Someone said at a recent Cristo Rey Network meeting that the whole Network story is “simply a miracle.” Those of us who see the work from the inside know how many obstacles have been overcome and how many times it seemed like one or another school appeared on the verge of failure. But it hasn’t happened, which does not at all mean that it will never happen. Last year nearly 6,000 students attended the 24 Cristo Rey Network schools across the country and they are better off for it. They are that much closer to being all God meant them to be.
We have often said that our model is very precarious. We are dependent upon many factors, one of the most important being the procurement of jobs for our students. One of our Mission Effectiveness Standards is that all the students will work, and to do that, we have to have jobs. Given the economy we live in, it is “simply a miracle” that our schools find sufficient employment.
The Cristo Rey Network is a risky business. It’s a little like accepting Christ’s invitation to walk on water. The fact that our Network continues to do so well is a sign that it is the grace of God working through our schools that keeps us going. It is a constant reminder that the work is not ours. It is really a ministry. We are about Christ’s work in urban America. Everything we do is for the good of our students; everything we do is a concrete expression of God saving His people once again. Nothing less.