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April 18, 2021 | Stephan Tchividjian
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Time is so unique, so vastly different than other resources in this world. It’s one of the most important and valuable gifts that God has given us. So, what we do with it is important!
Frank and Tari realized this! Having retired in 2000, Frank shared, “We bought a boat in San Tropez and sailed the Mediterranean for eight years before settling up north half the year and in South Florida the other half. We found ourselves in the autumn of our days, after enjoying a spectacular life, but still missing something. We thought, How can we be fulfilled sitting around waiting for our number to be called when we could be serving God by sharing our experiences with younger couples?
“We realized there has to be more purpose to the rest of our lives than playing golf and going to restaurants. It’s like Pastor Doug says, ‘If you’re not dead, you’re not done.’” And so, Frank and Tari decided to make time to mentor younger couples. “The pay is zero,” Frank said, “but the rewards are enormous both now in this life and in the next.” “You can’t imagine what a blessing it is to see people come in to our mentorship time so tense, upset, broken, and leave with joy and hope after even the first meeting,” said Tari.
Now, you may be thinking . . . That sounds great, but it also sounds like a lot of time and work! It doesn’t have to be! Tari said, “We put in a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to be that time consuming. It could be a once a month thing! Taking them to dinner, coffee, a Bible study. It can be a few hours per month, but those few hours can make a lifetime of difference for that couple. The most important thing for people to know who are seeking mentorship is knowing that somebody cares for them!”
What about to the person or couple that feels ill-equipped? “We are totally inadequate. We all are,” said Tari, “but it’s amazing how the Holy Spirit will guide you. It’s amazing watching the Holy Spirit at work in mentorship. He is the biggest guide in mentoring.
“There are a lot of couples out there who would be great mentors. They just need encouragement and a support system. And the great thing is that here at Calvary, you have that! There are a lot of wonderful resources for mentoring and an amazing team here to support and help you go after your one!”
Take what you’ve learned in your marriage journey and share it with another couple! Contact RayF@CalvaryFTL.org to get started.
UPDATE: This article was written based on an interview conducted with Frank and Tari just prior to the Coronvirus global pandemic. Since then, Frank and Tari—who as senior adults are among the most at-risk demographic for COVID-19—have continued to find ways to pour into couples and use their time to serve the Lord and His people.
Via e-mail, Tari recently shared, “As seniors who are medically compromised, we are affected to a greater degree than most by the Coronavirus pandemic. And as such, we have chosen to isolate to the strictest level that is prudent. With all the inconvenience that this entails, we have found a silver lining included . . .
"Our very busy lives have slowed down and we have been given the opportunity to spend much more time together and with the Lord. Not only that, but we've also learned to use virtual tools rather than meeting in-person in order to continue mentoring and counseling couples. We've found that this is a very effective medium for us and the couples, as it eliminates drive times, the need to find babysitters, and other possible inconveniences and hinderances. We've also found that the need for mentoring has increased with the added levels of stress and anxiety caused by the fear of contracting the virus, the loss of jobs, and having kids home from school and the entire family closed in.
"Helping others with encouragement and hope during their struggles in this uncertain time is a blessing from God for us. We pray that He will keep us strong and healthy so that we may continue to serve Him in such a meaningful way. And we pray that other couples like us would be inspired to use this extra time and invest it back into the kingdom by serving as mentors!"