From the Mentee, From the Mentor – Bronte Dobos, Dr Lucy van Baalen

From the Mentee

This year I had the exciting opportunity of being involved as a mentee in the CMDFA mentoring programme. Throughout, I’ve experienced rich fellowship and, more importantly, I’ve been brought closer to Christ.

The Bible urges us to meet with other believers, but it also gives us many examples of how people equipped with wisdom and understanding take on the role of discipling and mentoring the more inexperienced. This is one of the reasons I think that it is really important to seek out such a relationship, and it is particularly helpful having someone with a shared professional background to speak into relevant situations.

The mentoring relationship can vary widely according to personalities, location, and particular events or concerns shaping one’s life at any given time. I love that the CMDFA programme is not prescriptive, but able to be defined by the mentor and the mentee. With my mentor, I enjoyed meeting in amongst our everyday lives and various commitments, cultivating friendship over meals, and meeting with God through prayer. Our conversations would range from ethical considerations to long term plans. Inbetween catch-ups, she would continue to touch base with me and pray for me over messaging. I also really appreciated that my mentor shared freely of how God was challenging or encouraging her in her own life.

Later in the year, people participating in the mentoring programme met for afternoon tea and discussion. It was a great time of hearing how God was working in and through everyone. It was also interesting to see what mentoring looked like for a range of different people and situations. I was challenged to approach the mentoring relationship with more intentionality and consideration.

I am so thankful that my mentor demonstrated selflessness and obedience by participating in the mentoring programme this year, and I look forward to the mentoring relationships I might have in the future.

I strongly urge you to seek a mentoring relationship for yourself. The CMDFA mentoring programme facilitates this process really well. Please contact your local CMDFA group if you want a hand getting started.

Bronte Dobos
Bronte is a fifth-year medical student in Newcastle, NSW. Her husband is a school teacher and they are involved at Hunter Bible Church. Her first IMPACT was three years ago and she has loved the encouragement and sharpening of the wider CMDFA community ever since.

From the Mentor

Titus 2:1-4 says: “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (NIV)

Deciding to mentor was a no-brainer. I have long remembered a sermon on Titus 2, reminding us that everyone, apart from a newborn baby, is older than someone else, and therefore has something and someone to teach. Whatever our stage of life, or wherever we are in our own walk with God, it is commanded of us to share this with others. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says to, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and in 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says to, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

To be a mentor, you don’t have to have everything sorted in your own life – otherwise there would be no mentors…! In fact, Paul boasts in his weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on him (2 Cor 12:9). I can boast about many weaknesses as a part-time GP acupuncturist: unable to handle the time pressures and uncertainty of mainstream general practice due to anxiety; divorced and remarried; and regularly butting heads with my strongwilled daughters. However, God has shown me how he can use these struggles to encourage my mentees in their own struggles with different areas of their lives.

I have been blessed by wonderful mentees who have been firm in faith and open to sharing. It is often hard to coordinate a catch up as we are all time-poor, but Messenger / WhatsApp / texting is a great way to touch base, and is also a reminder to pray for them. They are affectionately listed on my Messenger and WhatsApp groups as “Mintees” – sweet and refreshing. It has been a joy and a privilege to journey with them for a few years and to see God working in them in their studies, work, rest, relationships and direction in life. What an encouragement! To God be the glory!

The support and training provided by CMDFA for mentoring is fantastic – face-to-face training covering the purpose and value of mentoring, online resources, and wise experienced mentors for personal support if required. There are helpful Bible resources to direct conversations around faith in work and rest, ethical issues, and prayer. The mentoring afternoon tea was a great way to share other mentor and mentee experiences and to gain ideas on how to improve the mentoring experience for all.

Meeting over a coffee to talk and pray about then important things in life – why wouldn’t you want to be a mentor?

Dr Lucy Van Baalen
Lucy is a GP acupuncturist, passionate about “shalom” and healing on all levels (spiritual, emotional, relational and physical). She is remarried and a mother of two teenage girls. She is a child of God – Yahweh is her Father, her Saviour is her brother, all Christians are her brothers.
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