Hellen’s Heroes: Mentors Matter

“We ARE as strong as the TEAM.” Success is predicated on the grace of God and on the mentors God brings into our lives. Mentors do matter.

YOU can matter. We encourage you to find someone in great need to mentor. It is an ordinary feat that can make an extraordinary difference.image2

An unknown source once stated, “The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.” Well, umph is easier said than done. We believe mentoring is part of the umph equation. As our missionary, Jimmy Cooper, insists, “Our kids have the potential. They need opportunity!” Jimmy has eagerly responded to God’s call to mentor kids in Kitale.


In April 2017, Li Zeng and I traveled to Kitale, Kenya and conducted a six-day leadership academy. The purpose was two-fold. First, the leadership team taught the 13 girls to plan ambitiously, prepare persistently, persevere courageously, receive graciously, and serve/give lovingly.


Second, Professor Li and Dr. Cooper introduced the Hellen’s Heroes: Mentors Matter campaign.  Ten successful women and 10 high school/college mentorship partners from the states were paired with 10 girls attending the Seeds High School. Video clips of the mentors were shared as well as a booklet filled with encouraging words and messages of hope by the mentors. Professor Li and Dr. Cooper also distributed to the girl’s care packages given by the younger mentors from the states.


Benjamin Mays exclaims, “It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.” It was exciting to hear the girls DREAMS about being doctors, lawyers, business women, teachers, accountants, and so forth throughout the six-day academy. It was especially exciting for the girls to hear a Kitale physician, Dr. Masabi, a lawyer, an educator, and a business woman successful from the Kitale community tell about their journey from extreme poverty to successful vocations. It was especially educational and motivational for the kids to hear about their strategies for overcoming poverty.


The girls learned at the six-day academy that God made them as masterpieces and that He had ambitious plans for them (Ephesians 2:10). Hellen Makani and several other academy leaders helped the girls learn about the Godly qualities needed to achieve those ambitious plans. In one activity, each girl set in the front while friends described her “masterpiece” qualities. Each recipient of compliments was overwhelmed by the words of endearment.


Presently, there is a communication campaign between the kids and their mentors. Approximately every other month, e-mails are exchanged. It is our hope that skyping, video exchanging, and possibly some face-to-face encounters may occur. The picture represents the kids heroes, Pastor Richard and Hellen Makani, Hellen’s heroes, the kids, and the Kitale community examples of the “umph” equation!