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The Heart of a Father

Kim Hammond | Melbourne, VIC, Australia.  Beautifully filmed on the Great Ocean Rd, Victoria.

Kim never knew his biological father. He grew up believing he was unwanted, with multiple Dads and a mum with schizophrenia. Life was very hard.

God enabled Kim to be a loving father to three sons. So it was devastating when one of their young sons developed leukaemia. You will be so moved by Kim's story and by the impact of knowing a truly loving Father.

The Heart of a Father (Kim Hammond, Melbourne, Australia)
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12min 23s   |   English

THEMES IN THIS STORY

Fathers

Identity

Domestic violence

Suffering

Rejection

Healing

Unconditional love

Forgiveness

Jesus

Father God

Local church impact, discipleship

 

KEY QUOTES from this story:

Maria came to the door and she says, “it's leukaemia”. I just burst into tears. I mean, this seven year old little, precious boy. It was heartbreaking.

 

I would go into the bathroom, and just weep. You know, you try to hold it together for the family and I would often just cry out to God, “Please... don't let my little boy die!”

I grew up in commission housing in Doveton, not knowing my father.

I heard this often when I was a kid. “Your dad didn't want you.” He tried to talk her into an abortion, so you build this narrative that you're not wanted. That I wasn't meant to be.

I just remember, I had to look after my mum and my sister.

 

She rang a girlfriend and I remember she came around and she had this story of Jesus and in the back of it, it had this prayer that you read.

 

It was like a supernatural moment. Jesus is just coming into her life and my sister and I both read the prayer. It was kind of our family becoming part of the family of God. Like, we really did give our life to Jesus...And what was great about it was this local church became our family.

 

Despite living in poor housing, my stepdad was abusive, physically abusive to my mum... I felt very aware of God's presence as a little boy. It became an intimate relationship with God.

So I've had three Dads. The third one came into my life at fifteen and left at eighteen... But I definitely had this gap. I mean, I didn't know how to mow a lawn. I didn't know how to fix a bike.

 

My son, Lachlan, when he was born... I was overwhelmed with love for this chance to be a father when I had not really experienced much of fathers... And God’s very gracious in giving us father figures. 

Mum was hard work.... If you heard her story... She had terrible trauma in her life... It was very hard as a kid. She struggled with schizophrenia for most of her life. Most of my childhood, she was in and out of hospital.

I carried a lot of unforgiveness towards her for some of the physical abuse. I said to God, “God, I just am so angry with her.” I could only describe it as a moment with Jesus, in which he gave me the grace to say “I love you” and genuinely mean it. A lot of forgiveness, a lot of healing, a lot of counselling. I forgave her. And at the same time, God just gave me this love for her. And I have this very deep relationship with her now.

Despite some of her limitations, she taught us to love God and love people really generously.

I love people and I think the local church is about people. So for me, I wanted to be a pastor at 18.

In 2009, my wife and the boys, they were five, seven and nine. We moved to Chicago to see an organisation called Forge start (in the USA) and to help this church in Chicago.

And four weeks after we got there, my son was diagnosed with leukaemia. My middle boy, Carter, who was seven.

I was diagnosed with leukaemia. We both had leukaemia, different strains... I couldn't work. It was nine months of chemo. I had an AML (Acute myeloid leukaemia), which is treated with arsenic. It's every day... and in the midst of my misery, Jesus really ministered to me. God was with us in the pain.

And I think my wife and I, we pushed together. We clung to Jesus... And I think it really gave me a perspective about what's important in life... 

I am determined to live my life so that every person can experience the grace and love and forgiveness of God.

My biological father didn't want me. God wanted me. I wasn't an accident... In Psalms where it says “I knitted you together in your mother's womb.” That meant a lot to me. I think every person deserves to be seen and heard. And I think that's the heart of God. I love that God saw me.

I don't think God ever changes. I'm his son, and he is a real Father to me. I'm wrapped in his grace and forgiveness.

I do think sometimes you can believe the lies... I think there's two narratives. Will I listen to the world that says “you don't come from the right pedigree, you don’t have the right family?” Things that are spoken over us. “You're not good enough. You weren't meant to be.”

But I choose every day to get up as a son of the King, to live into, “I'm a son of God.”

 

Think how much the Father loves us. He loves us so much that he lets us be called his children, as we truly are. (1 John 3v1 CEV)

TEASER

A short taste of this story.

'The Heart of a Father' teaser (Kim Hammond)
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