Angela Reeves (Chicago 2002) was the Area Director of Young Life in Cabrini Green on the north side of Chicago, and the Children’s Church Director at her home church when she began the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (DVULI). Looking back on her experience with the program, she says it has been very impactful in her life.
Throughout the 15-month training, Reeves realized that as much as she thought she was doing a great job implementing the Core Values in her life and ministry, there were still areas of improvement to be made – mostly with balance and empowerment.
“I’ve always been good with empowerment, but I’ve gotten better, even in my current job. But leveraging, being able to use all resources and being available – not just for what I can do, but being available for other people, different organizations, parents, the church, and the community. The Initiative has been woven into my life in every aspect.”
Reeves wasn’t the only one who benefited from the DVULI program.
“I waited until midway through DeVos before I actually started implementing anything that I had learned. The two things that I introduced to both teams were balance and accountability. Those were the two things that I was out of line with as well, and I just happen to be one of those people that when I get the ‘ah-ha moment’ I want everybody else to have the ‘ah-ha moment,’ because I want us all to live well for the Kingdom, said Reeves. “So today I’m still doing the training with my local church on accountability and balance.”
But it was her family and close friends who saw the greatest impact of DVULI on her life and ministry. “My family was delighted that I figured out that ministry, and family, and church – even though they intertwine – there should be, at some point, a clear separation,” she said. “I do family vacations twice a year, one with my five sisters, and we do a family vacation with our brothers as well. Also finding time for myself, and enjoying being in the presence of the Lord; the silence has been very, very helpful to me and being able to reflect on what the Lord has given me to do, and sit and listen and wait to hear what He says is next.”
The first thing Reeves would say to someone considering applying for the DVULI: “Are you ready for change? Are you willing and ready, and can you be honest with yourself? Because I know that from doing full time ministry for the last 30 years, if you’re not ready and you don’t want help, it won’t happen. It might come back to your memory in years to come, but you need to be ready.”