“We can give our money to support others, but it’s really in the giving of ourselves that is most valuable.”
“I come simply to bring them the message of Christ and to remind them that He knows them personally and cares for them.”
“I wasn’t sure if I could make a difference,” thought Sandra after she was invited to help minister to youth in juvenile hall. Nevertheless, Sandra agreed to volunteer weekly through the Pacific Youth Correctional Ministry (PYCM). PYCM focuses on mentoring at-risk and incarcerated youth in Orange County. Sandra describes Juvenile Hall as “a dark controlled environment of inhumanity where there is no privacy or individuality. The youth are called by their last names and are never praised or encouraged.”
Juvenile Hall is sad and depressing. These kids are alone. A lot of them have nowhere to go. They have been condemned by the world. They need Jesus and they need mentoring. As a mom with two boys of her own, Sandra feels especially called to serve the at-risk boys. “I had mentors in my life and that made a difference, so that’s why I’m there. I invest in them because they are valuable and redeemable,” said Sandra.
Sandra and other volunteers from St. Andrew’s share God’s Word, help lead worship and act as mentors. When Sandra visits the youth, she looks them in the eye, says hello and shakes their hands. She communicates that they have value to her personally and to Jesus Christ.
Sandra just tries to “say what God wants me to say” while serving and then she has to trust God to open the kids’ ears and hearts. “I want to be an effective messenger. I’m not getting anything back, except knowing that I’ve served Christ in the those moments.”