After Hours: Andrew Marinelli
Owning and operating your own shop can make it hard to do anything else. Andrew Marinelli of Marinelli Auto Service in Winter Park, Florida, spends his free time mentoring today’s youth at his church. He got in to mentoring youth about eight years ago and has been doing it ever since.
“I showed up at church one day, they were asking for mentors and I just felt compelled to help,” Marinelli said.
Over the years, Marinelli has seen kids come and go, but he’s made a few lasting relationships with a few young men he still speaks with today.
“I still talk to a kid who is about to go off to college,” Marinelli said. “I reminded him not to lose his faith. It’s easy to do that when you go off to college and are around a lot of kids who don’t practice their faith the same way that you do.”
Marinelli enjoys being a mentor and said he’s learned so much by just being able to have a positive impact on these kids’ lives.
“My favorite part about being a mentor is I get to do something that matters, at least, it feels like it matters to me,” Marinelli said. “I think kids need to have multiple adults in their life who both listen and encourage them toward things that are positive, useful and true. A lot of that experience has been fun for the kids and me! Over the years, there's been lots of wrestling, dog-piles, Nerf wars, etc., and that quality time with the kids opens up the chance for conversations and relationships that might not develop otherwise.”
Some of the time, the kids Marinelli mentors at the Summit Church near Orlando might not have both of their parents in their life for one reason for another, and he wants to be there to try to fill that position as best as he can by being a man of God and being the best person he can be.
“I think many kids today suffer from a lack of loving leadership,” Marinelli said. “Many kids come from broken homes, and many kids, broken home or not, get sucked into destructive tendencies and decisions. Many of these kids also drift along without seriously searching for truth and considering how that truth should impact their life. Every kid should have at least one adult, preferably more than one, who loves them no matter what, listens to them, teaches them and walks with them through good times and bad.”
Marinelli does his best to teach kids lessons that will stick with them through their lives and have a lasting impact on who they choose to be.
“God is real, and He's the boss,” Marinelli said when referring to the lessons he teaches. “Fortunately for us, He is good and loving. The best thing you can do with your life is give it away to Him. God's forgiveness is free. We all need it because we all mess up. You don't have to earn it, nor could you. However, you are individually responsible for deciding if you want to ask God for forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a license to sin. We all reap what we sow, and this includes those of us who have already been forgiven. If we are eternal beings, and my worldview teaches that we are, this life is a tiny blip in the timeline of eternity. Life is short, and it's important we search out the truth and live accordingly. There are eternal ramifications and consequences, good or bad, attached to the decisions we make. ”
Marinelli said he will continue to be a mentor and will use his shop to build trusting relationships through honesty, fairness and kindness. Marinelli also left us with a final piece of advice:
“Seek forgiveness, know your place, treat others right and remember that God created fun; Christians should not be wooden sourpusses.”
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