January is National Mentoring Month and we are so thankful for ALL of our faithful mentor volunteers who are the hands and feet of Jesus to our clients every day. We are so happy to spotlight one mentor in particular, Ellen, who has just been volunteering for about 6 months, but as you'll see has become one of our most faithful volunteers and has poured her life into the lives of our clients! Read below for her motivating and encouraging words to anyone looking to volunteer as a mentor.
How long have you been a mentor to our clients?
I began volunteering in the clothing room for Hope in June of 2015, and was assigned my first mentoring client shortly thereafter. Thus, I am a new mentor at Hope.
What keeps you coming back to Hope Clinic?
Prior to moving to Nashville, I was blessed to have the opportunity to mentor women, men, and families at a pregnancy care center in Indiana. It was a true experience of "giving" - even more so of others giving to me - staff, fellow volunteers, and especially clients, than of me giving to them. When any of us reach out from a place of vulnerability and find a listening ear and joyful heart, hope and the ability to see all things in a new light follow. Hope Clinic is thus, aptly named, and truly a place of caring, joy, and hope! Having the opportunity to be a part of a ministry that recognizes, values, and supports the dignity and worth of every beloved child of God, unconditionally, and helps each to see a future full of hope, has been an abundant blessing. That is what keeps me coming back to Hope Clinic!
What would you say to someone who is considering being a mentor to our clients?
Be not afraid! Often, we associate the word "mentor" with prerequisite experiences or skills qualifying one to participate. For someone to mentor at Hope Clinic, what is needed is an open heart, a listening ear, and a genuine love for each person God puts in your path. Mentoring at Hope entails walking alongside those who are in life circumstances that, for a time, are hard to put in perspective. Haven't we all been there, for one reason or another? As a mentor, you have the privilege of listening, reflecting back, giving information, suggesting resources, and walking alongside your clients as they discern their own way forward. You are not alone! The staff and other volunteers at Hope are always there to pray, listen, offer suggestions, and support you in your mentoring. As a friend often tells me, "We are not qualified; we are called." If you think God might be calling you to mentor at Hope Clinic, come and check it out! The Hope Clinic staff will answer your questions, guide your training, and be there for you every step of the way, as will Our Lord.
What have you learned about yourself through mentoring?
Perhaps it is said quite often; however, I think it is definitely true that "We are all in this together" - and how much lighter the load and wonderful the journey, when we take it up and carry it side-by-side! Mentoring has helped me to see the beloved child of God in every person -- including myself, and to trust Him to do His work in all of us -- the clients, staff, and volunteers at Hope, and all those whose lives we touch and share.