Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to guest post for the New Rhythm Project as part of Foster Care Month. The New Rhythm Project is an organization that works to educate, communicate and facilitate local communities to care for orphaned and abused children across the globe. Read the full post.
“EveryONE can do ONE thing.”
It was a phrase that had echoed over and over in my head the past year. The first time I heard it was through a church small group led by New Rhythm founders Jason and Shelly Yost in fall 2011. The focus of the group was to learn about the magnitude of the orphan issue—there are an estimated 167 million orphans in the world—and learn how, as Christians, we can be part of the solution.
Through the book and discussion, I was initially overwhelmed. What could I, a young single professional, do to be part of the solution?
That’s when I remembered the phrase that kept coming back to me from small group: every ONE can do ONE thing. Since I don’t have the capacity to adopt, I knew one thing I did have was time, time to invest in someone else’s life. As it turned out, the “Orphanology” small group was the catalyst for me to become a mentor.
Together with three friends, I formed a girls mentoring club through a DC community center. Once a month, we gather together with middle school girls with one simple goal: have fun together.
It’s been a humbling process, and I’m certainly not an expert. But over the past year, I’ve realized a few basic things:
Mentoring requires flexibility and patience. Sometimes mentees don’t show up to an event on time. Sometimes an activity doesn’t go as planned. That’s where flexibility is absolutely key.
Mentoring takes time. My mentoring program asks for a one-year commitment. Why? Because one of the goals of mentoring is to build into a child’s life, consistently, over a period of time. With consistency comes deep relationship, trust, and friendship with the child.
Most of all, mentoring is fun. I have opportunities to be a kid again. Crafting? Yes! Silly sleepovers? I’m in. In its purest form, mentoring is about building a relationship with a child that is fun, supportive, and encouraging.
My hope and prayer is that the thousands of young people who live and work in DC, attend networking happy hours, and maybe walk through halls of power, would consider investing in the life of a child.
EveryONE can do ONE thing, however small. Maybe for you, mentoring is that thing.