These were the words of Doug, following his first meeting with his new “Ally.” At BridgeBuilders, every student that enters our Life Skills and Vocational Training program is offered the option of being partnered with an Ally, what we used to call a mentor. Our Allies are trained volunteers who meet at our offices in West Dallas over lunch once-a-week for three weeks while students complete the program. Allies offer vital support and encouragement to our students, like Doug, as they navigate the often-turbulent road to self-sufficiency.
Doug is a 51-year-old man who despite serving ten years in the U.S. Navy ended up alone, broke, and homeless. Doug arrived at BridgeBuilders, like so many of our students, the broken result of: parental neglect, poor choices, substance abuse, and habitual failure. In essence, he was a broken man who felt rejected and without value. In other words, the Adversary had made great progress toward his goal of destroying the image of God in Doug!
As such, the fact that a stranger would simply listen to Doug’s story, without judgment, seemed to validate his human dignity. Doug is a kind and capable man who simply needs a hand up, someone to care about him and what he is going through. This is often the small “spark” that ignites hope in people like Doug; hope that tomorrow might be better; hope that his future might be better than his past, and hope that maybe there is a God who loves him.
While we all share the same fallen nature; we don’t all experience the same measure of nurture. It is often the lack of nurturing that magnifies our fallen nature and thus shapes the dysfunction that hinders us from flourishing. The population that we serve has often suffered extremes in regard to their lack healthy nurturing. However, these are the same people to whom Jesus seemed to be so attracted in his own ministry (see Mark 2:17).
If you want to see why Jesus was so attracted to the least, come and serve. You will be blessed indeed!
Want to Help?
If you would be interested in serving as an Ally or want to learn more, click here, complete the form, and someone will contact you to discuss next steps.