Dear Urban Youth Workers Institute family,
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. This was largely shaped by my memories as a child at my Aunt Alice’s farmhouse where she and my Mom would cook up the most amazing Thanksgiving delicacies. The magnificent smells that came out of that kitchen were unrivaled and today still set the standard. I can remember sitting at the kids’ table with turkey leg in hand and observing the crowd of 50 or so people in attendance, who felt so privileged to have been invited to Aunt Alice’s Thanksgiving dinner. It really was THAT AMAZING! But more than the wonderful turkey, her famous dressing, gravy, homemade pies, etc…is the indelible memory of everyone pausing in silence amidst the smells and various foods on the table to offer a prayer of Thanksgiving for all of God’s goodness to us that past year. As a child with relatively few cares and concerns, it was so easy to be thankful and to be caught up in the beauty of that prayer moment. However, as an adult with life size pressures, burdens and responsibilities, too often I let the complexities of life in this economic downturn steal my joy and cloud my ability to see all the many reasons for which I have to be thankful!
Psalm 100 says, “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Beloved friends and ministry partners, I am so thankful for you and all the sacrifices you have made to support our ministry through the years. Thank you! You have shared in my calling and dream to train and mobilize thousands of next gen. urban leaders to reach and disciple an un-reached people group: urban youth. Thank you for investing to help us mentor urban youth pastors who are working to complete the Great Commission where the Church is often weakest…in our inner cities.
Please know that this Thanksgiving, my family and I will be giving thanks to our King for you beloved friends. We are so honored to know you and serve our Lord with you and because of your financial partnership.
With Thanksgiving…for you,
Dr. Larry Acosta