Dads can be supportive, even when they are apprehensive

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Column by Ben Sheroan, editor

By Ben Sheroan

Children start out very fragile and helpless.

Fatherhood seems quite difficult at that point. You kind of figure it will ease up. They’ll learn to walk, feed themselves and use the toilet. It’s bound to get easier, right?

But kids also learn to talk and a new set of problems begin.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that a father’s problems just change. The frequency may diminish but the scope of the problems enlarge beyond any ability to anticipate.

But this story’s not about me. It’s about a father I met 10 days ago. He made a special trip from Bowling Green to stop by the newspaper office in hopes of helping his youngest daughter fulfill her latest dream.

Rebecca Joy Morgan is 21. Technically, she’s a child only in the sense that she’s a person with parents but, of course, her dad may not see it that way.

She attended elementary schools in Elizabethtown and when the family moved to Sonora, she began high school at Central Hardin.

A gifted student, Rebecca was able to get into the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, an advanced learning experience on the campus of Western Kentucky University. Considered one of the best educational opportunities in the country, Gatton helped her get a jump start on college. She completed high school in 2010 and finished a double major in biochemistry and religious studies at WKU this year as a magna cum laude honors graduate. She was destined for medical school and interested in becoming a pediatrician.

That’s a lot to brag about but that’s not why her dad was here.

The family, which now lives in Warren County, is seeking financial assistance for the next step in Rebecca’s life.

In explaining his daughter’s planned mission trip, Morgan described a recent Bible study of his own. Reviewing a passage about Jesus’ ministry, he wondered aloud about what today’s church does to minister to prostitutes. He’s about to find out.

Larry Joe and Mary Kathryn Morgan are about to send their daughter to work for two years among prostitutes. She would be spreading the gospel to other young women being trafficked in the sex trade of Berlin, Germany.

Her father is both proud and apprehensive.

Who wouldn’t be? Fathers want the best for their children and that typically boils down to safety, security and dream fulfillment — in that order.

He understands her choice. She describes it as a calling.

“I have been deciding and praying about where God wants me next,” she said in a recent telephone conversation.

She has been accepted by GoCorps through the outreach program ReachGlobal. While interviewing with the missionary group, she said her family background and experiences were scrutinized.

“I’ve grown up in a Christian home,” she said. “I have been sheltered from lots of things of the world.”

She’s not new to mission trips having spent two weeks on a medical outreach to Kenya and done a one-week service project at an orphanage in Kenya.

As often is the case when dads don’t quite know what to think, mom has an answer.

Kathy Morgan, daughter of the late Thurman and Mary Witten who operated a farm near Vine Grove and a jewelry store in town, put it this way: “Where can she be any safer than where God wants her to be?”

It’s about putting trust in the Heavenly Father.

So on this Father’s Day put yourself in Larry Joe Morgan’s shoes and, if you can, consider sending his daughter and her bright, optimistic faith to help hookers in Germany.

The cost for her living expense is $25,200 per year. Tax-deductible financial gifts can be made payable to EFCA with Rebecca Morgan #2022 on the memo line and mailed to EFCA, Attention: Donor Services, 901 E. 78th St., Bloomington MN 55420 or through the website efca.org/give.

Fatherhood: It never will get easy.

Ben Sheroan is editor of The News-Enterprise. 

He can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or bsheroan@the