It is always very humbling to think of everything I’m thankful for — for life, health, family, friends, shelter, food, and all of our basic needs met. I am thankful I get to do work that I believe in, walking alongside neighbors aspiring for a healthy, whole, thriving community. As we head into the holiday season, these are a few things I am particularly thankful for this year.
Thankful for the blessing of living and working in such a vibrant, loving community
I learn so much from my neighbors about trust, about faith, and about joy in the midst of suffering. I so often see them show joy regardless of circumstance, and sacrificial care for fellow neighbors (like taking food to homebound individuals).
Thankful for staff who go far beyond what a job requires
Our staff invest their lives in loving their neighbors. They facilitate our programs, but really they do so much more. The relationships they build go far beyond our programs. They may drop everything to visit a teenager in the hospital, pick up someone from work when a ride falls through, or help neighbors apply for emergency rental assistance.
They connect with families by attending school events, and even fill in for parents during teacher meetings for report cards if the need arises. They work at community festivals alongside each other, attend birthday parties in Juarez, and meet up with high school grads to catch up on life. A number of former staff stay in touch with students they were close to at Ciudad Nueva and even occasionally go on vacation together with high school grads! This is just a small view into the amazing ways I see our staff connect every day in the community.
Thankful for the board and volunteers who keep us moving forward
Our board just finished an all-day development and planning retreat for 2018 and beyond. We were able to strategize for the future and plan for funding of the organization. Almost the whole board gave up an entire day for this, many needing to take vacation time in order to make it happen. I am so thankful when I see this sacrifice for the good of the community.
I am thankful for all the hundreds of volunteers who have helped mentoring, tutoring, teaching art, driving vans, picking up food, donating items to the youth stores, teaching finance, and sharing about vocation. Those hours are priceless to me.
Finally, I am thankful for all who choose to partner with us in this work of the Kingdom — individuals, churches, businesses, foundations — giving financially, donating items and use of buildings and vehicles, offering expertise and advice.
As we move into the season of thankfulness, my prayer is that each of you know the depth of our gratitude at Ciudad Nueva. Your effort and contribution are making a difference in this neighborhood and beyond. Happy Holidays, Friends!
Thank you for all that you do! If you want to know more about Ciudad Nueva or want to include us in your end-of-year giving, please click here.