Supporting Fathers, Strengthening Families: Word of Life Portugal Partners with DADCAMP

Nurturing the Next Generation with Word of Life Portugal and DADCAMP

How crucial are fathers in the fabric of a family? What profound impact does a father’s presence—or absence—have on their children’s future? We may never truly understand just how much; however, statistics give us a small glimpse. Many studies show that the most linked contributor to behavioral problems, substance abuse, and emotional distress in children are disengaged fathers. The statistics are startling, painting a picture of a generation craving the guiding hand of a father and, ultimately, our Heavenly Father. 

We’re turning our focus to Word of Life Portugal, where the Word of Life team has partnered with DADCAMP to bring the gospel to families and help fathers be the best they can be.  

DADCAMP USA has been a beacon of guidance for fathers in the US and is expanding worldwide. It’s more than just a camp; it’s a transformative experience that provides dads with the practical language and tools to be what their children need them to be.  

Matt Melville, the director of Word of Life Portugal, discovered DADCAMP while on furlough in the States in 2021. His encounter with the director of DADCAMP USA sparked a dream:  What if this ministry could extend its reach to Portugal? The possibility of adapting DADCAMP’s vision to the many branches of ministry at Word of Life Portugal began to take shape.  

Fast forward to today, Word of Life Portugal has hosted three straight years of DADCAMP. They’ve been able to do a one-day experience in local churches or a two-day experience at our Word of Life facilities. 

 The Ministry Impact of DADCAMP from 2022-2024 

  • Launched three DADCAMP weekends in 2022. 
  • Hosted five DADCAMP weekends in 2023. 
  • Aiming for ten DADCAMP weekends in 2024. 

The growth is steady and remarkable. Last year alone, they saw 101 fathers and 143 children experience these life-changing weekends.  

 Testimonies of Transformation

One father from Lisbon shared how he has one-on-one meetings with his staff every day in his job, and yet he has never had a one-on-one with his son. The experience of DADCAMP gave him the practical tools, support, and push he needed to connect with his son in a brand-new way.   

The director of Word of Life Portugal, Matt Melville, has been able to bring all six of his children to DADCAMP, one at a time. Through a one-on-one with his daughter, he learned that one of her bucket list items was to fly in a plane with her dad. They realized that dream soon after.  

More Than a Camp, A Family Ministry

DADCAMP, in partnership with Word of Life, has become a conduit for teaching an essential truth: family is your first ministry. These dads have come to realize the irreplaceable role they play in their families. They can substitute themselves in most areas of life but can’t substitute themselves as “dad.” 

As we look forward, we’re filled with hope. Hope for the fathers and children of Portugal who are learning to build stronger, Christ-centered relationships.  

Please Pray 

  • Pray for the attendance of DADCAMP in 2024 – that it continues to grow. 
  • Pray for the Word of Life team in Portugal as they minister to these families and bring them the hope of the gospel.  
  • Pray for this ministry overall, as it continues to grow and touch lives, reminding us all that our first ministry is indeed at home, with our families. 

Get Involved Today

Support the ongoing ministry of Word of Life Portugal.

Learn More about DADCAMP.

Explore the worldwide ministry of Word of Life.

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