How is the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 like mentoring at-risk youth? Well, if you were at our recent Mentor Refresher on Monday, January 24th, you already know the answer. We had a great evening, with delicious barbeque pork and brisket from The Red Barn, baked beans and potato salad courtesy of Carolyn Loop’s group from Pleasantview Baptist Church in Derby (the saints also handled setting up the whole room), fantastic volunteers who made dessert and helped serve and clean up, and a wonderful group of mentors who shared about their successes and challenges in mentoring this past year.
During the evening we talked about Jesus and his disciples feeding the 5000. Rodney’s words were both encouraging and challenging as we each considered what mentoring might look like in the coming year. Like the disciples, we mentors often feel that the need in the child’s life is overwhelming. Not only that, but just as 5 loaves and 2 fish didn’t seem like much to offer to the crowd, the 2-3 hours a week that we spend with a child doesn’t seem nearly enough in light of their circumstances.
How did Jesus respond when faced with an overwhelming need and limited resources? He commanded the disciples to bring what they had to him. And, we all know the end of the story. We know that they walked away with basket upon basket of leftovers. So, our challenge to you this year is to bring your protégé, their family, their problems, their shortcomings to the One who is not overwhelmed by their needs and who is more than able to bring about transformation in their lives. But, don’t just bring the child to Jesus, put your limited resources at His feet as well and trust Him to multiply your investment so that it does indeed return one hundredfold.
Remember that simply being faithful to the commitment you made to be a friend to this child will have a significant impact on the child’s life and family.