Pictured above are Jess (right), John (middle), and Zach (left).
Mentor Highlight: Jess Jenkinson
If eating pizza and playing Mario Kart sounds like a fun way to spend a few nights each month, becoming a Life Launch mentor might be for you!!
Jess Jenkinson and his fellow mentor, Zach, spent a year and a half mentoring John, one of our Life Life program participants. And although most of their nights included food and video games, it also included conversations that led to a strong relationship between the three young men.
When Jess first learned about Stand in the Gap’s Life Launch program, he was interested in serving in this way. After praying about the opportunity, he felt led to give his time to someone who may not have experienced God in the way he had growing up.
Jess remembers feeling nervous about entering into someone’s space. “I was worried I would not be able to support my mentee in the way they need,” Jess shares.
But, it didn’t take long for the relationship to form and feel comfortable.
Most Life Launch commitments are one year. But with stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, this group’s time together was extended. The group still managed to chat during the months they were unable to meet in person. Jess fondly remembers the first time they got together in person again.
“That’s when you could really tell how much we appreciated having each other,” Jess shares. “I think that was the moment I knew we had formed a relationship that was going to last beyond the program.”
Jess shares how he saw his mentee become more trusting. “He became more willing to share his stories and struggles,” Jess shares, “which allowed us to speak into his life and pray with him.”
Jess encourages anyone who may be considering mentoring with Stand in the Gap to pray about it. And if led to commit, come in with the mindset that you are meeting someone where they are. “You aren’t fixing someone or giving someone money,” Jess says. “All they need is your time and listening ear.”
“It is so rewarding that my mentee knows we love and care for him,” Jess says. “He knows we will always be there for him.”