Great Falls, 5Ks, and Lego Robots

Nov 5, 2013

The past couple weeks we have seen our middle school students grow in experience and character.

Two Saturdays ago we took thirteen students to Great Falls. The leaders watched in awe as we observed our middle school students immerse themselves in the beautiful landscape.  The cascading falls and intricate rock formations (and dead snake) captured our students’ attention in ways that we had not anticipated. They extended hands of support and words of encouragement as they worked their way in and around the rocks. One student, who can tend to find fault with anything, said, “This is great!  It’s the right amount of challenge, and it’s kind of scary!”

Casa Chirilagua Teens Club at Great Falls

Last Saturday, some of our middle school students participated in the Christ the King 5k race fundraiser for Casa Chirilagua. We observed our students as they willingly woke up at 7am to EXERCISE! One of the highlights was seeing our middle school boys high-fiving everyone from our community (young and old) crossing the finish line – an attitude that we have seen growing in our young men. Two of the boys kept asking, “When’s the next 5k? I want to run another one!”

Casa Chirilagua 5K Fun Run 2013

Last Monday, our Lego League team had a breakthrough. The robot they were designing and programming finally did what it was supposed to do! These are students and leaders who have been working for the past month through sweat and tears trying to accomplish a very difficult challenge. Hopes are being raised and relationships are deepening.

Casa Chirilagua Lego League

As you think about ways you would like to spend 2014, we encourage you to consider joining the students in Teens Club on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 and to join us a couple times a month on field trips and service projects. We would like to welcome you into this community of teens and adults as we pursue what it means to be people of character, thinking outside our boxes, respecting each other, and engaging in God’s world.

Contact Matt and Rachel Hoppe at if this sounds like something you’d like to be a part of.

– Matt

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.