Stephanie Staples

Father's Love

Album: Interlude
Length:4:12

“Father’s Love” was written several years ago in my friend’s living room. She had written a poem about the ministry she and her husband started and asked if I could put it to music. I took some of the words, re-worked them, added some of my own, wrote the music and melody at the piano and it was complete. Our first co-write, it is a very special song for both of us.

Debi Wilkerson Jonker is the daughter of David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, World Challenge, and Times Square Church. It’s important to understand Debi’s history to better understand WHY this song is so special.

David Wilkerson traveled to New York city in the 50’s with a passion to help troubled youth. Long story short, as a result of his obedience to God’s call to LOVE, Brooklyn, NY is a safer place today. The original Teen Challenge still stands today (over the years I have had the privilege of singing for the women in the program—by far my favorite place to share my songs) and there are hundreds of centers all over the world. You can read the rest of his story here.

My friend Debi has the same faith and passion that her father had. She and her husband Roger founded a ministry called Father’s Love many years ago. It began with a farm in Pennsylvania where troubled youth could come from the city to experience the beauty of nature and hear about God’s love. They moved it to the city of Charlottesville, Virginia, opening a center in the middle of the projects for kids to come, play basketball, do crafts . . . and hear about the love of Jesus. Father’s Love is now in Jacksonville, Texas and the testimony continues: kids are hearing that they are treasured and precious to their Creator.

What makes Debi and Roger’s story even more incredible is that they have never stopped giving of their time, energy, and resources to children, even after their own precious daughter passed away of brain cancer at the age of thirteen. So many would become cynical and bitter. But instead of allowing their grief to overcome them, the pressed on. Debi has battled cancer THREE times herself and she is currently recovering from surgery to remove cancer!

Now do you see why this song is so special to me?

Debi, this is for you with love and a deep appreciation for who you are and admiration for what you have allowed God to continue doing in you. Thank you for continuing to LOVE. You are an example to us all.

Peace & joy,

Stephanie

Special thanks to the members of our “mini” choir, especially to the precious young woman who sang despite her own pain—losing her mother one year ago to cancer! Thank you: Bill Hatcher for getting the guitars back to me so promptly, Erik for your input, dad for the time and energy you put into the engineering, Ben Hughes and ChildCry for the use of these wonderful pictures highlighting what you are doing around the world! I hope it raises support for the children you are loving by providing them with what they need.

Video: Father’s Love – Child Cry from Stephanie Staples on Vimeo.

Credits

Guitars: Bill Hatcher
Violin: Erik Rostad
Piano: Stephanie Staples-Rostad
Mini-choir: Daniel Cliett, Mary Beth Cowan, Brooke and Matthew Cornwell, Ben Hughes, Lauren Love, Marianne McCabe, TJ Morris, Erik Rostad
Kids Voices: Baylee and Brayden Thien
Words: Stephanie Staples and Debi Wilkerson Jonker
Music: Stephanie Staples

Lyrics

Words: Stephanie Staples & Debi Jonker
Music: Stephanie Staples

Broken, shattered, lives full of pain
Lonely, forgotten, eyes full of shame
They are the children of your heart
Hurting and longing for your love

Father, we hear what you’re calling us to
Run and embrace them and show them the proof
That they are the children of your heart
Precious and treasured and so loved

Fill us with the Father’s love
Bring us close to your heart
So we can lead them home
Make our hearts united with your own
For they are your children
They are your children

Dancing, laughing, hopeful and free
For You are the answer to all of their needs
The broken find healing in your arms
The lonely find freedom in your love

Fill us with the Father’s love
Bring us close to your heart
So we can lead them home
Make our hearts united with your own
For they are your children
They are your children
As we are your children
Lord, they’re your children

Fill us with the Father’s love (we want to bring them home)
Fill us with the Father’s love (so we can lead them home)
Fill us with the Father’s love
For they are your children
They are your children
As we are your children
Lord, they’re your children

The broken and shattered
Now dancing and singing