In the heart of TRINICY's global mentorship community, powerful stories of connection and transformation unfold, showcasing the profound impact of Christ-centered relationships.
TRINICY MENTORSHIP: BRIDGING LIVES
Meet Thabelo, a mentee from South Africa, whose journey with TRINICY transcended beyond mentorship. Recently, Thabelo celebrated a joyous milestone – her wedding. What made this occasion even more special was the presence of her mentor, Samantha Botha, alongside a dear friend and fellow mentee, Retang.
Samantha, Retang, and Thabelo's shared experience in TRINICY not only fostered mentor-mentee relationships but forged bonds that extend to life's significant moments. Thabelo's wedding became a testament to the enduring connections formed within the program.
This story reflects the essence of TRINICY – a platform where mentorship is not just a temporary alliance but a foundation for lifelong relationships. The common thread weaving these connections together is Christ, the unifying force that glues mentors and mentees across the globe.
In TRINICY, the impact of mentorship reaches beyond geographical boundaries, creating a community where milestones are shared, and lives are intertwined. As we celebrate Thabelo's wedding, we recognize that this is just one of many stories echoing the transformative power of Christ-centered mentorship within the TRINICY family.
IN THABELO'S OWN WORDS
I am Thabelo also known as Thabie from South Africa. I joined TRINICY in 2020 while I was still a student on campus. In the past few years as a mentee, I have been mentored by Samantha, Robin, and Julie.
I spent most of 2023 on a break in order to prepare and plan for my wedding. I recently got married to Reginald, who has been a friend of mine from university. Reginald was the one who witnessed the gospel to me before salvation. His desire to marry me was more evident from November 2022 when he pursued me. on July 1st 2022, he asked me to marry him and I said "Yes". We both didn't want to be engaged for a long time.
Our wedding day was the most joyful day of my life.
We then planned our wedding to be on the 16th of December 2023. Our wedding day was the most joyful day of my life. I had Samantha (my former mentor) as one of our wedding guests. Retang, who is still part of TRINICY, was my maid of honor. The most wonderful part of my wedding was to see our families and friends being exposed to sound teaching, something my husband and I have been praying for.
Thabelo with her bridesmaids and maid of honor, Retang, who is on the right
FELLOW MENTEE ATTENDS AS MAID OF HONOR
Retang, a fellow Mentee in the mentorship program, had this to say about the event:
"Samantha, Thabie, and I had the best time ever. Our time together was fulfilling. I thank God for such lovely Christian women. We're praying for a second installment as soon as God allows it, and we're trusting that one day we'll fly to the U.S. to join the meetings that side!"
After the wedding, I moved from Johannesburg to follow my husband in Limpopo, where I will be serving alongside my husband. I am so thankful to the Lord for this wonderful gift of marriage. Please continue to pray for Reginald and I as we build our home together that we may do all things for the glory of God.
If you're inspired to be part of this incredible journey, consider joining TRINICY'S Online Mentorship Program. We invite you to apply and experience the joy of growing in our faith in Jesus Christ through the study of His word. When you join, you help create connections that span continents and foster a community where the bonds formed are as enduring as the love of our Savior.
Book Review: Passport to Heaven: The True Story of a Zealous Mormon Missionary Who Discovers the Jesus He Never Knew by Micah Wilder
By Juan Laureano Jr. | TRINICY.org
The following Book Review was originally posted on our Instagram account as a carousel post. You can check out the original post HERE.
Photo by Oliver Sjöström
Here’s the analogy that explains what’s up with you and me: We’re both stuck in a violent sea with nothing but a temporary life jacket to keep you and I afloat amid the aggressive waves. We might not even always know it, and sometimes the sea can lull us to sleep and feel like a jetted hot tub, and life seems great for awhile. But ultimately, at the end of the day, reality begs to differ. Drowning is eventually inevitable, and is only a matter of time. The dismal sea represents the darkness of our own doing, and if we’re gonna be real, we’ll each admit we’ve done stuff that’s wrong sometime in our life and that we’re not proud of. We got ourselves into this mess, and it’s really been sucking for us lately.
Don’t believe humans are capable of darkness? Check your news feed any day of the week. We’re valuable, but we also have real issues. It’s our own fault, and blaming it on others only proves the point about how self-serving and dark we can really be. I’m not gonna sugar coat it. I’m gonna be real. There’s a word for the dark stuff you and I have done. God, the One who Created us, calls that stuff ‘sin’. It’s not popular to talk about, and is almost worse than dropping an F-bomb, but I said it. S-I-N. Period.
