Carol Ann Castagna

I view my interaction with the mentored as a missions-oriented charge. The reason for this is that I am a missionary at heart. I have a heart for missions since at age 12, I felt the Lord’s call on my life to serve the Him, lead souls to Christ and coach them forward in His way.

In my little corner of the world, around the bend, next door or up the street, I show the same heart for missions. My heart for God. My mission field may be right in my own backyard. It is remains my outreach but I am bringing people into my surrounding area -into my home. This gives a warm, cozy, comfortable touch to my mission and prayerfully my impact. Ultimately, my in-home reach becomes an extension of my outreach to people in my small town.

I’ve mentored young women who have been involved in substance abuse primarily in individual and in a group therapy and have done some volunteer work as well. When one becomes entangled physically and mentally in the drug culture, the only way to wholeness is through the power of the Lord working in his or her life: the effect of drugs taps into every aspect of the person’s life, i.e., personality, work, relationships, honor, trust, mood, socialization and the list goes on. No matter where a person may be in the journey, hope burns still when the Lord is beckoned through prayer to take control.

Casual conversations around the table with coffee, tea and crumb cake, Danish or cookies –nothing fancy. All that matters is sincere communication, a loving heart and a desire to impart the light of Christ. These are not the only times for gathering. You can be shopping together in a department store or a fresh produce stand; going for a walk may serve as your opportunity for mentoring. Your message of God’s love is carried in your attitude and behavior; the way you deal with people, your manner of interaction, your courtesy in driving, your communication at Bible Study or church, your conversation with her or him on the phone and the way you present yourself in a multitude of settings speaks volumes to the person who desires to emulate you.

My maternal grandmother, a strong and loving woman of God, was my mentor since I was a young girl of 7 years old. We sat together in church on Sunday mornings; we went for walks r; read the Bible together and thoroughly enjoyed being with each other. I wanted to be like her because she was kind and loving and fun. When she spoke about the Lord, there was a spiritual lilt in her step, a kind of tangible joy. The exchange between the Savior and her. The trust she experienced in Him. Her gentle voice, her sincere and encouraging manner with those around her. I guess I watched her every move and loved her because of her love for the Lord. My relationship with my grandma became deeper and stronger as the years passed and I treasure the gift of having known her as I did. She so endeared herself to me that I chased her zeal for God’s great love and cherished her sweet spirit of kindness and patience and of Christ-likeness. As I grew in faith and in my walk with the Lord, I developed a passion for souls.

Mentoring is not just a one-hour-a-week encounter. It will occur for as long as you mentor -and in whatever situation you find yourself with the mentored. Your behavior in conjunction with your words represents who you are in Christ.

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  NKJV