D’s Corner: “Goooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaal!”

Jul 18, 2011

….. the 2nd/3rd grade Summer Kids Club class shouts every time we recognize them for meeting our classroom goals of  1) Respecting Others  2) Respecting Self  and 3) Respecting Materials. Similarly, every milestone we pass as an organization makes me want to shout the same, “Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaal!” and celebrate.

This summer is another one of those milestones.  So far, over the past few weeks, we have welcomed 7 IV summer interns and hired 2 indigenous leader interns. We have sent 27 kids to APC VBS, 14 to Passport Camp in North Carolina and 5 to FCA day camp in Springfield.  On July 5th we launched our Kids Club Summer program with 46 students enrolled and on Saturday we took 46 students and 11 leaders to Congreso Kids conference in Lanham, Maryland.  In the next two weeks we will host two youth “short-term” mission projects. It is a very busy and, at times, stressful summer. I look around and I am in awe that we have come this far in such a short period of time. All of this would not be possible without the Lord’s provision and an incredible and numerous team of volunteers.

Within the first few years of life in Chiri, I wrote my own beatitude and placed it on my desk as on on-going visual reminder. “Blessed are the Available, for they shall receive divine appointments.” In the midst of the busyness and stress we find a strong sense of conviction that we were not meant to function like this. Each late night at the office or seven day workweek pulls us further away from the original vision of a simple life, marked by service, rooted in community, and grounded in Christ. If we depend more and more on our ability, working around the clock to get things accomplished, we have failed to be “salt and light.” We have missed the vision because we don’t look any different than everyone else in DC with their overfilled schedules and constant exhaustion trying to “make it” by their own strength and efforts. We have missed the mark because our overly-full schedules prevent us from being available for the divine appointments in our path.

We celebrate as a community the many milestones that have been achieved at Casa Chiri, but we also ask for prayer from our community of support for our organization and staff during this “busy” season to return to the vision and stay focused on the original goal.

Trying to rest and “be available”,


PS – We have a serious need for transportation. That is probably the single need that has caused the most concern and stress this summer.  Please pray that God would provide a bus or some large vans. If it comes in the form of a shared vehicle, pray for resources to help pay for it. If it is in the form of a vehicle for the organization, please also pray for resources to maintain it and a place to park.

We are a community of people “learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a faith-based Christian non-profit with a small staff and over 100 volunteers, we serve alongside more than 100 families and their children (1st-12th grades) each week through our community programs.

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Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.