“What do you wish for?”

Dec 4, 2013

Casa Chirilagua 5K fun run

Ms. D with stellar Chirilagua runners at the November 5K Fun Run

“What do you wish for?” little Josefina asked as she looked at me.

“Was she talking to me?” I wondered.

“Ms. D! What do you wish for?!?”

I didn’t know how to respond. I asked,“Do you mean, what do I hope to have, like a birthday wish or a Christmas list?”

“No!” she adamantly responded and repeated her question word for word and with even more emphasis, “What do you WISH for?”

In Josefina’s mind the question was very clear. After I made four or five failed attempts asking her to clarify, I began searching my brain for a response. Nothing material came to mind. What came to mind instead were heart desires which were difficult to vocalize. Which in turn made me wonder, “What if I dared to wish for something which I may never see come to fruition on Earth?” “Am I scared to “wish” for things which seem insurmountable?” Once again, one of these little ones was challenging me and forcing me to struggle with fear, doubt and unrealized dreams.

Josefina’s questioning compelled me to ask myself a very hard question: “If my heart’s desire isn’t realized, will God’s presence with me be enough?” “Is His promise to be with me, enough to carry me through even when I’m left disappointed?”

During this advent season we study Israel’s long wait for the arrival of Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” We dream with creativity and long for things to be “put right” while we wait on His return again. Yet while we wait, His presence is enough for us to bear the blow when the journey of life disappoints or is not what we “wished”.

At Casa, there are many things I wish to see. At the heart of it all, we desire to see God’s Kingdom come, transforming, restoring and reconciling through loving relationships. This is a long journey and process of joy and pain, working and waiting, beauty and brokenness, and returning to the One who puts us back together and brings us hope to see the Kingdom come once again.

This December, a group of supporters who believe in the ministry and work of Casa Chirilagua have come together to set a generous $30,000 match challenge. This means every dollar donated to Casa in the month of December will be matched dollar for dollar up to $30,000. At Casa, we are “wishing” big for $60,000 in one month to continue the work we are called to do.  We invite you to participate in reaching this goal by including Casa Chiri in your year-end giving.

In this advent season of waiting and hoping, I ask you the same question wise little Josefina asked me, “What do you wish for?” May we as a family dream big for the Kingdom and rest in knowing whatever the outcome, God is with us.

Many Blessings to you and your family this Christmas Season,

Dawnielle (Ms. D)


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.