Cyndi's Story Continued...
I've been involved with my current mentee, a 17 year old young lady who attends Sonora High School, for over three years, and she has become like a member of my family. From the first time I met her at a local Starbucks, I knew our lives were meant to be connected. In spite of enduring all kinds of neglect and abuse growing up, I have watched her become a strong Christian woman with high standards, dreams, a positive attitude, and a purpose to her life. When a turn of events last December led to her moving back with family in Fresno, with destructive results, the Lord used a visit by my husband and I to show her that she didn't have to stay in that oppressive environment. Within two days of our visit, she had moved back to Sonora (living with a believing aunt)and her life immediately began turning around. (We had lots of people praying!) Where she had despaired of life and found herself without hope, the Lord brought faith, hope, encouragement, and renewed dreams. It was truly a privilege to watch the Lord say to the forces of hell, "Not this one, SHE is MINE!" There aren't words to describe the joy it was to be a part of God's plan in this situation.
We have had so many fun times together! Thanks to the Teenworks sponsored quarterly events we've played paintball, gone to baseball games, hockey games, various concerts, and spent time wake surfing and swimming at Don Pedro lake. She comes to church with us as often as possible, has spent week-ends at our house being involved in whatever activities we're doing, and recently attended the Women's Retreat with my daughter and I. She comes over after school on most Wednesdays so she can come to church with me and attend our high school youth group. She has helped me around the house, we've baked and cooked together, and we do silly things like sing karaoke and play games. We talk about the Lord and pray together, I try to check on her school progress and am available to help her with her studies as needed, and my daughter and I have given her pedicures, new hairstyles and taken her shopping at the mall. It is such a gift having her in our lives.
As you consider whether you might invest some time in the life of an at-risk teen, I can tell you wholeheartedly that you will receive much more from it than you will give. You will receive training and support every step of the way, and possibly make an eternal difference in the life of someone who needs you. I hope that you will prayerfully consider getting involved in this valuable and much needed ministry.
In Christ's Love,