What I've learned as a mentor #4 - Natasha, Daniel


My first year volunteering as a mentor was eye opening. The kid I was mentoring with didn’t have a father figure around and was dealing with that. He would act up and really get angry. I thought about quitting. I was thinking "this is too much to handle".

But after much thought, I saw myself in him. How sometimes we are going through our own storms and act up but God doesn’t give up on us. He sits with us and lets us know that He is with us through the storm. So on the bad days I just sat with my little guy. As I let him go through his storm, I realized that maybe that’s all he needed, to know that’s it’s okay to feel what he was feeling, and to know I would be with him. 

The hour we spent together was so much greater than making sure he did homework or if we read. It was about letting him know that someone was there for him and that they weren’t going to walk out just because things weren’t perfect. He taught me what it really means to show compassion and how important it is to thank God for never leaving us even when we are messy. He and I shared some great times together and I will always be thankful that I got to meet such a wonderful soul. - Natasha

  Kids Hope had a profound impact on my expectations and worldview about the impact of the church on its community. 
     On a micro scale with just my student, I knew that I was making a friend and being a friend to a young boy. I could not tell if I was providing any lift in his life academically or personally. But then his mom wrote about her perception a few years in, and she had rave reviews.
     On a macro level, I have been blown away by the aggregate and seemingly unanimous praise for the impact of the program on the school at large... by administrators and teachers, as well as parents.
     The impact has planted seeds of hope deep in my heart as well. I have always felt personally a deep call to serve youth at-risk, but was pretty overwhelmed trying to figure out where to start, or if I could make any difference at all. With good leadership and committed prayer partners, Kids Hope demonstrated for me one way to "push back the Gates of Hell". My experience with Kids Hope individually and collectively has helped me tangibly move forward and put wind in the sails for my dream to bring foster children into families. -Daniel