You Don't Have to Be Young to Be a Youth Mentor
J.Ann Downing is 70 years young. And one of her favorite things to do is work alongside youth. She loves their energy. She loves to see firsthand what is going on with our youth today and not just read about it. And she enjoys following their journey through life from a child, to a college student, to a married person that starts a family and has children of their own.
J.Ann has been involved with the St. John Youth Group since 1996. She has accompanied them on many work trips such as the Work Camp Home Repair Mission Trip to Cincinnati and the LCMS mission trip to the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. And though she loved serving individuals in need during these trips, she mostly enjoyed working alongside the youth and together sharing the good news about Jesus - just as Jesus challenged His disciples to tell others about the love of God: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
"Even after all these years, I am still amazed how easily youth adapt to service work, their compassion for those they serve and their willingness to interact with those they serve," said J.Ann, "I also love to see when parents and children do servant work together."
The more adult mentors who seek out students and help the students apply faith to daily life, the better. “You don’t have to be young to be a youth mentor – give it a try.”
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