We all come from different backgrounds and life journeys, and so true sacrifice – true giving up of life – looks different for each of us. For some, giving financially is easy, while letting go of a seat on a crowded train is more challenging. But there is one precious commodity that is difficult to give no matter who you are: TIME. Our lives are made up of seconds, hours, minutes, days, weeks, months, years – time. It can be difficult to give up what little free time you may have to serve others. Sacrifice, in that sense, is indeed giving up “life.”
Nowadays the word sacrifice is typically used whenever someone forgoes something they want to help someone else, or gives ups something in the present to gain later on. We sacrifice going to a friend’s party so we can care for our sick children, we sacrifice luxuries so we can donate money to help those in need, we sacrifice dessert so we can lose weight, we sacrifice a high salary so we can work in low-income neighborhoods. We even sacrifice a hit so a teammate can advance to the next base.
Throughout the Old Testament, we read about sacrifices to God. In Hebrew, the word translated into English meant literally “to slaughter for sacrifice.” God’s people associated the act of sacrificing with the complete giving up of life.
Every Saturday at Exodus we witness faithful mentors giving of their time in order to build relationships with the kids here. After spending their weeks working throughout the city, our mentors wake up early on their day off to be in Washington Heights by 9:30am. Several tutors travel more than an hour to get here, and many have been doing so for more than 2 years (a couple of them have been coming for more than 6 years, and one for 12!).
This past Saturday we hosted an orientation & training for these amazing individuals, and it was a great turnout. Half were returning mentors, the other half new people, all seeking to make an impact in God’s Kingdom by discipling His children.
During the orientation, long-time mentor and Exodus board member Lana Kim reminded everyone that Jesus called children to Himself. She made the point that likewise, we need to invite the Saturday youth at Exodus into a genuine relationship with Him as well.
Executive Director, Matt Mahoney explained that the best way to engage with the students is through showing love the way they receive it, teaching wisdom, and encouraging positive character traits. Mentors themselves had the opportunity to reflect on their own childhood and share how they personally had been impacted by having someone challenge their perceptions about God and model what it looks like to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
Our mentors are not obligated to come every week, but they do. And, they do so with a true sense of joy. At the orientation, it was clear that they are really excited about the idea of reuniting with their students this fall, as they once again give up their right to their Saturday mornings to serve our kids.
If the idea of giving of yourself on Saturday mornings to serve others is appealing, and you would like to join this incredible group of mentors, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. We’d love to have you become part of the Exodus family! P.S. You’ll also have fun…