I have been mentoring two young ladies for almost nine years. When I first started seeing them they were five and seven years old. They are now fourteen and almost sixteen years old! The years have gone by quickly and I am very proud of both of them.
Eight years ago, Jasmine (the oldest), spent the night at my house for the first time. She asked me if I would be willing to take her to church the next morning. I called her mom and got the okay. The kids had never been to church before so it was a great learning experience. Brooke joined us the following week and the third week they convinced their mom to let them go to church school.
Their mom was a little hesitant about the whole attending church on a regular basis idea. She is a single mom of six children and really enjoyed sleeping in on Sunday morning. She didn't want to commit to waking the kids up every weekend. I understood but came up with a solution. The kids would have to wake themselves up, get dressed and call me before 9 AM if they wanted to go. If I didn't hear from them, they wouldn't go.
For the next several months, I received phone calls around 8:30 every Sunday morning. Their eight year old brother soon joined them. I enjoyed hearing them talk about who's turn it was to set the alarm clock and complain when it was Troy's turn to wake them up. Apparently, he wasn't always as warm and nurturing in his wake up call as they would have liked.
I never heard their mom complain about waking them up. As far as I know, the kids never forced that responsibility back on her. I am sure that she woke up with all of the commotion but she let it continue. To this day, other teenagers complain about being forced to go to church but they still go by choice.
Jasmine and Troy were baptized and confirmed together two years ago. Their mom came to watch. Yesterday was Brooke's turn. Her mom had to work but her older sister, Nicole, and her boyfriend were able to come. I know it meant a lot to both Jasmine and Brooke to have them there.
The service was very nice and Brooke was beautiful in her new dress. I was very happy to see her complete something she started eight years ago and still enjoys. She is now trying to decide what activities to be involved in next year as an adult member of the church. Some of the members have offered to drive her to activities. It doesn't surprise me. People have come forward on many occassions and offered to help get the kids to church, youth group activities, confirmation classes and other activities when I needed the extra help. It was always appreciated and I have always been amazed at the generosity of the people in the church. They have really shown that not only are all of my kids welcome but that they are loved. They are definitelly demonstrating God's love and showing that we are all part of the same church family.