Did you head to the State Fair this year? Our staff did! We walked there one afternoon for staff bonding and fried everything. We definitely weren’t unique in that. When the State Fair opens, Dallas shows up. I’m guessing many of our mentors, proteges, and friends made it out to the Fair for Fletcher’s corn dogs and a photo of Big Tex.
The State Fair is the one time of the year when positive attention focuses in on this neighborhood. The rest of the year, the neighborhood can be forgotten. Or, the attention it gets can be negative and cynical. Dallas can forget the incredible potential Fair Park has.
As a mentor, you don’t forget this neighborhood eleven months out of the year. Instead, you stay invested in South Dallas/ Fair Park through a mentoring relationship with a child who lives here. You see the difficulties of growing up in an inner-city area, but you also get to see the incredible potential the people in the community have.
Our proteges are talented, funny, and resilient. As we mentor and disciple them, we are training them to be godly leaders in their community. We are teaching them to be the kinds of leaders who are invested in South Dallas/Fair Park year round and the kinds of godly leaders who will bring positive attention to the neighborhood.
And, as we stay faithful and consistent, we remind them that we have not forgotten them. More importantly, we remind them that God has not forgotten them and will never forget them. We are consistent because we believe in a faithful, consistent God.
Mentors stay year-round, even when the deep fryers and ferris wheel are turned off. Mentors keep pursuing a child, even when phone numbers change or a 7th grader thinks he’s “too cool” for his mentor.
We are thankful for your continued investment in the neighborhood, and we want to encourage you to continue being relentless as you pursue a relationship with your protege, get to know his family, and encourage her heart. Unlike the State Fair, mentors don’t pack up and leave. Instead, we keep showing up all year long.