Teaching Girls to Weld in the Jungle

Teaching Girls to Weld in the Jungle September 24, 2012

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.

John 17:4


Fifteen years ago, when I became a Christian, one of the things I prayed about was what God wanted me to do with my life.  Like most men, I wanted to live a life of significance.  But how does one man make a difference?  The problems of this world seem overwhelming.  God placed upon my heart that men were the key to all the problems of the world (primarily because they are the cause of most of the problems).  When you change one man’s life you not only change his life, but you not only change his wife’s, children’s and grandchildren’s lives, but virtually everyone he ever comes in contact with as well.

God eventually led me into becoming a writer, speaker, and founder of a ministry called Better Dads.  Because of that I am privileged to be used by God to speak into the lives of men (and women) and hopefully inspire them to make a difference in the world.

As Jesus states in the verse above, when we are faithful to complete the work God places before us, it glorifies God.  The letter below is just one of many I am blessed to receive that allows me to see the fruits of my labor:


Dear Rick,

Just wanted to let you know that your book motivated me to get our company to set up a welding course for young kids in the jungle.  My dad gave me your book so I could start figuring out my 5 year old daughter early on.  It’s a long story but…

I’m a former MK of Canadian missionary parents who had worked in South America.  I now run the South American operations of a mining exploration company that is mostly staffed at its local levels by a great crew of Christian people from many denominations.

We are beginning to operate in a very difficult small town in the middle of the jungle that has been the object of illegal gold mining and cocaine traffic for two decades now on the border of Colombia and Brazil.

One thing I noticed was the miserable conditions of the local youth, especially the girls.   Young child prostitution is a great concern here because the place is a confluence of evil forces. Normally it’s the mining exploration company that gets the brunt of ill-perceived criticism.  But in this town we have drug traffickers, an ironically a large police base of 250 young men taken far from their families (who are more scared of leaving their compound than anything), some extreme environmentalists that are usually high on narcotics themselves, and local less-than-honest politicians that would make even the rest of the country shocked.

A lot of the native first nations “fathers” are caught in a spiral of alcohol, and as such, they will “sell” their daughters to the men of all these different groups, for the price of another beer.

We haven’t started drilling operations yet, but during my trips back and forth to the town, I have had a pain in my heart for the youth.

I commissioned to set up two Red Cross courses in town.  The idea was the Red Cross agent was to help scare the youth regarding STD’s.   But the problem is it’s not really the young kids’ choice.

One of the welders in town has been asking us for work.  We don’t really have an operation started yet, but we do want to help him.

So I had just finished your book on the plane and as I landed in Bogota, it gave me an idea.

Next week we are setting up a welding introduction course for 10 boys one day and 10 girls the next day.  Ages are 11-14.  We never expect these kids to become welders, but something tells me that you are right, the more the girls know about “guy stuff”, the less vulnerable some of them will be.   The traditional “macho” man of this society is very intimidated by women/girls who would know something about “guy stuff”, and the intimidation would be exacerbated if the girl knows more than them about a car engine or a welding technique.  Your book struck a chord and we think it might make the girls more confident and less appealing to be preyed upon.  At least it’s a start.

Obviously when we begin our operations, we are going to ramp up the project and try and convince World Vision to come in and be our much more expert social arm.

So I just thought you’d find it interesting that your book made it out to the Amazon jungle.  (Unfortunately no one else will probably be able to read it because if I leave it out in camp, it WILL get eaten by ants. J)




And so lives are changed because one man followed the path God set for him, which inspired another man to make a difference in the world.  Hopefully, little girls’ lives will be bettered on the other side of the world by this faithfulness.

All glory be to God.



To find out more about Rick’s newest book go to www.betterdads.net.


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