With all the evidence for sin, if we try to deny it, that only proves its existence even more. And trying to masquerade it under any other name is only another sinful, selfish, and destructive exercise in futility that hurts us with smart sounding rhetoric and self-imposed, feel-good deception. Kind of like in The Matrix. Don’t fall for that. It’s ‘intellectual’ excrement. Even if your Ph.D. Professor with 4 degrees and 18 books teaches it, yep...still self-serving ‘intellectual’ sewage that will only make your brain reek.
Back to the analogy: But then, while we’re slowly drowning in a merciless sea of our own sin, a night storm rolls in and we cry out for help! It starts to sink in that we’re moments from death, and the darkness is poised to swallow us alive. We can’t win this. The sea is massive, cold, indifferent, brutal and there’s no love or hope in sight.
But then...something surprising and huge breaks through and we never saw it coming. Boom! The unstoppable and relentless spot-light of a Rescue helicopter punches through the rain-infested darkness. When we were screwed and helpless to rescue ourselves, it shines right on top of us in blinding light. We look up and squint as that beautiful, powerful chopper hovers right over the top of us, like it has us on a tracker somehow, or like it miraculously heard our cry for help over the drumming thunder of the storm. In seconds, the door flings open, the fast-rope comes flying out, and the rescuer slides down with lightning speed and passionate determination on His face.
“I got you!” He lifts you and I from the sea before we can choke out the words ‘Thank You’. In the most mind-blowing change of our life, we are rescued and pulled from death to life!
Maybe we’ve never realized how desperate we really are...how desperate our sin makes us... and that blissful naivete gives us the illusion of liberty to play head games and dictate the terms of our rescue, or to arrogantly deny that we need to be rescued at all. Or maybe we naively think we have all the time in the world, so why not live it up and just be in the moment, and ignore the future? Selfishly, we don’t want to admit we need rescuing, especially from a dismal situation we got ourselves into. That’s especially blasphemous to the spirit of many in our generation! We claim we’re all about honesty, anti-hate, tolerance, open-mindedness, and authenticity, but the mere suggestion that we need a Rescuer from our sin, hurts our pride, makes use defensive, and angers us to retaliate scorched earth.
Many in our generation want to think we don’t have a sin problem. That we’ve evolved beyond sin. And don’t tell us otherwise, or you’ll experience the greatest hate and intolerance you’ve ever seen! Animus to that which threatens our pride and moral autonomy manipulates us like a hand in a sock puppet. It’s sadly predictable, and for many in our generation, the sensitive underbelly and cherished self-image have become crystal clear. We proclaim tolerance and our demeanor is civil, until our sacred gods of self are challenged. When that happens, our inner Banner rages into the Hulk.
We’re really good at making excuses and trying to argue for what serves us the most. I’m calling myself out too. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. But the unintended boomerang effect can be lethal. It’s like a paradox, and contrary to our first instinct as human beings: That which violates our pride simultaneously secures our survival and provides for our elevation back to where we belong. Admitting we need a Rescuer doesn’t prompt God to shame us and push us further down into the depths of our own sea. God isn’t like that. In fact, He’s just the opposite. Our sincere cry for help rallies the forces of heaven to our rescue, and the angels throw a party when one of God’s lost sheep comes back to Him! Repentance leads to Rescue. Rescue leads to Redemption. Redemption leads to Relationship. And this relationship with God is what you and I are made for.
So, what is our selfish pride costing you and me? Is it worth it? What are we missing out on? Are we content to remain stuck in Lewis’ proverbial mud puddle, while failing to understand what is meant by God’s offer of a holiday at the beach?
Back to our Analogy: Should we complain that there was only 1 Rescuer, reject His rescue as ‘too exclusive’, and exempt ourselves from actually being rescued by Him? Or would we bear hug Him so tight that a thousand Hulks couldn’t pull us off? Those who merely want to pontificate and criticize the narrow exclusivity of the rescue, fail to understand the gravity of the situation we’re all actually in. If they had even the slightest clue, they would celebrate any rescue at all!
THE REAL QUESTION
The real question isn’t, “Is Jesus The Only Way To Heaven?” (That question totally misses the boat when you think about it). The real question is this: “Given our self-made sea of sin, why is there ANY way to heaven for us? And why did Jesus rescue us at all?” Maybe it’s time to stop playing pseudo-intellectual games and quit pretending/demanding there are many Rescuers. (Hint: there aren’t). Instead, maybe we start doing back flips because The Rescuer has us, loves us, and we don’t have to drown!
In a survival situation, there’s no time or tolerance for pseudo intellectual garbage. There’s only time and focused energy for that which will save you. The survival situation has a way of purging away the trivial so only the most important remains. There’s something about those life and death moments, hairy encounters with our own mortality, that sobers our perspective and crystallizes what’s really important, as nothing else can. It’s ride or die, and we know it. If you’ve never been in a survival situation, you may not get it. If you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’ve never heard, this is the epic good news of The Bible! Our situation was completely and hopelessly dire. Let that sink in ... for real.
