August 4, 2023

Sometimes we step out in faith having to believe that something or someone will catch us. We can plan, we can prepare, we can think through every possible detail or ramification of our actions… but, usually, our preparedness can only get us so far. 

I’ve learned (am still learning, really) to plan – absolutely plan – but to hold those plans loosely. Because life happens. Knees give out. Dads get sick. A sudden illness immobilizes us. Someone doesn’t show. Someone shows, but an hour later than expected. We can only control so much. 

So, when you take a leap to move to a different, bigger building because the needs are growing and the people are coming… you plan. But you hold those plans loosely. Because the economy changes and people’s ability to give changes. You submit grant after grant into the universe and pray that they might result in some funding for your cause. You meet with people and share stories. You walk business leaders through your building – sharing the dreams, the vision, the ways that their partnership might effect change for generations to come. 

But you hold it all loosely. 

And yet, simultaneously, there are hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the world coming through our doors, looking for assistance. Right now, many are looking for help getting registered for school this upcoming fall. Right now, the voices in the office below me are going over budgeting with one of our incredible volunteers. Right now, Afghan women are learning how to type in our new computer lab. We are faithful with what we are given today, faithful to serve those who we know today… and we’re working hard to be ready to be faithful to those we will meet tomorrow, or the next day, or the next. 

And this leap of faith is exactly what we have done at City of Refuge, which is why the unexpected blessings can blow us away. Like, when your Boone County Commissioner shows up at your door and tells you that, yes, your request for ARPA funding will be entirely fulfilled

This incredible news launches us to 65% of our Capital Campaign goal of $3,000,000. Our dreams feel a little more attainable today. Meeting needs for refugees living in mid-Missouri for a long long time feels a bit more like a reality. The things we are building for tomorrow feel a little more rooted… a little more possible

And so we continue to plan and hold loosely, knowing it won’t turn out exactly as we thought or planned. But, we believe, it will be better. It will be exactly the way it’s supposed to be. And we’ll be increasingly grateful for the partners throughout our community that have made it happen. Generous anonymous donors who have given large quantities. Faithful contributors who give monthly, even if it doesn’t feel like “much”. Organizations, like Veterans United Foundation, who kicked off our campaign with a large gift. Or, knowing that our county officials (and all of those who reviewed all the millions of dollars worth of ARPA requests) found our cause worth investing in. That they, too, long to welcome, serve, and celebrate our refugee friends. 

We are closer, indeed. And so we’ll keep pushing hard. We’ll keep asking. We’ll keep looking for partners who will stand alongside us as we declare to all those who have had to flee: you are welcome, you are wanted, you belong

Take a leap of faith with us. 

I have a feeling you won’t regret investing in our mission. Your return will be impossible to quantify, impossible to plan for… but it will be multiplied by the unexpected ways that lives are changed right here in central Missouri. 

Debbie Beal

Executive Director

P.S. If you haven’t checked out our NAP Tax Credits or considered donating a distribution from your retirement account, those are great options to think about. There are many ways to give money or assets you already have, without changing your monthly income!

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