The Sunshine Rescue Mission in Flagstaff, Arizona is a great place for guys to start new lives. They come here from jail or off the streets. Some are desperate for help to get free from addictions. I'm not sure what the statistics of success are, but it doesn't matter to me. God desires that none should perish and so do I.
Guys leave the Mission for many reasons. Some have an opportunity to get a job and live on their own. That's the best case scenario. Many times guys fall back into addictions or don't like the rules of being in a program. I know it's a normal part of running a program that some guys will leave. Mental illness can play a part. It's not worth the time to list all the reasons why guys walk out on a program and the people who can help them. As a mentor, it hurts whenever anyone leaves.
Letting go and giving up are two totally different actions. A mentor should never give up, but it may be wise to let go. When a guy decides he'd rather live in the woods and have his freedom to drink himself into oblivion.- you have to let go. Visiting him in the woods is a way of letting him know you haven't given up on him.
Guys who leave the Mission usually have a phone. If the phone stays on, it's a great tool to maintain connections. Even if a guy never comes back you can still be a voice in his life. Peter Drucker wrote a management book called "The Effective Executive." Here's a phrase that stood out in my mind that I believe came from his book: "A good plant manager takes the time to walk the entire plant everyday." What that means to me as a mentor is this, "A good mentor takes the time to be present in a person's life as often as possible."
I know guys will leave no matter what you do. I have found that the greatest success stories come from the greatest challenges. The guys that are the hardest to deal with often become leaders with experience in dealing with rough characters because they've walked the walk.
As long as I'm the Director of Youth With A Purpose, we won't give up on anybody - even when we have to let go for awhile. Sometimes we threaten guys in a good natured way. If a few phone calls or text messages go unanswered, we tell guys we will hunt them down! A mentor genuinely gives his or her heart away and believes in the best for everyone.
Here's a few more Drucker quotes followed by some life-changing Bible verses to finish up this story. Seize the day my friends and never give up on anybody including yourself. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Jesu loves you and so do we.
“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old”
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.”
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Colossians 3:23-24 Amplified Bible
Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.