JESUS, THE CHRIST
But...then came Jesus...The Heroic Rescuer!
And He changes everything!
Maybe we need to be woke to our actual condition in order to understand and really appreciate who Jesus is, what He saves us from, and His immeasurable love for you and me! Let’s stop complaining and start celebrating that Jesus loves you and I too much to let us drown in our own sea of sin! That’s astounding good news! He is Our Rescuer, and whatever darkness and sin we’re guilty of, His love is bigger, engulfing, and relentless. Check out the full story in the book of John in The Bible. It’ll blow your mind. He changes everything! Share Him with others. Find a loving, healthy, Bible-believing church that points you to The Rescuer. Cue the back flips!
Tony Banning, TRINICY Mentor and Head of Public Relations, attending his niece's quinceañera celebration with his beautiful family
WHO IS TONY?
Tony Banning wasn't always the beaming advocate for Christ and champion of youth that he is today. He walks a path illuminated by faith, but his beginning was shrouded in rejection and adversity. This is the story of a man saved from darkness and his subsequent mission to share the light with young hearts seeking their own way.
Q: Tony, let's start at the beginning. Who is the Tony that God saved out of darkness?
A: There was a time when chasing ambition was replaced by chasing purpose. My focus was on climbing the corporate ladder, building businesses, and accumulating what society deemed success. It was a hollow victory, built on sand. Through personal struggles and a growing emptiness, I finally surrendered to God's calling. That's when the real journey began.
Q: Who are you in Christ today?
A: I wear many hats – consultant, entrepreneur, educator, but at the core, I'm a servant of God. My life is a testament to His transformative power. Now, my greatest fulfillment comes from sharing that transformation with others, especially younger generations navigating their own paths.
Q: Why TRINICY? What drew you to this online mentorship program when you could have chosen from so many other options?
A: I can’t take credit for anything and firmly believe God connected me with Trinicy. I wanted to be part of a humble, authentic, and forward-thinking ministry in a remote capacity when I saw a job posted on LinkedIn for a mentor. I saw in Trinicy a beacon of hope, a platform where faith intersects with real-life guidance. It's not just about discipleship, it's about walking alongside young Christians, sharing wisdom, and empowering them to make informed choices. That resonated deeply with my own story and my desire to pay it forward.
Q: Why online mentorship? Do you think virtual connections can truly impact young hearts?
A: In today's world, online spaces are where young minds spend a significant amount of time. Trinicy leverages this familiarity to offer accessible, on-demand guidance. Mentorship transcends physical limitations, providing a safe space for open dialogue and support regardless of geographical barriers.
Q: You've been mentoring young men in the program for a while now. What are some of the highlights and challenges?
A: The highs are witnessing their "aha" moments, seeing them gain confidence, and navigating life's hurdles with newfound faith. The lows are facing anxieties, temptations, and economic uncertainties they grapple with. But the dynamics are beautiful – a mutual exchange of learning, where I share my experiences and they challenge me with their fresh perspectives. Both sides leave enriched.
Q: You juggle so many roles – how do you manage it all and still thrive as a mentor?
A: Time management is key. I go to bed at 8 p.m. and wake up at 2:00 a.m. Monday to Saturday. From the time I wake up until I go to bed, I am time-blocked and make the most of everyone/every meeting/every person/ everyday. Of course, what truly fuels my energy is the purpose behind it all. Each role serves a greater mission – building a legacy of faith and empowering future generations. When a person’s work aligns with God’s calling, it ceases to be work and becomes a labor of love.
Q: For older Christian men considering taking the Great Commission more seriously, what would you say?
A: Don't let age or self-doubt hold you back. You possess a wealth of experience and wisdom that can light the way for young minds. Step out of your comfort zone, embrace new ways of connecting, and watch your life take on a deeper meaning.
Q: Anything else you'd like to share that paints a fuller picture of you for our readers?
A: I'm an avid reader, a terrible joke teller, and a firm believer in laughter's healing power. My greatest joy comes from spending time with family, whether it's hiking in the mountains or having theological debates over dinner.
CONNECT WITH OUR MENTOR
Tony joined TRINICY in the Spring of 2023 as a Mentor. He has worked with male mentees from India and South Africa, leading them through a three-month Bible study, while also providing extra guidance on their academic, professional, and ministerial goals. Connect with Tony on LinkedIn.
JOIN THE GREAT COMMISSION!
To apply to TRINICY's Online Mentorship Program as a Mentor or a Mentee, please visit www.trinicy.org/omp or click HERE.
The views, information, and opinions expressed in this website are solely those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily represent those of TRINICY International.