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These days it takes a little more effort to find hope, light and joy in our circumstances. Among the ACTS team, when we find ourselves needing a pick-me-up, we think about the communities we are part of. We see how people are coming together to not only lift one another up, but also provide joy. Here are a few victory stories from these communities. We hope they will bring you as much hope as they bring us.

‘Encouragement’: the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope…

The Unbridled Family:

The Unbridled companies are working hard to keep connection alive within our culture. But it’s difficult when we can’t come together to glean wisdom and share laughs with one another. In order to stay connected as a team, we have utilized various online platforms to have meetings, happy hours, and share encouraging and funny stories. Tips and tricks for staying physically, mentally and emotionally healthy are sent at just the right time to remind us of the importance of taking care of ourselves. While we are taking advantage of connecting digitally within Unbridled, we’re also extending the opportunity for clients to have digital events. Because we can’t meet in person, teams are working hard to ensure companies are still able to hold their events, though in a different manner than they are used to. All in all, Unbridled continues to move forward in new and innovative ways, and it is so inspiring to work in an environment with innovators.

Transforma, Providing during Hardship:

 In the wake of COVID-19, Transforma’s primary programs needed to shut down. This includes teaching women self-development and job-technical skills at Casa Transforma. Though this is sad news for many of the women, Vanessa, the founder, diligently continues other community services available to families. Their food bank remains open to the community and one member of each family may pick up items as needed. Transforma also created a delivery system for families to easily obtain sanitary items without leaving home. Most importantly, Transforma is taking this opportunity to educate women and their families on the importance of personal hygiene and social distancing practices. We are thankful to stay in contact with Vanessa via video, and use this “down” time to connect Mizizi and Transforma so that they can form a partnership…. Because who says you can’t make new friends and impact communities abroad during a pandemic?

Fremont County Coming Together:

Like many other counties across the country, Fremont County is currently on lockdown—meaning people can only leave their homes for critical work, essential errand runs, and exercise that maintains social distancing. For a county that is usually so community-minded and interconnected, this quarantine has thrown a wrench into many plans. But in the wake of hardship, the nonprofit sector in Fremont County does not sit back…. No, the community is working harder than ever to wisely care for all those in need during this time while maintaining distance so as not to add to the problem. Multiple organizations came together to provide childcare for critical workers, help the school districts with food distribution to families in need, and provide other essential goods like sanitary products and diapers to anyone without access. The Canon City Schools RE-1 District even provided Chromebooks for grades K-5 to support their online learning experience during quarantine. Though everyone is physically farther apart, we are more in tune now with the county’s needs than ever before and we are coming together to meet them. It is amazing when you can see hardship strengthen bonds rather than break them.

Mizizi, Full Steam Ahead:

As Bev and Dave are on this side of the ocean for the next couple of months, they are working hard to stay connected with their Uganda family. Some of the children living at their home returned home from boarding school earlier than expected. With this change of events, Bev and Dave diligently check in with the boys daily regarding their homework, create devotionals, and continue mentoring and guiding them. Moreen, one of Mizizi’s significant leaders recently received training from an organization called Farming God’s Way. With this education, she learned how to yield greater harvests and pass along her wisdom to the community. Bible studies, mentoring, hard work and investments in relationships are all still taking place and moving along. Bev and Dave continue to learn new techniques to implement in Uganda and are excited to receive training from Transforma. We’re encouraged by how relationships can still flourish, even during times of social distancing.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.”
-Desmond Tutu

Take these stories, these successes, these examples of community and togetherness and let them fill you up. Let them be one of the bright spots in your day. Use these stories to inspire you to see what you can do to be a light and encouragement to those around you. It is incredible what we can accomplish when we stick together! Let’s all be available to love people to life today and every day.