Honoring Sondra TenClay

by | Nov 22, 2016 | Love Stories | 0 comments

Sondra TenClay, my mentor, was much more than a mentor—she was also wise, generous, thoughtful, intentional, non-judgmental, loyal, loving, honest and God-fearing. It’s my honor to write about her.

In 2014, I sought services through Love INC following a very stormy time in life; I experienced an unexpected separation and subsequent incarceration of my husband of 17 years. This storm threw me into a bit of a tail-spin, but I was stubbornly determined to go-it alone until I finally had to admit my efforts were falling short.

I recall walking into Love INC, filled with embarrassment and anger. “I need help,” I said to the kind receptionist. Very quickly God revealed that I was in a place of refuge, a place of rest. A few weeks into the Life Skills Program, I physically began to feel lighter. The program was becoming a highlight of my week, and I was eager to be paired with a mentor.

The first day I met Sondra I rejoiced, and the prayer Sondra spoke that first evening is etched in my heart. She simply prayed: ‘God, make it impossible for Leanna to do it all on her own so that she becomes more reliant upon You.’ How, after only one hour, did she know exactly what to pray? As I drove away, I wept thankful tears.

Sondra and I would meet for one hour on Thursday nights and share updates on budgets, bills, challenges, faith, health, parenthood, work and life in general. She never allowed me to feel sorry for myself, but she was always gracious, fiercely nonjudgmental and a huge cheerleader for healing.

Sondra embodied the simplest approach to mentoring. She taught through love and kindness; she shaped lives by simply giving time and a listening ear. Not overly quick to offer advice, Sondra would listen and then ask questions to make me come to the right conclusions on my own. What a blessing!

When a mentor makes a small lasting change in the path or direction of a person’s journey it’s correct to assume the long term impact will be significant.

In August of 2016, Sondra was made complete and entered heaven after her brave battle against cancer. For those she impacted and mentored, life will forever be changed, not because she was some large, showy or loud mentor, but because she did mentorship in the purest form. She gave her time, listened, cared and prayed.

Sondra was a friend, a lovely soul and an instrument in God’s big picture; she will forever serve as a role model.

-Leanna, Life Skills Graduate

Are you interested in being a part of what we’re doing through the Life Skills Program? Love INC Partners with over 60 families a year with our Life Skills Program. This partnership requires teachers for a variety of classes ranging from budgeting, faith and healthy relationships. It also requires just one hour a week from volunteer mentors like Sondra to partner with participants like Leanna as they work towards success and transformation.

We aren’t looking for experts.

We’re looking for people who want to invest in people because that’s what Christ calls us to do.

For more information or to get involved, email [email protected] or call 616.662.3300×127.


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