“How would you describe Casa Chirilagua in one word?” This is the question I posed to our High school students during our last Casa to College meeting. One student said, “I can’t answer that because there are too many things.” It was an unexpected answer to me, but it’s true! Casa Chirilagua can’t be summed up in just one word because there are so many wonderful aspects to this unique organization. I then realized that maybe together, all of the words that students, volunteers, and staff shared can help us begin to describe it. I took my notebook and pencil and asked the same question to some of them, and here is what I got.
- Casa is relational: It is a place that is people-focused, community-oriented and rooted in love for neighbors.
- Casa is generous: It is a place that is always sharing what it has to help meet the needs of the community.
- Casa is fun and helpful.
- Casa is comfortable. From the couches to the people, it provides a nice environment that makes people feel safe and invited.
- Casa is inclusive. It is a place for anybody in the Chirilagua neighborhood. Casa is growing. It is a place where individuals grow into their full potential of who God created them to be.
- Casa is a place of “learning things to prepare us for the future!”
- Casa is loving. All of the people who live in the neighborhood and those who work here show up because they care!
Casa is all of these things and more. But among all of these wonderful words, one of the most significant to me is that Casa is home. As Dorothy says in the Wizard of Oz, “there is no place like home,” Casa Chirilagua is a place like no other. Casa Chirilagua reminds me of our Father’s house. John 14:2 says, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” We are all longing to have a home and here in Chirilagua, Arlandria, 22305, USA, we have prepared a place for YOU. While God prepares an eternal place for all of us, we welcome you home at Casa Chirilagua as an extension of God’s eternal home prepared for you.
– Rebeca Gore, Teen Programs Director