Friday, 31 May 2013

Thank You Josepa

Today is a sad day for all of us: Agape staff, supporters, friends and followers of Jesus. Last night the life of Josepa, Josep Monells' wife, came to an end. She was a sweet, endearing woman who fought for her family, for the gospel and for the ministry, together with her husband.

Since their youth as followers of Jesus, they shared the good news with those around them that God loved them. During a period when their country was experiencing a dictatorship, they were faced with many problems in their evangelistic effots, but it didn´t stop them. In 1960 they were even arrested, and their home, which housed the evangelistic materials they distributed,  was searched.

In addition to accompanying, supporting and participating shoulder-to-shoulder with their seven children and her husband in the pastoral work and the launching of the Barcelona Evangelistic School, they went to Mexico and the United States in 1969 to be trained by Campus Crusade for Christ.

In 1970 they started Agape Spain. Thanks to Josep Monells and his dear wife Josepa, we now continue on the path that they started in our country.

She was....a follower and servant with a faithful heart in love with Jesus.

She was....a supportive wife who helped her husband in all aspects of the ministry, including the church and our organization.

She was....a devoted mother and loved by her children.

Josepa was loved by all.

We grieve because good-byes are always painful, especially when the impact made by the departed was so deep, impossible to forget and so significant that it is worthy of imitation.

Thank you for your devotion, for your example, for your sacrifice, for your legacy, for your story and for being who you were.

We will always love you and remember you!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Archivo Cero on TVE (Spanish Television)

Televisión Española´s Channel 2 aired a report on their "Buenas Noticas" (Good News) program about Archivo Cero. During the report, they interview our fellow staff Eva Aldea, Marc Fuentes and Mariona Mirón who explained the how´s, when, and why´s of Archivo Cero´s inception. They shared Archivo Cero´s purpose as a tool to share with teenagers and young people about Jesus´ life through comic animation. They also discussed the creation process as each episode rolls of the production line and future projects in mind for this series.

"Buenas Noticias" highlighted the creativity of this tool, the importance of bringing the message of Jesus to our society in a modern, relevant and up-to-date way, especially for young people.

Click below to see the interview.

Monday, 18 February 2013

A Special Q-Valencia Gathering

On February 8th, Q Valencia invited friends, university alumni and current students involved with Q, ministry partners and other key individuals to learn more about what Q is.

A total of 32 people came to the cocktail event designed to present the ministry of Q, why Q is needed at the university and in our society. It was also a great chance to connect with each other as followers of Jesus and key people that they did not face-to-face until the event.

The gathering was relaxed and informal. Nacho Marques began the presentation by talking about Q: what it is, who they are, why Q is helpful and necessary for university students.

Following Nacho was National Director Edi Souto who traveled from Barcelona to share about Agape and Agape´s vision for our country and our society.

Rounding out the evening was special guest Gotzone Mora, a national politician who worked with different political parties and, as a result of his fight for human rights and against terrorism, now lives a life of protection accompanied by bodyguards. The police actually discovered documents from ETA where she was listed as an assassination target.

Gotzone calls herself a follower of Jesus and continues to fight for equality and justice. During the gathering, she shared her testimony, how she had to leave her home and is unable to return to the Basque Country due to death threats, and how she sees the current situation in Spain and how groups like Q are very necessary among university students for our society.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Clean Drinking Water for the Children at Ça-Ira

In spite of the difficulties that were experienced at customs in the Haiti Port, the water purification system that Agape sent to the Ça-Ira Children´s Home is now up and working for the children and for the community. Thanks to this new arrival, now the 100 orphans and the 220 other students that attend the primary school in the center of town are directly benefiting from the tremendous contribution that the purification system is making toward good health.

In addition, it seems that the news of this system has spread to the nearby towns and many people are coming for the fresh, clean water, something still quite new in the area, in spite of the fact that it´s already been three years since the 2010 earthquake.

Until now, the water that the children´s home used came from a well that GAiN built shortly after the earthquake, but there wasn´t 100% confidence of its potability. Now, thanks to the purification system, which filters the water from that same well, the water comes out completely clean.

We want and hope that many more people come to know and have access to this water, knowing how important it is for the Haitian community, especially for the children, to have access to clean, quality water.

The sending of the portable purification system, H2Optima, was a joint effort by GAiN Spain and Optima Renovables, the creators of the purification system. The copmany donated the machine without cost so that those with such great need, like those in Haiti, could benefit from its numerous advantages, for example, the system is solar-powered, something very important in Haiti, given that the cost and the inconvenience of other types of energy.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Good-bye Arsenio

Yesterday morning we said "good-bye" to Arsenio, one of the most beloved neighbors in Ligonde, Lugo, the little town where the Fuente del Peregrino (Pilgrim´s Fountain refuge house) is located. Arsenio suffered a strong heart attack that ended his life. Natán de Souza had the opportunity to be present with his son and family yesterday afternoon as they said good-bye and he sent them all of our love and care.

All of us who have served at the Fuente remember Arsenio with his cane, his careful, slow-moving gait and the smile that he always carried. Without a doubt, he was an endearing man. Although he was always sharing old "war" stories that made you laugh, he also offered deep conversations and wise words. He was a man who had lived many years, and his life and its suffering had taught him many things.

Not long ago, through one of these conversations filled with sense and meaning with one of our fellow staff, he himself recognized that he was not good enough to go to heaven; but as the conversation continued, he also spoke of Jesus, his sacrifice and of salvation, and how John O´Neal had explained this to him many years ago and that he understood.

Sometimes, when the "Fuente" volunteers finished their volunteer week of work and were leaving, they would tell him, "Arsenio, we´ll see you next year," and he would answer, "We´ll see. When next year comes I might not be here..."

Without a doubt, we will miss Arsenio the next time we go back to visit and work in Ligonde. Although we will not find him sitting by the road where the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) passes by, we will see him again one day, because, in the end, we have found the same way, the same truth and the same life in Jesus.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Joining the Team

This winter´s new staff training for Agape staff was held on January 11th and 12th in Terrassa and Barcelona. Miqui Forster, Mía Gutierrez and Dan Fernández have decided to link arms with us. Specifically, Miqui and Mía will work with the GAiN ministry and Dan will work with Athletes in Action.

Edi Souto, Marc Fuentes, Loida Martín and Gema Alvarez were with them, delivering principles and laying the foundation for these new staff. This training will be followed up by Ministry Partner Development (MPD) Training with María Juan which will begin January 28.

We are happy that our team continues to grow because we have many bridges yet to build so as to change many lives. Miqui, Mía and Dan are very eager to begin and have a deep conviction to dedicate their lives to serving others. Without a doubt, God continues to raise up young people who repond to the call to be "agents of restoration."

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Intense Surprise That Will Rock Your World

"Now I understand why EJE is an event that you cannot explain: it´s because you have to experience it. It leaves you literally speechless. It´s a weekend full of surprises, laughter, discovery in which each person that attends takes away something special and unique. It´s a time where you feel very cared for, protected, special, challenged, surprised, expectant....In order for the EJE to be an authentic experience, you´ve gotta give it 100%."

"An intense surprise that will rock your world and will leave filled with happiness and wanting more."

These are the just a few comments from a couple of the participants in the November 17-18 EJE in Madrid. This was the 10th edition of the activity in Madrid and it was totally student-led (university and high school students.) More than two hundred people participated in this weekend event. As we hear, the EJE continues to impact those that live it. It continues to be a special weekend that is anything but normal!!!