By Stephanie Ziebarth, Barnabas Program Coordinator
Neil Suders and Garnet Henry have known each other since Garnet was born, but their relationship took a significant turn earlier this year. Garnet and Neil have been meeting together as a part of the Barnabas Program as a mentoring pair for over two years, and Neil asked Garnet to make the change from calling him “Mr. Neil” to just “Neil.”
“It took a while for him to break the habit,” Neil says, “but it has helped change the dynamic to one of more of a friend and mentor. It has helped us be more open with each other.”
Garnet is in Joy El’s 4.12 Leadership Training Program, and part of his commitment involves meeting with a mentor at least monthly in order to maximize his understanding and application of the other program requirements, such as Bible reading and developing his prayer life.
“Neil recently introduced me to prayer journaling,” Garnet says. “It helps to have a prayer journal on hand to keep track of prayer requests and see how God answers. I definitely see the benefits.”
Neil has recognized in Garnet a real commitment to spiritual growth. “Garnet has taken his 4.12 leadership training very seriously,” he explains. “He has a strong passion and fervor to make the most of it. Seeing him grow has been very inspiring for me. He’s very mature in his faith, does his devotions on his own, and is always wanting to learn.”
Meeting with Neil is not the only benefit Garnet recognizes as part of the 4.12 program. “All the service opportunities, all the things we learn about worldview and how to defend our faith,” Garnet lists, “and all the friends I get to meet. I have a large chunk of friends up at camp.”
Neil affirms the benefits of the 4.12 program. “Observing the structure of the 4.12 program, it really is an incredible avenue for growth,” Neil asserts. “For those who have a heart for Christ, it charts a course. It’s a great conduit for meaningful spiritual growth, and the monthly meeting with a mentor provides good structure and accountability.”
In their two-plus years of meeting together, Neil and Garnet have never missed a month.
“The credit for that goes to Garnet,” Neil insists. “I have a crazy schedule, but he has always pursued our time together. It is a joy and privilege for me to invest in a young Timothy like him.”
Please pray for the 4.12 students’ upcoming Christmas party (December 12) and Leadership Training Summit (January 3-5).
To learn more about the benefits of mentoring, check out these helpful articles.
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