My name is Autumn Buzzell and I live and work in Ghana, West Africa with City of Refuge Ministries. Here, I run our school, Faith Roots International Academy, and get to be a part in rescuing and the healing of children who have been trafficked into the fishing trade, orphaned, abandoned, and those who just need a little extra loving. What an amazing gift this life is!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy's Day

Today is Father's Day and I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about some great people that have been Fathers in my life in some way or another.

Firstly, my own Dad is a pretty awesome Dad! He has a great job...selling mini-trucks and taking care of kids. He's pretty amazing at both too! I love just getting to chat with him and he can answer just about any question that I have with such great wisdom. I love how he is always encouraging me too. He tells me all the time that he's proud of me and that just makes me feel so loved! My dad is pretty funny too...in a corny joke sort of way. He loves to tell just rediculous jokes and I love it when he gets to laughing really hard at something. He just has this great belly laugh. I'm so blessed with such a great dad. Thank you God for my Dad, Dan Buzzell!

Some other influential fathers in my life...well, most of the fathers in my life have been spiritual leaders at one time or another, so I'm just going to list a few people that have been a part of shaping me (and some are more "brother" than "father", but you get the idea!).

Thinking back through the years, Roger Ferguson was probably my first spiritual father. He was my paster growing up and the man that baptized me. So, thank you Roger for guiding my childhood years with your wisdom and for continuing to lead the body of Clifton Christian Church in truth and grace!

Other spiritual fathers came in my life came around the time I went to college--I think of Graydon Jessop, Mike Maiolo, and Chris Weinand--pastors that all led me during different seasons. Thank you for your fatherhood over your churches.

George Tyree was a great father and his prayers were powerful! Before I moved to NorCal, his prayers over me were about learning the Father love of God and his ministry to his family, his church, his friends, and our small group was an absolute blessing and grew me during a season when I really needed connection with a family. Though he is no longer with us, his father presence still impacts my life today and the love of his family still continues!

Tony Gapastione (though one of those guys who is more brother than father) has really led me through many of my seasons of change and growth as a believer. His words of truth have broken down walls, led me into seasons of growth and seasons of challenge, and his friendship is an abosolute blessing to me. I also love how he parents his kids and loves his wife. The way that he prioritizes them is such an absolute blessing to the body at PCC!

Mark Weber became a friend and father through prayer gatherings together. Through his teachings and prayers, I have been learning to live in more freedom in my life with Christ, living into the giftings of the Holy Spirit. I feel challenged by him, encouraged by his faith, and honored to be called a friend!

Johnbull Omorefe (again more brother than father) is such a great friend! I respect his leadership, am encouraged by his words, and feel blessed to partner with him (and Stacy) in this amazing ministry.

There are so many more "fathers" out there that have been a part of shaping my life, but I wanted to close this post with the fathers of my group of friends from college, The Beatniks. Joe Nix, Bud Suckow, Dave Preston, Eugene Kolding, Mr. Richman, Dave Van Wormer, and Mr. Blabe have at one point in time or another: opened their home to me, given me bear hugs, encouraged me through notes or emails, come to special events of mine, given me money for something or other, and a million other ways that they have fathered me through the year. I am so grateful that my family of friends has taken me in as one of their daughters.

Happy Father's Day to you Father's out there! Be blessed! We certainly are blessed because of YOU!

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