If Ryan Can, So Can We

May 17, 2011

Francisca and I were driving in the car when a Toby Mac song began playing. Some lyrics jumped out to me, “I was made to love and be loved by you.”  That lyric was followed by the line, “Anything, I would give up for you. Everything, I’d give it all away.” I turned to Francisca and said, “That’s a pretty strong statement, isn’t it?  To say that God created us to love and be loved by him. Even more so to be willing to say that you’d give up anything for God’s purposes.” Francisca was tracking, “Yeah.”  I continued, “What is most important to you?”  She replied, “My mom, my dad, my brothers and sisters, my aunts and uncles.”  I replied, “So, your family is what is most important to you. That is a good answer. What if God asked you to give them up to go to another country that is dangerous in order to show God’s love to them and share with them the hope of Jesus? There are people who feel that calling all the time and sometimes go to countries where they are risking their lives because they feel so strongly the need to be God’s love in difficult places. Francisca, do you think you could do that?” She replied, “It depends where.” I tried to think of a very dangerous place which she had heard of and spouted out, “What about Iraq?” She replied, “Well, I guess if Ryan could do it, we can all do it.”  My response was a verbal, “Wow!”   Francisca asked, “Why did you say, wow?”  I replied, “I’m so moved by the fact that you get it and that Ryan’s life has impacted you in that way.”

Ryan is a former member of our intentional community who has since left to serve in Palestine with the Christian Peacemakers Teams. He comes back to Chirilagua every time he is home on break to spend time with the children in our neighborhood and see how they have grown and matured. Though his time is limited between visits, he continues to make these children a priority and they know it. By doing so, they are learning from the choices he has made to live his life in such a courageous and obedient way. (You may read more about CPT’s mission at: http://www.cpt.org/about/mission).

I am thankful that yet again we are granted an opportunity to see a glimmer of what is sprouting in the hearts of our little ones through the presence of lasting relationships.



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.