Running a grassroots, faith-based nonprofit is hard and often lonely work. Especially when it has to do with mobilizing volunteers to love people that have tough circumstances and projects that aren’t easily overcome. Not only do we have to deal with operational and organizational issues to keep the doors open, we have a spiritual component that fights against us.
For the past 2 days, we’ve hosted NeighborLink Porter County and NeighborLink DeKalb County in Fort Wayne as part of our first retreat for the NeighborLink Network affiliates. Unfortunately, Van Wert was not able to make it.
We currently have 4 affiliates and 4 non-affiliates that make up the NeighborLink Network. The affiliates are essentially carbon copies of the NeighborLink model established here in Fort Wayne, IN. The non-affiliates have been started by existing faith-based organizations that find value in what we’re doing, but want to do things a little different in order to fit their mission and operational capacity.
The affiliates share a common bond because of our likeness and the reality that we all work as lone soldiers and have the same operational philosophy. Day to day things may look differently, but in the big picture we’re the same.
After two days of hearing how everyone is doing, I’m walking away feeling encouraged and renewed to continue leading NLFW. Each of us needed to share what’s been tough, what’s been great, and what we believe is on the horizon for our organizations and for NeighborLInk as a whole.
We continue to see NeighborLink as a connector between the have and the have not, the vulnerable and the stable. We hope to see NeighborLink become a well rounded community of people that help each other regardless of socioeconomic factors. We want to see it become a community where anyone regardless of resource seeks help from their neighbors. We all need help from time to time. Most importantly, we want NeighborLink to be a place that brings hope, transformation, and the love of Christ.
To everyone that believes they don’t have anybody to journey with them or share their experiences, I’ll be in prayer that you find a group to process work and life with. We all need community. If I can ever be of help to create that with you, let me know.
Excited for the rest of 2012 as a member of the NeighborLink Network.