NLP defines leadership in our context as students and parents being courageous, positive influencers in their community. Leadership is one of the most fun and practical aspects of our ministry with immigrant kids and families. It looks like coaches making a leader at soccer practice a team captain in a game. It looks like NLP alumni volunteering as an NLP ambassador at an event or serving in a summer staff role. And sometimes, the Lord provides unique but very clear ways to engage our kids and parents in leadership opportunities.
This past spring, NLP parents found out that there was a proposal to merge one of their primary elementary schools with another school due to decreased enrollment, and to move it over a mile and a half out of the immediate neighborhood. As you can imagine, that’s a pretty startling proposition for any parent. For our parents, there were concerns about the practical implications of the school leaving the neighborhood that included student involvement, attendance, and parent engagement. East Elementary itself has a long standing history of being a minority-inclusive establishment of Littleton, which has been extremely beneficial in helping our families navigate cultural dynamics. At the time of proposal, we informed and helped organize several parents to show up to a district open house meeting so they could share their thoughts with folks on the district boundary committee. Boy, did they show up! They were nervous but bold as they spoke with committee members as well as a LPS board member. Everyone who knows these parents was so proud of their courage to share their ideas, through language barrier and in a system that is completely foreign. What an amazing parent leadership opportunity!
Well, this proposal disappeared from the website. Simultaneously the first COVID stay at home order occurred, so we thought the proposal was off the table. Turns out, COVID just postponed the dialogue and board decision. Unfortunately, it was just proposed again a couple weeks ago and a decision from the school board will need to be made in April.
This coming Monday, we have been invited to a meeting with two members of the School Board, LPS Superintendent, the Director of Elementary Education, the COO of LPS, and an Elementary School Principal. We have since organized representation from NLP moms, board members, and staff to share some thoughts with these LPS leaders. These courageous moms will be sharing their perspective on how a school moving out of their immediate neighborhood would impact them and other immigrant families. It is a privilege to prepare moms to meet with district leaders, with a posture of humility, gratitude, partnership, but also confidence to share their experience and perspective.
Please pray for confidence and clear channels of communication. Pray that the Lord would empower and give moms the right words to express themselves. Pray also for an attitude of humility and listening from the LPS leaders. Lastly, pray for a spirit of collaboration and unity between parents and LPS leaders for the ultimate good of immigrant kids and parents thriving in Littleton Public Schools.
Blessings to you all,
We, as a staff, joked about having one thing to be thankful for because of the pandemic, and that is our new version of Posada! In years past we have been able to gather for our Christmas tradition filled with yummy food, great community, some songs from the kiddos, etc. Wanting to keep our families and volunteers safe, we decided Posada needed a whole rewrite that adhered to Covid guidelines. What we didn't know was that the rewrite would turn into a facelift! We loved sharing this fun event with our families, and we wanted you to know how much fun it was too.
We involved 5 partner churches of ours that we want to say a huge THANK YOU to: Living Word Tabernacle, Bethany Evangelical Free Church, Littleton United Methodist Church (hosted by Break Bread), Mission Hills en Español, and Calvary en Español. We asked these churches to festively decorate their spaces for our families to drive by. Traditionally, Posada (meaning "inn") is a journey that families go on representing Mary and Joseph. At each stop, they are denied entry until the last stop where they get together and celebrate Christmas! We weren't able to be together at the end, but our families got to celebrate along the way. The theme for the event was "Jesus is the Light of the world!" Each of the stops represented this theme and a part of traditional Posada in some way. We had luminarias, tamales, champurrado (a traditional warm beverage), glow sticks to represent sparklers, and a large piñata to represent breaking the hold of sin. Our families collected snacks, beverages, crafts, and pieces of a nativity along the way. At the last stop, they were able to get out of their cars and take a (Covid-cautious) photo with a living nativity!
