A Desparate Cry for Christian Mentoring of Abused Children

By: dgcarticle


Now and then the providential care of God delicately requests my focus, and in doing so it rolls up the darkness of suspicion that has a way of moving into my perspective. One such incident happened to me just lately. Last Friday afternoon, I was sitting at my desk worrying over the trivial details of ministry when my cell phone rang. The person on the other end of the call announced himself as Robert Stinser*, and said he had been matched to a Long Island Youth Mentoring mentor when he was eleven years-old. He said that he was older now, and wanted to give back in some way to this ministry. I asked Robert how old he is now and he said thirty-three.

Robert asked if he could speak at a dinner or some other event where he could relate what his mentor had meant in his life. I mentioned the upcoming auction on November 14th, and inquired what he would like to say. This is what he said:

When I was initially matched, my Dad was in jail for abusing my sisters. My Mom was working to fulfill her own recognized needs while trying to raise three children. Drugs and men came freely into and out of our apartment. Bob, my Youth Mentoring mentor was my only constant--the only one I could really depend on. It was Bob who taught me how to ride a bike, and later how to drive a car. When I was old enough to leave on my own, it was Bob who showed me how to plan for, and get my first apartment and how to take care of my finances and budget and take care of myself. Most important, it was Bob who shared the beauty of the Gospel and who prayed a blessing over me and my beautiful Christian wife at our wedding. It was Bob who gave me direction on how to be a Dad--the type of Dad God wanted me to be.

I never thought I would own my own home, but now I own my own house and have my own business. My wife and I have two children. In the past twenty-two years there has not been a period of time longer than two weeks when I did not speak to Bob. Now my friends call me for parenting advice, and I tell them what Bob taught me."

As he paused, I thought about the fact that this man now has a three year old and a six year old childliving in a safe healthy home. Eventually I said, Robert, your young ones are really what this ministry is all about. He asked me to explain. I told him that the sort of bad treatment that he and his sisters experienced in childhood is normally passed on from generation to generation. The fact that his children have never experienced this trauma is testimony that God has put an end to it in his generation.

I could hear the emotion in his voice as he said this. John, what you say is so real. So much bad has happened in my family and I have changed so much that I wanted to change my name. I did not want to be associated with my family name. Now I am happy I did not, but I understand what you are saying about multi-generational sin.

I asked Robert what sort of business he owns. He said, I install fire sprinkler and alarm systems. I told him that I had requested bids for such systems to be installed in our new ministry center. Would you like to submit a bid? I asked him. Robert said sure; so, I emailed the blueprints to him. He called back to say he would not be bidding on the installation because he wanted to do the job--free of charge. I said, Robert, I really appreciate your generosity, but I do not want you to get hurt by being so generous, especially at such a stressful financial time. Robert replied, I have done a couple churches in my community already for free. It never hurts me. I always end up ahead, and I really want to give to Youth Mentoring.

Is not Gods care of us, His children, astonishing. Whenever I begin to forget why we labor on this mission field…whenever bills, the building or broken families pierce the peace in serving Him, He sends brothers like Robert to me with a fantastic, heavenly reminder of just how great, and loving, a God we have. It happens all the time. I pray that someday, reality will sink in and I will lean wholly on God and doubt my fears instead of trusting my fears and doubting God.

John M. Cragg
Executive Director
Long Island Youth Mentoring

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John Cragg has been Director or Long Island Youth Mentoring for 20 years. He supports over 600 Long Island at risk children with Christian mentors. You can learn more at ChristianMentor.com.

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