And just like that, it’s almost the end of another year! I can’t believe I’m already halfway through my fourth year serving with Mama Africana. I’m filled with joy thinking about the sweet times I’ve had with the girls so far this year. I serve with Ebony Bridge, our program for middle schoolers. This group has more than doubled in size from last year, going from about three girls with four mentors to eight girls with three mentors. As you can imagine, more girls and fewer mentors can be somewhat of a challenge at times. Working a full-time job and balancing other things that I’m involved in, some weeks it can be overwhelming trying to plan and coordinate an Ebony Bridge meeting. But, as stressed and scattered as I may go in, I always leave with a little bit more peace and joy, reminded that God is in control and when we submit to him, He can do more than we expect or imagine. God is faithful! And he answers prayers! I am thankful that God has allowed our times together to be filled with laughter and fun. Thursday nights are becoming a space where the girls feel comfortable enough to be themselves and to share with us. Even more, they can relate to one another and grow in friendship. I have loved seeing the natural leadership qualities of some of the girls come out as they are quick to share advice and give encouragement to other girls in the group. As a mentor, I get to help expose the girls to new things. Whether it’s trying new food or going to a new place, I love seeing the wonder and excitement on their faces. I’m hoping in the new year we can build on this great beginning so that our relationships with the girls grow deeper and richer.