

10. Father involvement is related to positive cognitive, developmental, and socio-behavioral child outcomes, such as improved weight gain in preterm infants, improved breastfeeding rates, higher receptive language skills, and higher academic achievement.

[Source: Garfield, C. F., & Isacco, A. (2006). Fathers and the well-child visit, Pediatrics, 117, 637-645.]

11. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the number of children with an incarcerated father grew 79% between 1991 and 2007. Black fathers accounted for nearly half (46%) of all children with an incarcerated father.

[Source: Glaze, L.E., & Maruschak, L.M. (2010). Parents in prison and their minor children. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics.]

12. Fifty-five (55.2) percent of WIC recipients are raised by single-mothers, 48.2% of all Head Start recipients are from father-absent homes, and 37% of public assistance and Section 8 housing are female-headed households.

[Source: Nock, S.L, Einolf, C.J. (2008). The one hundred billion dollar man: the annual public costs of father absence. Germantown, MD: National Fatherhood Initiative.]