Julie* is an elementary-school-aged child and the youngest of three. Through a partnership with The Center, Julie…
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 re-directing 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.