By Robin Wagner
Director of Volunteer Services, City Gospel Mission
During this national Volunteer Appreciation Week, we give our sincere thanks for each of you – over 2,500 strong – who give your time and effort to build into the lives of so many people who need uplifted. You are the bedrock of our organization, and the catalysts for the life-change and spiritual growth that happens every day at City Gospel Mission. You are God’s hands and heart in action.
Today’s hero: Kirk Lake, mentoring volunteer
“I have never had that kind of friend before who likes me for who I am and not for what I can give him or do for him,” – Timothy, who had battled years of addiction and incarceration before becoming a participant in City Gospel Mission’s job placement and career development program and meeting his mentor Kirk
Kirk and Timothy had a Divine appointment to meet. Theirs is a story of friendship and fellowship. It’s about a mentor-mentee bond, and mutual growth in their faith. It all started a few months ago. And their lives haven’t been the same since.
Upon retiring from P&G after 38 years, Kirk was looking for a way to give back at a place where he could use his God-given and professional gifts to help others. So, he connected with the staff of our job placement and career development program, which includes mentoring men and women.
Says Kirk, “I began participating in the JobsPlus classes and mentoring out of thankfulness to God. What I didn’t anticipate is the blessing and joy it would be for me personally.”
Kirk found that blessing in Timothy. And Timothy found a blessing in Kirk.
Hitting it off from the start
They had a connection immediately. During the faith-based, job-readiness classes at the program’s Hamilton location, Timothy learned from and was encouraged by Kirk. Timothy learned about the importance of faith, vision, planning, responsibility, life skills, discipline, and other areas of the program’s “Holistic Hardware” tools to use to succeed on the job and in life.
Timothy sought help from JobsPlus to find a job but also to turn his life around. With steady support from Kirk, Timothy has been able to secure employment and begin saving money for a car and college. He has been sober for 5 months and vows he has left his old life behind.
Says Timothy, “Kirk helped me develop my résumé and create a career plan for my future. We talk or text almost every day. Before the coronavirus hit, Kirk would pick me up for church most Sundays. He attended my graduation, and we shared meals and talked about what’s going on in life.”
Says Kirk, “Some of these men have risen from what many would consider unimaginable conditions, to learn, and I quote Timothy, that ‘Jesus changes everything.’ I have been praying the Lord will use me to support and encourage these men, but seeing Timothy experience restoration has simply been another way the Lord has provided encouragement to me. JobsPlus mentoring has blessed me with new friendships and fellowship, and the joy of seeing Christ glorified in our brothers.”
To learn about the many ways you can volunteer at City Gospel Mission, click the volunteer button below. To learn more about our job placement & career development program, click here or email email@example.com.