The night was so fun and so cold. We want to thank the volunteers that served with our partner churches for giving their time and body heat to make this happen! We also want to thank the volunteers who helped put together supplies in the days leading up to Posada, and our families who served one another by making hundreds of tamales and so much yummy champurrado! Our staff worked together to make Posada what it was, but a special shout-out is in order for our wonderful director of programs, Miss Janet! She worked hard to make this event as true to the traditional Posada and fun as possible. We are so thankful for her hard work, and we think our families are too!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
-Ashley and the NLP Staff
Fiesta 2020 sure looked different this year, as most things have. We were not able to gather all together to celebrate this exciting time of year where we look back at what God has done. Even with all the differences, God's faithfulness to us has remained the same! Here are just a few things about Fiesta we thought you would like to know.
So far, we have raised over $24,000 (with our original goal being $30,000) and donations are still coming in! We switched from a "big party for all" format to what we called a "One Fiesta Many Homes" format. Friends of NLP, including individuals and churches, were able to host approximately 15 Fiestas across the Littleton area. In this time we have seen many new donors as well as an increase in those who commit to donate monthly. What this tells us is that people recognize the need our families have in this difficult time, and they are excited to be a part of meeting that need!
We received great feedback from our hosts about celebrating Fiesta in this particular format. It was disappointing to us as a staff and to our regular attendees that we did not get to have one big Fiesta, but many people enjoyed the smaller Fiesta setting! One host said, "We invited non-Christian neighbors and those that hadn't heard about NLP before so it was a great time to share about the program." Even with the success of this format, we hope to be able to get together for Fiesta next year. We have considered equipping people to host an at-home Fiesta alongside our usual program in the future. That way, they can continue to share the mission of NLP with their friends and neighbors in a more intimate setting.
Lastly, we want to say one more huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated this year! Whether you donated, hosted, encouraged staff, or signed up to volunteer, we are so thankful to each and every one of you for participating in Fiesta 2020. We would not get to share the love of Christ in Northeast Littleton to this extent without you. Bless you, faithful friends of North Littleton Promise.
-Ashley and NLP Staff
Great news for church partners related to NLP's Fiesta!
Our staff has heard your feedback. We want to come alongside and make hosting a the Fiesta as easy as possible, during this challenging season!
-Host an in person event at your church or from a member's home, indoor or outdoor
-Host a ZOOM Fiesta with members of your church
-let NLP staff and NLP parents host a Fiesta for you on two available dates during Fiesta Week, Oct 9th-18th!
Email Ashley today to make your plans! We are ready to get your Fiesta on the calendar right away.
We are excited to see how the Lord provides this year!
Grateful for you all!
This week, I was strolling down memory lane with a high school senior who was in our program when she was in elementary school. This particular girl holds a special place in my heart. She was always so happy to be in our programs and was at our door whenever it was open.
She asked me if I remembered the name of the retired volunteer who played baseball with her in our parking lot and introduced her to the Goosebumps chapter book series. She asked me about the summer staff camp counselor who took her and her small group to the movies after they won a competition. We looked at tons of pictures of her smiling face at our programs, and I felt so thankful that NLP was her safe place to have fun and learn about Jesus. What an impact!
Grandpa Chuck and Becky (if you are reading this), you loved well in your time at NLP. You played with our kids, helped them to love reading, and clearly showed them the love of Christ.
To all of our volunteers, what a blessing you have been and continue to be. You may never see the impact you have on these kids, but your commitment of time and care to them is something they will always remember.
In Luke 10 Jesus sends out those who had been asking 'Lord, what can I do to serve you?' He commissions them out with this phrase: "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few" in verse 2. Jesus is describing the current context of his day where there were people ready to hear about the Good News, but there weren't enough dedicated to taking it to the ends of the earth. How can we participate in this call in our city? We need those people that will come alongside our students to teach and love them just as Jesus loves them. Would you answer the call, taking part in his kingdom work by laying down your time commitment for others? Jesus never said following him would be easy, but He does promise it will be worth it.
To learn more, see our after school volunteer job description.
