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Serving Each Other - How Ciudad Nueva Balanced Safety and Ministry in 2020

Serving Each Other – How Ciudad Nueva Balanced Safety and Ministry in 2020

Community involvement is part of the strong, meaningful foundation Ciudad Nueva is built on. We are passionate about human connection. Seeing our neighbors volunteer and serve each other fills us with joy. Throughout the last year, creating a safe co-op has been especially challenging. We love seeing our community members face to face. 

 COVID-19 forced us to change how we interact with our community. For the safety of our neighbors and staff, our team put their heads together to work out the best way to continue our ministry and partnerships while maintaining social distance. Staff, volunteers, and the El Paso community rallied to carry out the Ciudad Nueva mission. Our virtual and in-person programs evolved. 

Although nothing could have prepared us for what 2020 brought, the efforts of so many dedicated people behind the scenes brought about a bountiful and blessed year. 

Let’s take a look at how we adopted some necessary changes last year to keep everyone healthy.

How We Revamped Safety

To prevent the spread of the virus, it is important to social distance and minimize physical contact with others. In creating a safe co-op with the community, we scaled down our number of volunteers. There were many generous people who had the drive and passion to volunteer last year. Even though we couldn’t safely use all of these precious people, we are so thankful and filled up by their prayers and desire to help.

Alma Martinez, our wonderful Food Co-op Coordinator and Community Connector, took up the unique task managing a small, but dedicated group of volunteers from the neighborhood. Ciudad Nueva’s food co-op was able to continue through the pandemic thanks to her team’s discernment, steadfast efforts, and willingness to work through such difficult circumstances. The food co-op was a shining light this past year. Many families in our community were blessed by it! 

In addition to scaling down our volunteer list, we made other changes to maintain safety. The food co-op typically looks like face-to-face fellowship, prayer, and laughter. Our team missed seeing our wonderful volunteers and neighbors in person! We altered the food co-op by amping up the delivery process. Handing items directly to our dear neighbors changed to contactless delivery. 

We had the privilege of lovingly and safely preparing grocery boxes, which were dropped off curbside throughout our community. It is an honor to serve alongside the El Paso family. Most of our volunteers are members of the community we serve! Year after year, we are blessed and humbled by the way our neighbors serve each other. Even through the challenges of creating a safe co-op and changing up the way we serve each other, they persisted in serving, giving, and praying. Many families endured (and continue to endure) financial hardship and unique challenges. And yet, God has been faithful through it all.

God sent out Ciudad Nueva and our community in teamwork. He filled tables and lives with the kind of bountiful blessings only He can provide.

With thanksgiving and prayer, we are moving forward into this year with continued safety measures. Our programs ran well with the measures we took last year. That means we will continue to minimize in-person contact through curbside food delivery and virtual check-ins.

As the virus cases in our area decrease and we maintain these measures, we are gradually welcoming back volunteers. Our community connectors are reaching out and collaborating to bring back our volunteers safely. To those who may feel unsure about volunteering, please continue to serve by praying for the team. All are welcome to call or email us here to get the most up-to-date information about volunteering opportunities!

2020 revealed new opportunities to serve the elderly and individuals with disabilities. We will continue to serve them through our contactless food delivery, virtual check-ins, and prayer. 

The COVID-19 pandemic provided the space for new and more frequent referrals! The changes that we made were originally planned as temporary, but due to their success and the influx of referrals, we’ve decided to move forward with them throughout this year. As we gain more and more opportunities to provide food for our community, our need for food storage at our office is growing. 

Do you have an extra refrigerator, freezer, or other food storage equipment? Perhaps you have a connection to a business in the community that has equipment to spare! If so, Ciudad Nueva would be blessed to receive it! 

As our programs continue to develop and adapt, we have you, our precious community, in mind. It is our desire to stay connected and safe at the same time. Please pray for our team as they collaborate in creating a safe co-op and expanding on the work we began in 2020. If you are interested in donating food preservation equipment, like a fridge or freezer, thank you! Or, perhaps you know someone in our community who may want to participate in our food co-op. Please contact Ciudad Nueva here to get the latest information about our equipment needs or if you have a referral!