You’ll see him doing all kinds of jobs around Ciudad Nueva. If you haven’t already, you will want to meet Joe.
Joe Gavaldon had been working with Young Life for 25 years in south El Paso and had been collaborating with Ciudad Nueva youth programs. Then one day, it became clear that it was time for Joe to move on from Young Life. No one was expecting this — least of all Joe — and immediately Joe came to work at Ciudad Nueva.
“I started the next day,” says Joe. “I felt like it was from the Lord because I was leaving one ministry and then coming to another the very next day. I enjoyed Young Life, ministering to so many kids and families, but I was excited to see what would happen next.”
What happened next was a great thing both for Joe and for our organization. Joe brings his years of experience ministering to families and youth in the El Paso area and his great energy and passion for connecting with people inside the community.
Community outreach is just like being a good neighbor
Officially, Joe’s position is “Outreach Director for Ciudad Nueva Community Outreach.” What that means is really “jack-of-all-trades.” Joe does a little bit of everything, but his outreach to families is at the heart of all of it.
“The relationships with the families, the parents, and the grandparents are what I love the most,” says Joe. “They love to come up and say hi at all the events. They are so very grateful for what we are doing.”
Joe goes out into the neighborhood and regularly visits families. He is there to make connection and build relationships, and at the same time to find out what is going on in the community and to hear their needs.
“If I hear a need, I drop everything and go do what is needed,” says Joe.
Ciudad Nueva works closely with St. Clement’s and other churches to connect our neighbors with resources. Maybe they can’t pay a bill or they need to find a different apartment. Joe helps them make those connections.
All in a day’s work
In addition to being the main community outreach coordinator, you will find Joe working with the elementary and middle school programs. He jumps in wherever there are needs, and because he knows so many of the families, he checks up to make sure the kids are getting what they need while at their weekly programs.
“Something happens when you are with these kids for so many years,” says Joe. “Your heart melds with them, and these become long-lasting relationships. Years later, they will come up and say ‘Thank you Joe for being like a big brother or like a father.’”
At the food co-op, Joe works with Tamy and Alma to support the community members and help organize the food pick-up from the grocery stores. He also coordinates with the store owners to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Growing into the future
Joe has dreams to see Ciudad Nueva grow so that more families can be blessed by the programs. He would love to have a newer space for the kids and families.
“My main goal is to have a great building for Ciudad Nueva,” says Joe. “We have been praying about fixing up an older church in the neighborhood or maybe finding a building that the city might not need anymore and moving in there. Everything takes more funding, but I keep working on it!”
Who is Joe?
Joe has been married to his lovely wife Sylvia for 48 years and they have three children and seven grandchildren!
“In my free time, aside from going fishing, I enjoy helping coach a little league team,” says Joe. “My grandson is 8 years old and he has been playing ball since he was 5. Now I get to coach all him and all his buddies.”
Joe doesn’t have plans to retire anytime soon. He is so passionate about the vision of community outreach at Ciudad Nueva and loves working with the families so much. “Working with St. Clement’s is also a huge blessing. They are a blessing for Ciudad Nueva. We would not be able to be where we are without them.”
Come join Joe and make some new friends and wonderful connections. Call us today at 915-521-2951 or contact us here to get involved.