A Look into Our Vocational Training Program Center’s Mentoring and Discipleship Ministry
Sara and Shams are taking sewing classes at our Vocational Training Program (VTP) center. They cannot go to school for reasons that are beyond them, but at the center, Sara has discovered her passion for designing clothes, and Shams, for sewing them. Many of our students, like Sara and Shams, dream of starting their own businesses, so we help lead them in that direction. When they come to the center, we strive to give them hope in a brighter future. They take on a vocation and acquire computer skills and a good grasp of the English language. And because we care about their spiritual and emotional well-being, we follow up with every one of them through our discipleship and mentoring team.
When Christa graduated with a Bachelor in Business Marketing almost three years ago, she wanted to gain experience in her line of work, but she also longed to be among the people, sharing the gospel and serving God’s Kingdom. Having decided to obey God’s calling, she began volunteering at church and, almost a year ago, she joined the discipleship and mentoring team at VTP.
“When I joined the team,” Christa shared, “I was certain that God wanted me to be here because I saw the way girls opened up to me about past traumas as well as current challenges and aspirations. Recently, we have been offering discipleship lessons for youth who would like to know more about the Christian faith. Sara and Shams are one example.”
Christa starts her day in the workplace with her teammates with whom she has formed a close bond. Making the most of her morning, she reads her Bible and finishes her admin work before starting her mentoring classes, which are followed by one on one sessions with the girls. She also makes time for fun activities. They share a meal, watch a movie or play a game together. After her lunch break, discipleship classes begin, followed by another round of one on one sessions. After that, she goes to college from 6:30 to 9pm to study for her MBA.
Today, Christa is working with eight groups of girls with whom she meets once a week for mentoring and discipleship. During the mentoring sessions, they discuss topics such as time management, money management, relationships, dealing with stress, resilience, problem solving, decision making, goal setting, setting boundaries, and more. During the discipleship sessions, they discuss how everything falls into place when God is at the center of our lives. Christa also guides the girls in asking themselves the big questions such as “Why am I here?” or “What is the purpose of my life?”
“I didn’t expect that I would be so thrilled at seeing young people’s lives transformed!” Christa shared, “Samar has been a recent highlight. When she joined the center, her face was pale, and her eyes were sunken, so I resolved to stand by her as much as I could. Today, she is healthy and full of life, and looking back, she tells me how desperately she needed the mentoring classes to stand back on her feet. When she expressed how much of a positive influence I had been, I immediately pointed the way back to Jesus. He is the One who made me who I am today, and He is the One who can do the same for her.”
Christa’s prayer is to be led by the Spirit and to allow God to use her increasingly in young people’s lives:
“My heart breaks over their troubles, and they are always on my mind. My hope is to see more lives changing through VTP–to see more teens seeking and knowing Christ.”
We praise God for the opportunity to walk alongside more than a hundred youth through our Vocational Training Program, and we praise Him for those who keep coming. Following up with every single one consistently and intentionally is not an easy task, but if God is bringing them our way, then He surely gives us the means to serve and love them wholeheartedly.