Little Lights Urban Ministries

2009 Fall Newsletter

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Little Lights Update Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God. Volume 9, Issue 4 In this Issue Letter from Steve At Little Lights, we have much to be thankful for during the holiday season. Our Ignite the Light banquet was a blessing as over 200 people gathered to support and celebrate the children and youth at Little Lights. We are thankful for our table sponsors, businesses, and guests who helped to raise more than $30,000 in donations and pledges. Hello from Steve Ignite the Light Jerry's Recovery Little Lights Programs Volunteer Highlight Meet the Staff Calendar LL Christmas Party December 5 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner December 17 Office Closed December 21 - January 3 Office Opens January 4 Spring Programs begin January 11 Little Lights Contact 760 7th Street SE Washington, DC 20003 ph: 202. 548. 4021 fax: 202. 544. 7508 twitter: LittleLightsDC youtube: DCLittleLights www.littlelights.org Every child, every person needs to know that they are a source of joy; every child, every person, needs to be celebrated. Only when all of our weaknesses are accepted as part of our humanity can our negative, broken self-images be transformed. -- Jean Vanier For many of us, we may daily feel that God tolerates us in our weaknesses or perhaps even loves us because we have achieved success and gained status. Yet, the mystery of the gospel tells us that we are a source of joy to God even in our weakness and brokenness. The word "celebrate" and "celebrity" are obviously related words. There is such a hunger in our society for celebrity. There's an innate need to be celebrated and acknowledged as important and significant. We all want to be valued. The gospel tells us that through the cross we have already received "celebrity" status. The angels celebrate, scripture tells us, when one person repents and receives the "good news." God tells Fall 2009 us to stop striving for acceptance from people and receive the acceptance and celebration readily available through Christ. The work of being acceptable has already been done by Jesus on the cross. Our society tells us that wealthy, successful and physically beautiful people are to be celebrated. That is fine. However, it is a very temporary celebration. All wealth, worldly success, and physical beauty will pass away. They are ultimately superficial things. Only what is done in love will last. It is our mission to communicate the message to every child we meet at Little Lights that they are ultimately sources of joy. That they are loved right now, just as they are. We do show "tough love" many times a day, because that is what many children need. They need to know right from wrong. But we never want to lose the joy of being with children and youth even as we discipline and teach. Children need to know that they are sources of joy. We are also thankful to supporters and churches who recently helped provide funds to cover the costs of two funerals this past year for students in our program who lost their mothers. It is so difficult to see children lose their mothers at such a young age, but our faithful friends came through to provide dignified funerals for the families. We are also thankful for Jerry (see more of his story inside) who was shot only a few weeks after coming on staff at the ministry house. His remarkable spirit and attitude during his own time of need has been as remarkable as his quick recovery. Of course, we are also thankful for our faithful donors and volunteers, without whom Little Lights would not exist. Thank you for participating in what God is doing at Little Lights and Potomac Gardens. May the gospel of joy and celebration be yours this holiday season. Steve Park Executive Director

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