I started attending Redeemer in 2005. I had known about Hope for New York, and especially Operation Exodus, for years, but my weekends and sleep were too precious to me to even consider committing to volunteering. It wasn’t until a period of prolonged unemployment and homeless couch-surfing that I agreed to give volunteering with Hope for New York a try. I had no expectations when I started — I just knew it would be nice to do something that was not about me, because during unemployment and homelessness it is all about you all the time.
I started mentoring girls in Washington Heights through Operation Exodus four years ago, and I’ve followed them as they’ve grown from 2nd graders to inquisitive, analytical 7th graders. Saturday after Saturday, as I’ve loved on these girls and taught them about God and how He wants to have a relationship with them through Jesus, I have been forced to reexamine this truth in my own life. What does it mean to me, really, that Jesus gave his life for mine? That He wants to take over my life and make me a new person, a person more like Him?
What does it mean to me, really, that Jesus gave his life for mine?
God has used mentoring to show me that how I choose to spend my time and whom I choose to invest it in should not be about me—it’s about experiencing His unimaginably selfless love and then sharing it with others. These girls, through the good, the bad, and the testing, are a reminder of the gospel in my life. As I have taught them about Jesus’ love and experienced it along with them, Jesus in His grace has made me more loving and more generous.