What is a Mentor? A Mentor's Powerful Testimony of Hope and Promise

What is a Mentor? A Mentor’s Powerful Testimony of Hope and Promise

Pat DeMott has served at House of Refuge Sunnyslope in various volunteer roles since the summer of 2011 and in 2013, she stepped into a mentor role at House of Hope.  God has been at work in the last few years.  Pat and three other women, who make up a Family Support Team, have come alongside three different single moms at House of Hope.  Each one required a reliance on God as the team worked through different circumstances with each resident.  To say this team of women faced mentoring challenges is an understatement.  All three women they mentored left the program prior to completion.  However, this mentoring team has a story of great joy in seeing God at work — even in tough circumstances.  They felt the Holy Spirit guiding and growing their faith.  They have laughed. They have cried.

Here is an excerpt from a speech that Pat recently shared with our volunteer mentor team.  You will be blessed.

“To me though, the most important thing to remember is why we have been called to the women of House of Hope and House of Promise. 

We have been called here to be their mentorsMentors.  Not their mothers, not their fixers, not their rescuers, not even their friends: their mentors.

So I did a little research on the definitions of these words.  What is

  • A Fixer – one who uses influences or makes arrangements for another
  • A Rescuer – one who saves another from harm or danger
  • A Friend – a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard
  • A Mentor – a wise and trusted counselor, a teacher; a coach

The problem with fixer and rescuer, is we’re doing the fixing, and the rescuing. Our mentee isn’t required to invest and God has no hand in it, it’s all about our ability to do for them what they haven’t been able to do for themselves.  There is no growth here, just a temporary fix to a long-term problem.

Friend, while it is true we will have an emotional attachment to some of the women we meet here and it is also true some of them may even become our friends.  During their time at House of Hope or House of Promise we need to focus on our role as mentor:  trusted counselor, teacher, coach.

So what is the difference?  A mentor, a coach, a teacher equips those in their care to be independent.

Does a good coach run the drills for his players? No!

Does a good teacher do the homework for their students? No!

A good coach, a good teacher equips those in their care to do the drill, to do the homework by themselves.

Yes, there is instruction and often a demonstration but ultimately the goal is to equip the player or the student with the skills necessary to perform the task on their own.

The same is true here at House of Hope and House of Promise.

As mentors we want to equip the women with as many tools as possible so that when they leave this program they are able to care for themselves.

What is a Mentor? A Mentor's Powerful Testimony of Hope and Promise

Pat and her Family Support Team currently mentor Shandi at House of Hope. Left to Right, Jane Snyder, Kathy Schneider, Shandi, Kirsten Hall, Pat DeMott

Here it isn’t about drills and homework…

  • it’s about making the Bible the authority
  • it’s about understanding who God is
  • it’s about developing and deepening relationships with Jesus
  • and it’s about realizing real acceptance, real significance and real security are found only in Christ!

How do we do this? By modeling the things we know!

  • We study the Bible together.
  • We pray together and wait for God to answer.
  • We highlight the ways God is and has worked in their lives.
  • We open the Bible together and search out what God has to say on the subject.
  • We are constantly looking for way to point them back to Christ.

The goal, by the time they leave House of Hope or House of Promise they will be able to do all those things without our help!

We want them independent in every practical way but also totally dependent on God for their strength and direction! 

Mentor, trusted counselor, teacher, coach- it is a very special assignment!

I do have a couple words of caution before you get started.

As a mentor, it is also important to be prepared.

Sometime on this journey someone is going to share something with you that will make your eyes want to pop out of your head and your jaw drop.  We must be very careful not to let this happen.

The neutral face (also called the academy award winning face) hides shock, disbelief, disapproval, and judgment; it also makes it possible for the woman sharing with you to feel safe. Just as we encouraged you to be aware of their body language we must watch ours as well.

As mentors it’s important we understand — the way we view the women we mentor will affect the way we interact with them.

  • If we see them as broken little girls, we will want to mother them.
  • If we see them as victims, we will want to rescue them.
  • If we see them as projects, we will want to fix them.

It is imperative that we see them the way God sees them: broken, in need of a savior and in the process of being refined.  Just like all of us.

Mentoring is a powerful thing — it changes lives, both ours and theirs.”

House of Hope & House of Promise
Mentor Foundations Class
November 12, 2015

All the women who come into the House of Hope or the House of Promise are matched with a mentor. We are in the process of starting a men’s mentoring program at House of Refuge. If you are interested in mentoring, please click here for details.

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