VIDEO: A Father’s Sacrifice


 It’s one of the most well-known and well-loved Bible verses, the Gospel boiled down to a few words.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son… ” (John 3:16).

At the core of our faith we see a Father’s sacrifice, and we see the second person of the Trinity giving His life for us.

The video I’m sharing with you today echoes these themes. In it, the Vander Woude family shares the deeply moving story of how its patriarch, Thomas S. Vander Woude, died saving his youngest son, Joseph.

 It was the culmination of a life well-lived. Before the elder Vander Woude made the decision to put Joseph’s life over his own, he had made the decision, day after day, to live for his family.

His was a life of sacrifice and service on behalf of his wife and seven sons.

As you watch the Vander Woudes tell their story, you can’t ignore the profound impact a godly man can have on his family. This father’s example has been imprinted firmly on his sons, who are now left to carry the legacy of their dad with their own families and communities.

That’s family lived out according to God’s design. And it’s beautiful.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about this family. You may remember the story that came out last year about a young couple pregnant with a baby diagnosed with Down syndrome who was planning to abort – and the quick-thinking priest who used social media to help find that baby a family. That priest was the eldest Vander Woude son – and it’s evident how he embodies his father’s example of valuing the sanctity of human life. You can read his story in my blog post, “The Story Behind the Preborn Baby with Down Syndrome.”

Focus is working hard to bring you stories like the Vander Woudes’ to form part of “The Family Project,” our small-group experience that will expand on the themes introduced by our upcoming feature film, “Irreplaceable.” After our special one-night event movie debut on May 6 in cinemas nationwide, we’ll roll out the 12-week DVD-based curriculum that will give participants a greater understanding and appreciation of our Heavenly Father.

We hope the documentary and the curriculum will challenge people’s intellect as they learn about God’s purpose for family – and fill their hearts as they see God’s plan unfold through these real-life stories.

You can learn more about “Irreplaceable” and buy tickets to see the film online at We hope you reserve your spot today. Group sales are also available.

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Guv Nah More than 1 year ago

--Elements of this story remind me of the Genesis story of Joseph in the cistern. Joseph’s father died in peace knowing that Joseph lived.

It’s fitting that this story is posted today, on the feast day of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.  St. Joseph sacrificed and protected his family. He’s a model for all fathers.  Thomas Vander Woude  lived out that model.