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2021 Summary of Grants
March 24, 2022

2021 Summary of Grants: Reflecting on 15 Years

 Click here to view The Rees-Jones Foundation 2021 Summary of Grants | Click here to view the full version

President’s Letter | T Hardie

Looking Back; Looking Forward

Anniversaries often are occasions for reflection; sometimes nostalgic, sometimes inspiring, sometimes sad, but thankfully often joyful. The end of 2021 marked our 15th anniversary as a foundation and my 15th year with the Rees-Jones family. Reflecting back on those years has produced all of the mentioned emotions, but most often by far, joy.

We have been on a journey up a steep learning curve and the journey continues. We have met and been taught by so many partners, we have observed how God has been at work in our world, even in the midst of conflict and division, and we have experienced his presence in our midst on a daily basis. We have enjoyed our journey and do not want to see it plateau. There is still so much to learn and so many opportunities to reach others in the areas where we serve.

These annual summaries over the years have highlighted some of our experiences and amazing partners who continue to inspire us. The following pages will highlight more of those partners we supported in 2021, some old, some new. Their work goes on, even with an endless COVID-19 overhang, and people in need continue to be served. Thanks to them one and all.

Anniversaries also can be times for renewal, affirmation of vision and re-dedication to mission. We take stock of where we have been, how we have been prepared and resourced, and what opportunities remain in front of us. As people of faith, we have always felt God’s providential hand on our shoulders directing and encouraging us, challenging us, and sometimes redirecting and correcting us. We are at our best when we allow him to be foremost in our vision and action.

And so it is that at the end of 15 years, with our past experiences still fresh in mind, we now look forward to the challenges that lie ahead, still guided by our Lord’s command to love him with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are resolved to do the former by pursuing the latter.

When we as a grant-making foundation seek to love our neighbors, we find a common characteristic in almost all of our partners and those they serve. To one degree or another, they are or are willing to be vulnerable. There is risk in vulnerability, and for that reason we often seek to avoid it. It may come with pain or loss or disappointment or rejection. And yet it is central to the mission of loving our neighbors. To be willing to become vulnerable in this context is to be willing to expose what we have to achieve a particular end; the end in this case of advancing the welfare of our neighbors.

Our neighbors themselves are vulnerable in another way. They often live day to day in a state of risk or exposure to loss, most often unwillingly or without ability to change the state of risk or exposure. Our partners see their vulnerability and choose to expose themselves, their time and their resources to address the needs of their constituents. They choose to be vulnerable.

This affirmative choice is inspiring to us. It has challenged us too to be vulnerable, to take what we have and risk it for the benefit of those around us.

Two things we have discovered. The exposure of our resources to directly or indirectly lift up our neighbors brings us and hopefully them a sense of joy, a sense that things can be made right, a mutual flourishing. And it also brings us into deeper relationship with our partners as together we seek to advance God’s kingdom here on earth. We discover a unity of purpose and spirit when we allow ourselves to be led by the model of our Lord who himself became vulnerable that we might flourish in his kingdom.

I am grateful to and inspired by Andy Crouch who in his book Strong and Weak (Inter Varsity Press 2016) opened my eyes to how exposing our resources to meaningful risk (in so doing becoming vulnerable) for the benefit of those who are without such resources (vulnerable as they are) can indeed bring harmony and flourishing to us all. This is what we hope for, what we dream about as we look forward to the next 15 years.

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped; but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!”
-Philippians 2:5-8

 

View the Summary of Grants

 Click here to view The Rees-Jones Foundation 2021 Summary of Grants | Click here to view the full version



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