Breakfast in Paradox

A couple of weeks ago, an opportunity to meet with someone on a regular basis was presented to me. I was shocked, honored, and humbled by the invitation. This was such a big deal that I had to go through an application and approval process to even attend the first meeting.

Last week, I received approval and yesterday scheduled the first meeting. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon, but the first meeting was this morning over breakfast. I was super-nervous and super-excited all at the same time. My prayer the whole way to the meeting was, “God, please help me not to say anything stupid.”

Today was my first of many meetings with Osman, a 3rd grader at Polo Road Elementary, the school where Awaken meets. His teacher, Mrs. Goebel, approached me a couple of weeks ago about mentoring Osman. He’s had some trouble in class and in socializing with his classmates and she thought a positive male influence might make a difference. Like I said, I was blown away by her invitation.

I didn’t get to spend a ton of time with Osman this morning, but in the time we did have, he shared enough to break my heart. And, I didn’t have to push him to share. When I would ask about his favorite things to do, he would somehow get to deep issues going on in his heart and life. He wants to talk. He wants someone to listen. He wants someone to help him.

The whole time we talked and as I drove away, I kept asking myself, “What if I would have said ‘no?'” What if I would have played the whole, “I’m too busy,” or “I don’t know what to do/say” card.  And then I thought, “How many more kids like Osman are there in that school…and every school in our district?”

Then, I got fired up! God has opened a great door for effective work in our schools and specifically for Awaken, at Polo Road! A couple of the kids in Osman’s class asked Mrs. Goebel, “Can I have a buddy like Mr. Jay?” These kids are hungry for someone to believe in them. And contrary to popular belief, our schools are open for people who are willing to serve, bless, and mentor these kids.

I don’t know where this is going to go and frankly, I am still super-excited and super-nervous. But, I know God is in it, not just for Osman, but for countless others.

Awaken Church…we have a huge opportunity! I hope you realize that! All that we have done to this point has paved the way for great opportunity and influence. God has opened a great door for us and we need to leverage it to the best of our abilities, trusting that God will use us in these kids lives. We say it all the time, but this is a chance for us to believe God, not just believe in Him!


11 Comments on “Breakfast in Paradox”

  1. Sam Frye says:

    That’s so awesome man!!! I def. want to be part of doing some mentoring to these kids!! Praying for ya! Can’t wait to be down there next week!!

  2. loved, loved, loved this post!!! that’s why you’re there.

  3. Rob Edwards says:

    God has you exactly where He needs you to be! This is so awesome! Keep us posted!

  4. Jay, I am going to post part of this on my blog with a link to yours, it fits in with something I posted earlier today…. Hope that’s ok.

  5. Jimmy Smith says:

    Good stuff Jay! Can’t wait to hear more about it tomorrow. Looking forward to breakfast with you my friend.

  6. Leslie Wiseman says:

    Jay, This sounds so awesome! I can’t wait to see all that God is going to do in Columbia. I look forward to hearing more.

  7. Kevin Womack says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Shannon says:

    Jay that is great! Mike Ward and I did that when we used to walk our girls to school with kids that ate breakfast at school and it really was great to see how much they looked forward to it and how much we got out of it. Sorry about the run on sentence. We miss you guys!

  9. Jay:

    I’m doing the same thing up in “Sparkle-City”(Spartanburg). It’s been great! Let me encourage you to just take it as it come. My kid’s dad is in prison for murder. It was probably week 5 before he shared that with me…and I wasn’t asking!

    Also, pour on the praise. Give him an affirming nickname. Just pour your life into him as if he were your son. Find out what motivates him (candy, food, ice cream at lunch, etc…).

    I look forward to seeing the updates!

  10. jayhardwick says:

    dwayne – thanks so much for the helpful advice! will definitely put it to use!

    thanks to all for your encouragement – pray that God will do something amazing in osman’s life!

  11. Lamont says:

    Awesome! just of think of how I fill working all of te volunteers in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program hre in Greenville everyday. I should have asked you to volunteer while you were here…..

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