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Stories From Our Staff - Reflecting on 2023

Updated: Feb 17

Dear Friends,


As we finish this year during this joyous season, we can definitely reflect with profound gratitude on the remarkable growth and transformation we have witnessed in the lives of those we serve and the communities where God has called us. From our humble beginnings in 2016 in a small garage to two thriving community centers, serving nearly 250 students through comprehensive programs encompassing academic reinforcement, spiritual formation, and family-strengthening, we have developed a program that empowers those we serve to thrive in ways they never thought possible.


Here are some personal stories and reflections from our team members about things that impacted them as they served this year.


By Luke Dove, Youth Pastor

This year, a particularly powerful experience for me was participating in a mission trip with my home church's youth group, where we invited four of our boys from Cadaniño. We spent a week building homes for needy families in a rural village and sharing Jesus through Vacation Bible School. The most impactful part was watching our four youths in action. Knowing their backgrounds, it was incredibly heartening to see them love and serve these families. Despite having little themselves, they gave from the abundance of joy in their hearts. Their actions truly reflect what we always say at Cadaniño: "No matter how little you have, you always have something to give."


By Suceli Jimenez, Teacher

This year's retreat on trauma, suffering, and counseling was a life-changing event for me. It provided an opportunity not just to learn but also to bond and understand the challenges faced by my colleagues.

Everyone faces challenges, but it's possible to be healed and move past them in ways that enable us to serve others well and give our best to the children and youth we work with. I see this every day in the team that I work with, how doing your work, not just as a job or a duty, but with heartfelt devotion, defines our team at CadaNiño.


By Yessenia Choguix, Teacher

I am profoundly grateful to God and the Cadaniño leaders for the opportunity to be part of this incredible organization. In my eight months here, I have gained invaluable skills and knowledge in many areas of my life, from personal growth to technology and professional development. The sponsorship area, especially, has been an eye-opener. Seeing what it means for the children to have someone write them who cares about them, how eagerly they wait to receive letters from their sponsors, and how sincerely they express their feelings and experiences. I am amazed to see the deep emotional connections formed through these exchanges.


By Eduardo Lux, Coordinator

Working at Cadaniño has been a rewarding journey. Witnessing the life changes and needs of the people we serve has been eye-opening. 2023 has been particularly fruitful, with many children and youth benefiting from our programs and growing in their knowledge and faith. The women's meetings stand out, where mothers gathered for breakfast, shared their lives, built community, and listened to God's word. Another highlight was our mission service, where many young students participated, teaching Biblical lessons to children in their communities outside of Cadaniño. This year, we also expanded our programs to reach more children through our programs. We provided essential support to families through emergency food bags, which was necessary for families whose parents had lost their jobs. Our team has grown and learned a lot, and we can better serve the families who need it.


By Merlyn Diaz, Teacher

As the computer teacher at Cadaniño Santa Fe, I am proud to be part of this fantastic team. Our personal growth has enabled our team to be more effective educators for the children we serve. This year at Santa Fe, the initiation of the Women's Group had a significant impact on the mothers, making them feel loved and conveying God's love. I personally faced numerous challenges in my life. Still, I've pushed forward with God's goodness and the team around me. Our team meetings are always joyful and harmonious, filled with shared experiences, anecdotes, and valuable lessons from our students.


By Claudia García, Teacher

Adding 36 new students to our vacation classes was a big step and quite a milestone this year. Their eagerness to learn and integrate into Cadaniño really inspired me. Among them, a child with six fingers on each hand initially felt frustrated but soon realized that even though he was different, he could do everything he set his mind to. His journey from frustration to joy, participation, and creativity was inspiring. I can see how we're planting seeds of transformation in each child, which will one day bear incredible fruit. Though those we serve have faced many challenges, they are learning that with every difficulty comes an opportunity to learn and grow.


By Jhoseline Pérez, Teacher

Teaching the mothers of our students was initially intimidating, but it turned out to be an enriching experience. At first, I doubted my ability, but after the first class, everything started to fall into place. The mothers' eagerness to learn and appreciation for the classes were heartwarming. Their gratitude at the end of the course was a testament to the importance of empowering them to support their children's education.


By Lilian Chete, Coordinator

Family activities throughout the year left a lasting impression on me. The opportunity to engage families in quality time every Saturday was unique. Witnessing God work through these connections to help our students discover their purpose in life has been inspiring. The progress in the academic level of our students and the spiritual growth of both the students and their parents has been overwhelming. I thank God for all He has done through our team and how much they have grown.


By Evelyn Beteta, Teacher

This year, the opportunity to increase the time we spend visiting the families of our students and spending time with them has been an immense blessing. It was wonderful to have mission teams come to work with us, and the families loved having them come visit. Seeing the joy on the children's faces when we brought their sponsors to visit was profoundly moving.



Reflecting on these stories shared by our team, we can see that the impact of Cadaniño is so much greater than the meals we serve and the classes we teach; it's the empowerment of lasting change that is brought about when hearts are turned to God, and people are encouraged to use the gifts and abilities He has given them, to their greatest potential.

Looking ahead, we are invigorated by the strong foundation we've built and excited for the growth and impact that await in the coming year. Our journey, marked by unity, perseverance, and faith, continually inspires us to reach new heights. We are enthusiastic about all God has in store for us in 2024.

Here's to a bright future for Cadaniño, as we continue to be a beacon of hope and positive change in our community.

Partner with Cadaniño today and impact lives for eternity!


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