Assistant Faith Editor
Ministering to children who have never had a chance to hear the gospel through the act of being a role model is the mission behind Mission Shawnee.
Mission Shawnee Director Ryan Brooks and Student President of Mentors Club Sarah Dean describe what the Mentors Club is and its place in the purpose of Mission Shawnee.
“Mentors Club is a way to get people on campus aware of what Mission Shawnee does through their mentor program.
Mentors Club is a way to create community on campus and to people aware of being a mentor,” Dean said.
“Mission Shawnee is a nonprofit,” Brooks said.
‘Our primary focus is to provide mentor relationships to kids in the community,” and, “Our After-School program, Summit, involves elementary and middle school kids on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon where volunteers can be a mentor to a kid.”
“That kid will be paired with that mentor on a weekly basis to help them grow developmentally,” he said.
Brooks said there are three different areas they want to see the children develop in.
“First is their education, to be able to help them reach goals that they need to. To either reach their grade level or go above,” he said.
“Second, we focus on social/emotional growth. To know how to handle certain situations properly and knowing how to have the appropriate reactions in situations.
Gaining those life skills that are really important.”
“Finally, be able to have spiritual growth. So, we to help them see the gospel and see who Jesus is and introduce them to the Bible, if they are not familiar with the gospel or don’t attend church. A lot of the kids going through our programs are hearing a lot about stories within the Bible for the first time.”
Brooks said it’s a great experience to be given the opportunity to share the gospel and have conversations with a mentee about Jesus.
Mentor and mentee pairings are even provided different videos to watch so they can choose what they want to learn together.
Dean describes her experience with her mentee through the Mentors Club, describing it as a gateway to attend Mission Shawnee.
Dean said being a part of Mentors Club is a gateway to attend Mission Shawnee and that they prefer to have events together as a club.
“Our future plan is to build more community on campus. To… have meetings and little gatherings,” she said.
“Bowling, carpooling and prayer… little things like that to let us get to know each other as mentors because when we are at Mission Shawnee… the group of mentors get to see each other but not hangout. We are supposed to [focus on being] with our mentees.”
“It’s important to have those times to get to know each other outside of that context of Mission Shawnee.
But also, to have meetings to let people know what is happening and to get more people involved,” she said.
Dean said they are always looking for more people to join, because they more mentors the group has the more children that can join Mission Shawnee.
“This club is meant for anyone who is interested,” Brooks said.
“It’s not just for OBU, but it is also for the community at large.”
Brooks wants Mission Shawnee to be a place where meaningful mentor relationships with kids in Shawnee can blossom.
“Our mission statement is to educate and equip individuals through mentoring relationships rooted in the love of Christ,” he said.
Dean shares some obstacles and blessings that come with being a mentor at Mission Shawnee.
“Time commitment can be difficult. It is just two hours a week… but that can sometimes be hard… Sometimes I feel two hours out of my day would get in the way of doing my homework or prevent me from studying for a test,” she said.
“But every time I get there… it’s just a blessing to get there and spend time with my mentee… Just being there for your kid… that can be huge for them.”