Here’s an encouraging story that reinforces the notion that our children absorb what they see us DOING as well as what they hear us SAYING.
Recently, Jericho President Carrie L. Amos received this email from a Friend of Jericho Partnership, a mother of a toddler:
“Yesterday, in the mail, we received the Jericho newsletter. This morning, Luke grabbed it off of the TV stand and brought it to me to read to him (guess he thought it was a book). I flipped through it and was telling him what Jericho is and turned once again to the front page. He pointed at the picture of the mentor/mentee on the front, and I said, “What is that, Luke?” I SWEAR he pointed at the picture of the mentor and said “daddy!” Now, he could have very well been trying to say something else, but it sounded exactly like “daddy,” even when I asked him to repeat it. It was such a sweet “out of the mouth of babes” moment. I got to explain to him that YES!, Jericho provides father figures to kids like him that might not have a dad in their lives.”
Clearly, Luke’s daddy spends significant time with his young son, and has already had a strong influence on him. And, now, because of his mother’s explanation of how Jericho can help fill the gap for other children who aren’t as fortunate, he’ll grow up with a sense of compassion that may not be instilled in every family.
“That’s quite a heartwarming reaction,” said Don Lewis, one of the very first mentors with Pathways Danbury Youth Ministry, when he read the email. “While the young men and women in the PDYM mentoring ministries may not actually voice the words “daddy” or “mommy,” I would have to say the bond between the mentor and mentee is that close, and possibly closer. Mentors are viewed as that individual who has come alongside a young person to encourage them in both in life and spiritual growth. As the mentors help these young people mature in Christ, they also helps them bring order to the rest of their lives. This is the model Jesus followed with his disciples.”
Pathways / Jericho Founder Bill Beattie echoed Don’s sentiments: “The fact that one third of our kids in this country are not living with their biological fathers highlights the importance of and need for mentoring in our community. The symbolism of Pathways Danbury mentoring captures the type of relationship we seek – a mentor and a mentee walking together down the pathway of life to a bright future, in this life and for eternity.”