Seven years ago I became a mentor. I started visiting a fourth grade girl at Homesley Elementary and every week we spent 30 minutes together. We talked of school, friends, books, interests, and whatever else she brought up. When the fourth grade year ended, the girl asked me to come back the next year. However, when fifth grade began and I returned, things progressed differently. Several times, special school activities were going on simultaneously with our meeting time, and I could tell she wanted to go to those activities with her friends, so I would let her go and tell her I would see her the next week. Because of this, we did not spend as much time together in fifth grade as we did in fourth. Though we did not always get to visit, I still went every week to see her. I began to wonder if our time together meant anything to this young girl or if it was just an “activity” she was obligated to do. The year ended, and the girl did not ask to have me back again. I never saw her again until yesterday.
It happened when I was in Chick-fil-A with my son, Ben, having lunch. A teenage girl came up to me and asked if I remembered her. I knew she looked familiar, but I struggled to place her. She then told me she was the girl who I visited at Homesley. It had been five years since I saw her, and she was no a sophomore in high school and looked quite different. I was so excited to see her, and I greeted her by name. She then introduced me to her friend saying, “This lady came every week to spend time with me,” and she was all smiles!! I was so blessed that she came to greet me and from the look on her face, knew our time together had been meaningful to her.
This year I entered the mentoring program again, but in my heart, I remembered what happened in the past, and I wondered if my time would mean anything to the children I would meet. After running into the girl from many years ago – seeing her greeting and hearing her voice as she introduced me– I am deeply encouraged and am so glad I stepped back into mentoring
I found that giving your time as a mentor may not have visible effects at the time, but I believe over time you have the opportunity to encourage and bless each child in ways you may never know. And that is why I share this testimony– so that those who have never gotten to know or to hear can hear and be encouraged, even if you never have the chance to walk into a Chick-fil-A and greet the person you gave your time and prayers to. God is working, and I am so grateful!