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Love Week

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Leadership Foundations

Leadership Foundations

Dear Friends,

For the week leading up to Valentines’ Day, we shared stories that demonstrate love from the Leadership Foundations’ network for a series named, “Love Week”. Each story has inspired us to reflect on a piece of scripture and God’s love that changes lives. Below are the compiled stories and scriptures for your enjoyment.

Day 1 of Love Week

In 2016, Nick Wallace (pictured above) was at Faith Base Dorm, Dallas Leadership Foundations’ (DLF) program for inmates at Hutchins State Jail. Today, however, with determination and hard work, he is the proud owner of a roofing company! Nick recently reached out to DLF to express his gratitude for the support he received eight years ago. To pay it forward, he blessed current transitional house residents with $100 gift cards. Nick’s story reminds us of 1 John 4:11, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Dallas Leadership Foundations continues to offer support to those from similar backgrounds as Nick through their Prison Reentry Initiative. Partnering with local churches and organizations, DLF mentors men in local prison populations. At designated dorms of the Hutchins State Jail DLFs’ Reentry Initiative also operates both pre- and post-entry programs in an effort to support individuals seeking a fresh start. Men develop an individual service plan and receive a mentor to walk alongside them as they successfully return to society.

If you’d like to learn more or see DLFs other works, click the button below!

Day 2 of Love Week

Day Two of Love Week features the Tshwane Leadership Foundations’ (TLF) in Central Pretoria, Tshwane South Africa. TLF recently reused tree stumps to build a healing circle for women residents at The Garden of Peace. The Garden of Peace is TLF’s program serving vulnerable and homeless in the city. May we all be able to similarly find healing where needed, through loving one another. Furthermore, that in loving one another we may all come to know God and feel His love.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God”.

1 John 4:7

Day 3 of Love Week

On Day Three of Love Week, we highlighted the verse from 1 Corinthians 16:14 as Urban Ventures staff and parents in Minneapolis, Minnesota did in fact, “Do everything in love”. Their “Books for Looks” event encouraged reading and inspired confidence through acts of love this past winter.

The event was for current and former Reading Plus middle schoolers that put in hours every single week to become better readers. Kendra, the manager of Urban Ventures’ Reading Plus program said, “The students we get to tutor and connect with are amazing. They are motivated, smart and extremely hard-working”.

One of the student’s parents dreamed up “Look for Books,” an energetic, fun event to love and celebrate middle schoolers for all their hard work in the program. Students were invited into the youth center- turned- salon to go book shopping and receive a new look from a talented stylist- a day of care and pampering that won’t be soon forgotten.

See the other kinds of work that Urban Ventures does below!

Day 4 of Love Week

For the Fourth Day of Love Week, we draw your attention to YuvaLok Leadership Foundations’ (YLF) nutrition project known as Annie Vahini, that has been touching the lives of more than 1,700 students daily.

YuvaLok Foundations is located in Bangalore, India where they empower underprivileged children and youth to fulfill their highest potential by providing them with holistic care. This care includes a broad education with vocational skills development in schools operated by the organization.

Since the organization’s inception in 1991, they’ve reported providing free education to approximately 8,000 underprivileged children through the 9 schools that they operate. YLF is leading an effort to provide a solution to India’s 74% illiteracy rate and address the immediate needs for educational opportunities.

They are feeding the future of students who have the hunger to learn, grow, succeed and achieve. With Annie Vahini’s aim to supply students with the best nutrition possible, YuvaLok Foundations has been able to lay a solid foundation for each child’s overall development in their schools.

YLF brings 1 John 4:12 to life- “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another. God lives in us and His love is made complete in us”.

To learn more and see how you can be a part of the work that YLF does, click the button above!

Day 5 of Love Week

Meet Basile Businge who arrived in the United States about six months ago from his home country of Rwanda. At just 26 years old, he is an asylum seeker and in the long phase of waiting for a work authorization. For now, on Wednesdays ​Basile can be found manning the espresso machine in The Root Cellars Kitchen (Lewiston, ME), smiling while serving up delicious lattes.

The cafe is one of many “work” options offered at The Root Cellar in Lewiston for General Assistance (GA) housing voucher recipients. Per the state’s requirement, anyone who receives this voucher must also volunteer the number of hours equal to the voucher’s value at a minimum wage rate. There is an average of about 50 workers serving in various roles at The Root Cellar during any given week. Although they are volunteers, the work experience is valuable in preparation for joining the workforce. 

Root Cellar volunteers Amy and Aaron Smith met Basile earlier in the year. The Smiths have five children, three of whom have disabilities. Earlier in his life, Basile contracted polio which also left him with physical disabilities. Root Cellar volunteers expressed that, “Because of his disability, he understood our children. He connected immediately with our kids, and treated them with kindness. He has real affection and love for them. You could just tell there is the light of Jesus in Basile.” Ultimately, together the Smiths and Basile have become a new family.​

Because of them, we are reminded of these verses from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Read Basile’s whole moving story at:

Day 6 of Love Week

The spotlight for Day Six of Love Week was on Memphis Leadership Foundations (MLF) Refugee Empowerment Program (R.E.P), which is located in Memphis, TN.

Please watch this short video to hear directly from R.E.P.!

Memphis Leadership Foundations’ R.E.P walks alongside refugees and immigrants in the community as they achieve their hopes, goals, and dreams. They do this by empowering, educating and equipping them with skills to get through the challenges of being completely new to a city. The love poured into each relationship with a member of the program looks a lot like Proverbs 17:17 in action- “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

To learn more about R.E.P. visit MLF’s site below!

For a short week, we shared stories that demonstrate love from our network, in hopes that you may be able to feel God’s love through other’s experiences. Isn’t it amazing that love can take many different forms? Love can come from a friend, mentor, teacher, family member or pastor. It can be felt through acts of kindness, shared moments of healing or even unfamiliar places. Love knows no bounds, therefore we should all get the chance to experience it and extend it to another person, creating an endless cycle of love.

May Romans 13: 8 motivate you, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

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What book, movie, quote, or tv show has most shaped your understanding of leadership or the city?   

A quote that has shaped my understanding of leadership and the city is, “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

While the amount of work there is to do to transform cities is great, this quote reminds me that we are freed from having to complete it all, though our obligation to continue remains. We may never see a huge transformation in our lifetime. The work stretches far beyond us. However, this does not make our acts of faithfulness in the day to day less significant, no matter how small they may seem.