Imagine a wholesome haven in the heart of a troubled neighborhood where your daughter could go after school. Then imagine her being matched with a mentor to oversee tutoring, social development, cultural enrichment, health education, and career screening. That’s what Imagine Me Ministries is all about and more. Founded by Pascha Lee, the mentoring ministry reaches out to young girls in the West Baltimore area. The ministry also serves as an outreach arm for the Christian Liberty Church planted by Pascha’s husband, Wayne, near their childhood roots.
Pascha’s desire to share hope and love with struggling adolescent girls was sparked while serving in youth ministry. She wanted to share “the kind of hope that won’t go away . . . the hope of Jesus Christ.”
Amid the onslaught of continuous discouragement impacting her community, Pascha took action. “Every girl needs love, support, encouragement, a safe place to dream and grow, and a true picture of a life with Jesus Christ,” she said.
Now, 14 years later, she has gained valuable insights useful for any mentoring program:
- Screen mentors thoroughly
- Differentiate between “guiding” and “commanding”
- Create a nonjudgmental atmosphere
- Develop stable relationships
- Cater activities toward the primary target’s needs
- Pray, pray, pray
Pascha warns against using established protocols when dealing with young people. “We do not and cannot have a cookie-cutter approach because it would prove to be ineffective simply because of how complex God created us,” she said. Thus, curriculums are designed to be relevant and biblically based, depending on the needs.
Pastor Wayne plays a vital role in the ministry by sharing how a godly young woman should act and be treated.
Apart from recruitment and funding, one of the biggest challenges is counteracting the negative influences of the neighborhood by using the promises of God to reinforce hope. The rewards can be worthwhile, leading to life-changing decisions—eternal decisions. Miracle Everett and her mentor, Shelly, can attest. Not only did Miracle decide to follow Jesus, her father, brothers, and other family members did also.
Pray for the ministry to have Holy Spirit-guided curriculums and to enroll participants longing to embrace a life of promise.
Karen O’Kelley Allen, an Alabama native, can relate to the joys and trials of mentoring in different but still challenging circumstances (ewerblessed.com).