A message from the director: Sami DiPasquale.
I recently returned from the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) conference in New Orleans. I attended with some of the Ciudad Nueva staff and border fellows, and what an amazing time of growth and inspiration we had! The CCDA annual conference is a gathering of about 3,000 individuals who are interested in living out the gospel in word and deed in under-resourced communities around the country (and the globe). It’s a very diverse, beautiful group; a group struggling to discern how best to love God and love their neighbors in some of the hardest, most forgotten corners of the world.
Over the years, practitioners of Christian Community Development (CCD) have come up with a number of key components that have proved effective for long-term transformation in distressed communities:
- Living in the community (Relocation)
- Reconciliation (with God and neighbor)
- Sharing of resources
- Leadership development
- Listening to the community
- Church based
- Holistic approach
These components are not a stepped process; rather they reflect a lifestyle, a philosophy, grounded in faith, of walking alongside and empowering neighbors in challenging environments. Honestly, for me they serve as good guidelines for engaging in any community, but the heart of CCDA is on transforming economically challenged neighborhoods.
I’m excited to explore each of the 8 key components of Christian Community Development in the upcoming months – what each component entails and how we can live out that component in our Ciudad Nueva context. May God give us wisdom as we strive to build bridges in our beautiful border community.
If you’re very interested in learning more, we are working with a number of others from around El Paso in establishing a leadership team to form a local network of like-minded Christians seeking to see these principles, this lifestyle, enacted in El Paso. The leadership team will help chart the future course in El Paso, plan events, etc. Please contact Sami at email@example.com if you would like to learn more, or if you want to learn about our monthly networking sessions.