To begin the screening process, please fill out an application.
Thankful to serve this community alongside you!
We have identified 6 families in the most difficult situations. We are conducting weekly check ins with these families and providing regular food boxes to encourage them and provide for a practical need.
Many of you have provided food and financial gifts to help support families and we are thankful. One challenging part of this situation is that we can't see the end. We are asking you to continue to pray and be generous as you help our families in their need, in the coming weeks ahead.
If I can be so bold, consider giving a portion of your relief check to NLP. The vast majority of our families do not qualify for this benefit. We want to continue to care for the vulnerable in our community, in such a time as this.
Also, South Suburban Christian Church is hosting another food drive to benefit NLP families this Friday, April 10, 12-3. Please drop off any items on this list:
Maseca (corn tortilla flour)
We appreciate your prayers and donations! We are praying for you and your families!
Janet, Rogelio and I have the privilege of seeing over 40 families on Wednesday in our drive thru in the Living Word Tabernacle parking lot. Thanks to great partners like GraceFull Cafe, South Suburban Christian Church, Calvary Littleton and many generous neighbors, we helped families to stock their pantries for the weeks ahead.
At 1:30, the cars began to line up in the parking lot. A few different times, the cars were 7 deep. Rogelio brought out a box of food and Janet brought out the activity bags and books for each child. We saw tears and concern in their faces. We heard appreciation for LPS teachers who instruct their kids in classrooms, a task that our parents are now overseeing. We had the honor of praying with each family, asking for God to reveal Himself in this time, provide for all needs and give His peace. Praise God! He is good!
Stay tuned for ways you can be involved in the next distribution!
Ten days ago, which seems like an eternity, Mona from South Suburban Christian Church reached out and offered hold a food drive to benefit our families. Talk about a FAST response after the first news of school closures. Two days later, Calvary Littleton Church reached out to offer support to our families as well. So many individuals from our community jumped at the opportunity to love North Littleton Promise families in a practical way!
And this is what the God provided through them! We packaged over 40 boxes of food and Janet, our After School Program Director, put together individual bags with books and a game for each child, because of all the donations!
We are so thankful to God for the opportunity to shepherd and support our neighbors and we are thrilled the greater Littleton community loves in word and in deed.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:15
I wanted to reach out to you and give you an update as to how North Littleton Promise is responding to the COVID-19 quarantine. We truly feel like God has called us to invest in three areas in our families lives: faith, education and leadership. This ministry has not stopped, but our methods have had to change. Many of you have asked how you can help, which I will address too.
Last week, we cancelled our programming when Littleton Public Schools cancelled school and programs and when people over 60 were advised to stay at home. About half of our volunteers are retired and our programs would be bare bones without them. We held a parent meeting to address concerns and we walked through some basics of how to stay well and take care of people should they get sick. We prayed with families, encouraging them that they can trust God and that we will be with them in this.
Since then, many of our families have been laid off of work. Many parents work in the restaurant industry and since restaurants can not seat guests, they are making major layoffs. I spoke to a mom of 5 kids, who told me both she and her husband are out of work and are fine now, but are worried about how long this will last.
Here is how we are responding.
Our staff has put together an approach to support, give opportunities to families to grow in faith, education and leadership, have devotions, bible studies, and regular messages of encouragement. We will be using text messages, FaceBook and other ways to stay in touch. Our hope is to stay connected, listen and support, funnel resources and keep investing our our kids and families, even when we can't gather.
How can you help?
The most vulnerable in our communities need us right now, including our immigrant friends and neighbors. Friends, we have an opportunity to give a reason for the hope that we have in Jesus. Let's make the most of it!
Thankful to be in this with all of you!
North Littleton Promise builds life giving relationships with immigrant kids and their families and mobilizes local partners to transform the northeast Littleton neighborhood through Christ.
P.O. Box 3543
Littleton, CO 80161
5397 S. Fox Street
Littleton, CO 80120