What experiences prepared you to volunteer with the MEMNT children’s weekend program at Our Redeemer?
I am quite moved by the plight of refugees in our country today — my heart breaks for them. Fortunately, I am still somewhat of a kid myself, so working with the children has been fun. I enjoy sports, love learning and education, and am always excited by a game of catch. I had also served as a mentor to a Congolese youth for about five years, which was good preparation. He and I keep in touch. In fact, he, and another African friend of his joined us at the program one Saturday.
How can other Our Redeemer members connect with the children?
When times are normal, our church members have an opportunity every Sunday morning before, between, and after services to interact with the kids. All you have to do is take the time to engage with them. Trust me, they remember you! I think this is an important step in building a relationship with them, which ultimately makes you to want to do more.
What suggestions do you have for others who want to get involved and connect with the children being served by MEMNT?
I think that any church members who want to get involved need to be ready to step outside of their comfort zones. Not only is the generational gap becoming more significant as technology moves so rapidly, but we need to realize that the environments that these kids come from and still live in may be unfamiliar to many of us. To have the influence that we want to have with these kids and to help them grow their faith, we must first listen to them, get to know them, and demonstrate that we understand them.
What has your experience with MEMNT meant to you?
It has been incredibly powerful to see the hardships that people go through and yet see still the work of Christ in their lives. Spending Saturday afternoon or Sunday mornings with these kids was one of the highlights of my week. I look forward to being able to return to that soon, and I hope more members will join me.