During the Summer of 2016 I took my six-week old baby girl to camp with North Orange County YoungLives just a couple of months after turning 18 years old myself. To describe the way I was feeling, anticipating camp for the first time, I would pick the word terrified.
I was so scared. I had never left my baby with anybody for a single minute, and I ended up leaving her with the amazing childcare volunteers at camp every single day! That week, I learned what it meant to put all of my trust in God completely.
During the Summer of 2018 I had the privilege of returning to camp with North OC YoungLives as a Junior Mentor! God used this opportunity to stretch my heart, allow me to reflect on my own journey as a young mom reaching out to Jesus, and to help me grow in practicing hospitality toward others. I will never forget camp as a Junior Mentor.
Last week, I attended my very first Mentor Meeting! I didn’t really know what to expect when I showed up. The meeting ended up being more like a mini Bible study for mentors! We read scripture, discussed some questions, shared stories, and we talked about some of our insecurities in mentoring. It was so nice to have that space and time with the other volunteers.
I am so excited to step into full-blown mentoring with YoungLives and to attend camp this Summer as a mentor! Each young parent that I have met at club has a uniqueness about them. They are the best mothers, and the best fathers to their children. They are encouraging, resilient, and incredibly hard-workers. My biggest prayer lately has been that God will fully open my heart up to whoever I get to mentor, and that He will guide me in my interactions with that person to glorify Him!
I remember what it felt like to crave connection as a young mom. I still crave this connection, and I still receive that love and fellowship from my own YoungLives mentors. God brought the right people into my life when I needed them the most, and I am so confident and thrilled that He will continue to use volunteers and mentors in the lives of the teen parents in our community.
Jayanna Hendley, Mentor