Sabbatical Start

Mar 30, 2022

Dear beloved community,

As many of you know, our Executive Director, Adriana, began her three-month sabbatical on January 10th. We are thankful for the time she has to be with her family, center on the Lord, and find deep rest after almost a decade in ministry at Casa.

There are many things our team and community have experienced the last two years: the uncertainty of a global pandemic, the reality of families not knowing where their next meal was going to come from, the heartache of not being present with our students and their families. We saw injustices exacerbated as neighbors fought to stay in their homes and navigate systems that are cumbersome and inequitable. We felt the deep grief of losing our coworker, pastor, and brother, Matt Gillette.

In contrast, there are many things our team and community have experienced in the last 15 years of our ministry that have been beautiful. We have received hospitality from our Chirilagua neighbors as our founders moved into the neighborhood to be alongside them. We have partaken in the joys of baby showers, quinceañeras, and graduations. It’s been exciting to watch the Lord grow Kids Club from a small tutoring group in an apartment to an organization with a community center at the heart of the neighborhood where all are welcomed to come and learn to love your neighbor as yourself.

In scripture, we see the Lord give his people paradigms for engaging rest- the sabbath day and the sabbath year. The sabbath day is given to the people as a way of putting work aside, centering their hearts on God, and trusting that their lives will continue in his safe and caring hands. In addition, every seventh year God calls for an entire year of sabbath not just for the people, but for all creation. God’s people are commanded to not plant or harvest, allow the land to lie fallow, and trust that God will provide for their every need. In these years, the land finds rest and can renew so that it will bear even more fruit in the coming years of planting and harvesting. (Exodus 20, Leviticus 25)

As Adriana entered her season of sabbatical, our team committed to echoing sabbath in our day to day. We’ve adjusted the rhythms of our programming; we have pastors who are coming to care for us, and are prayer walking in our neighborhood. By choosing into slowness, we have sensed the Lord calling us as a team to listen for his voice in a new way. There are things he is calling us to lay down, things he is asking us to give back over to him, and ways he is reorienting our hearts after an intense two-year pandemic and 15 years in the neighborhood. We are being reminded of just whose power is at work in our neighborhood- it’s not ours, it’s the power of Christ. We are being reminded of how good it is to be reliant on God and just how trustworthy he is. We are hopeful that our faithfulness to slow down will deepen our dependence on Him, renew our spirits, and encourage us to continue walking in community with our Chirilagua neighbors.

As we move forward, we trust God’s timing, that he cares for us, and loves our beloved community.
Your partner in community,
Marissa Salgado
Programs Director

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.