We are very pleased to announce the appointment of James P. “JP” Andrews to the position of Executive Director. JP, an attorney from Denver, has a wide variety of experience that will lend itself to leading our ministry. He has non-profit experience, launching and leading a foundation (SICA) that financially supports construction and iconography projects in Orthodox Churches.
As a Naval officer and attorney in the US Navy, he has international experience working with NGO's and international staff at NATO. Our Home Building Program will also benefit from JP’s construction management experience where he helped run his family's construction business for a decade. JP and his wife, Beth, have two young sons and JP currently serves as a Sub-Deacon in the Antiochian Church.
As JP joins our team, we wish to offer our sincerest thanks to Ben De La Riva, who has passionately led our organization as Executive Director for the past three years. We are very grateful that Ben gave so faithfully of himself for the growth and success of our mission. We wish Ben all of God’s blessings as he moves on to new endeavors.
Please join us as we wish Ben farewell and give a warm welcome to JP. May God bless them both!
A Message from Ben De La Riva, Outgoing Executive Director
It is with joyful sorrow that I offer my last message to you as Executive Director. As I reflect on the past three years of my life with Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage, I feel blessed beyond measure. My time leading this ministry of hope has shaped so many aspects of my personal, professional and spiritual life that looking towards the future will be understandably challenging.
While it is impossible for me to recognize all of those who made my tenure both memorable and rewarding, a perfect place to begin is with my remarkable staff. Over the years, their humility, personal sacrifice, selfless dedication and unfailing support of my leadership were instrumental in the many successes that we achieved together as a team. Their trust and friendship have made me both a better man and Christian, and I am grateful for each and every one of them. On a much more personal note, I am forever grateful to my Director of Donor Engagement and wife, Soula, for her love and support and for encouraging me every step of the way during this very special journey. I would also like to extend my immense gratitude to all of you. Your limitless support and kind words were a constant source of spiritual inspiration and personal strength. Your prayers and generosity over the years significantly lightened, not only my load, but that of my dedicated staff, our amazing boys and all of those we serve.
As I venture forward, I know that I am leaving this important ministry in very capable hands with James (JP) Andrews. I am glad to say that his experience, talent and vision will further an already rich legacy of selfless service to others in the name of Jesus Christ. I humbly ask that you embrace him as warmly as you received me when I joined the Project Mexico Family.
In lieu of goodbye, I will say, “Thank you all for your friendship and see you soon.”
Together in Christ,
Ben De La Riva
A Message from James P. Andrews, Incoming Executive Director
To Our Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage Family,
Greetings on the feast of the Nativity of Theotokos during this season of the Ecclesiastical New Year as, “The Church keeps festival this day, beseeching God for fair weather, seasonable rains, and an abundance of the fruits of the earth!” I am excited to take the helm of Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage as the Executive Director in a time of new beginning and at the completion of another fruitful harvest. With your support, this summer we built 23 houses for the poor of Mexico and added three new boys to the twenty-one already in our care.
My wife and I are blessed to begin this journey along with our two boys, Benjamin and Evan. My abilities are well-suited for our mission as I have a project management and construction background, international law and non-profit management, and fundraising experience. Yet, I am but following in my wife's footsteps as she served in the Peace Corps in Mongolia and in Alaska as a Vista leader with AmeriCorps. We both served as Navy JAG Corps attorneys before returning to Colorado. We are excited to humbly offer our talents in support of Project Mexico and continue our service.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Ben De La Riva for his work here on behalf of Project Mexico over the past three years. Project Mexico has grown into a professional organization under the direction of Ben, who adroitly took his military and consulting experience to develop this ministry into the next generation of charitable organization. Project Mexico will enjoy the fruits of his labor for years to come. I look forward to working with the staff and you, our fellow co-workers in Christ, as we begin a new year in service of our neighbors, the poor and orphaned of Mexico.
With the Love of Christ,
James P. Andrews