Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen:
My name is Rick DiLaurenzo, and I am happy to have the opportunity to speak with you tonight…what I have to say will only take a few minutes, but I think you will agree with me that it is a very important message
Tonight’s mentoring report is both a message of success, and a request!
I am a Christian and a strong believer in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives…Well, 3 years ago one of the Board members of Liberty ministries, Ed Spencer, encouraged me to step out in faith and begin visiting some Christians behind bars…I was unsure if I had what it takes to be a mentor for Christians in prison…I am not a bible scholar, I never took any mentoring classes, really I’m nobody special. But Ed explained that mentoring was just being a friend and a coach…just caring for another Christian and encouraging him…
When I started visiting a few Christians behind bars it was one of the most amazing experiences. I could actually feel the power of the Holy Spirit, by talking with men who had experienced radical transformations in their lives. My spiritual juices flowed like when I was baptized as an adult!
Then, early this year I shared a couple of meals with the men at Liberty House, and I was impressed by their friendliness and desire to grow spiritually and become productive members of society. I spoke with Bob Thompson and learned that most of these men did not have volunteer mentors. I also knew that they were experiencing a lot of changes in their lives, and could sure use a friendly coach.
I spoke with Jonathan Lewis, Director of Residential Program, and then had a cup of coffee with James, who had been a resident at Liberty House for about 3 months. He and I have met weekly on his lunch break at work, and share sandwiches and friendship. I am so proud of James…I have spoken to his supervisors at Liberty thrift stores and know that he is a hard worker who does a great job…
And last week, he interviewed successfully for a new job in a different industry with a substantially higher pay rate! When I got the news that he won the job, you could hear my Yipee across the parking lot. (JAMES PLEASE STAND UP)
Ok, so what does it mean to be a mentor? I would like to replace the word mentor with a different word or two…perhaps “coach“ or life-coach is a lot more like it…It just takes a man, who is willing to be a listener and a friend, who will share his advice, if asked, sometimes even if not, so that another man will make better decisions, and be encouraged to keep trying, especially when it isn’t always so easy…
As a mentor or coach, I believe my first job is to encourage. When you encourage someone, you empower them and inspire them to believe in themselves, that they can do it; they can complete the program and become productive members of society, one step at a time. It’s about finding the best in an individual, and helping them to see themselves from that perspective.
It’s about believing in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives, through the efforts of Liberty Ministries and some volunteer mentors, like me, and also my friend Ray Wambold, who is the other mentor volunteer at Liberty House, But we have only two mentors at this time…
Which brings me to my request…The other men in Liberty’s program also are very friendly, and respond well to encouragement from fellow Christians. They are hand-picked on the basis of their spirit, coachability and desire to improve their lives, I believe the best help that we can give them beyond the staff, bible study and residency program, is to back them up with a volunteer Mentor.
As you know, we serve God by serving our brother…Would you like to make a difference? How about joining us in befriending a nice guy who IS working hard to transform his life…It doesn’t take much time, and we will meet with you and help you get started. You, too, can feel the awesome joy that coaching a Liberty House resident can bring to your life—you, too, will be transformed!
For more information, feel free to ask me, or email me: Rick@PrisonMentoring.com
By Rick DiLaurenzo, Editor