Boys to men

"Boys to men" Continued...

Issue: "Effective Compassion," June 16, 2012

On a recent Wednesday, MacNaughton and Masen meet up with Smithbaker and Brayden outside Lander. MacNaughton helps Masen set up a new crossbow for an upcoming hunting trip. Sitting in the dirt, Masen peers through the crossbow scope and releases an arrow that hits the center of the target. Brayden, watching from the sideline, excitedly runs to retrieve the arrow.

Now 14, Masen has finished the 3-year program, but he still spends time with MacNaughton to practice shooting and to go on hunts. Masen lists animals he's hunted-turkey, antelope, and elk-and hunting strategies: "If you're hunting turkey, you need to aim at the head or the back."

But more is going on than learning about hunting. Masen is learning to take care of others. He takes Brayden on a ride on his four-wheeler, going slow as Brayden holds on tightly to the older boy. Brayden grins under a helmet two sizes too big.

"That's a rare sight to see," MacNaughton said: "Two fatherless boys helping each other."

'Close to a son'

By Angela Lu

Some 68 Christian men in 10 states are currently mentoring boys through Fathers in the Field (fathersinthefield.com). Some 230 men are in the process of enrolling in the program.

Bill Roady of Warrenton, Ore., heard about Fathers in the Field through a TV program and decided to start a branch in his church. At the same time, 8-year-old Ezra and his mother were praying for a Christian father figure in Ezra's life. When his mom heard about the program, she signed her son up. Over the past year Roady and Ezra have shot rifles, watched movies, and gone to an end-of-year crab shoot with three other mentor pairs.

At first Ezra would not let Roady out of his sight whenever they met up, but Roady said the boy has started to trust him more: "I feel like I'm so blessed and privileged to be in a position to do this. I've grown very fond of Ezra and not having a son myself, he's close to being a son to me."

Money Box

Contributions and other revenue for Fathers in the Field in 2010, according to IRS filings, totaled $180,000, with expenses of $176,000.

The organization at the end of 2010 had net assets of $30,000.

Its full-time officer, Scott MacNaughton, received a salary of $53,000.

This year's budget: $225,000.

Listen to a report on Fathers in the Field on WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It.

Vote for the 2012 winner and read profiles of finalists and winners from 2006 through 2012 on WORLD's Hope Award page.

Angela Lu
Angela Lu

Angela is a reporter for WORLD Magazine who lives and works in Taiwan. She enjoys cooking, reading, and storytelling. Follow Angela on Twitter @angela818.


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