Saturday, 30 April 2011

Emsi-working to improve the lives of children

The Emsimision team that Javier García traveled with has now returned home with their minds and hearts full of emotion and memories of stories, people and experiences. A few days ago, we wrote about some of the operations that the medical team completed in Burkina. Today we want to share a bit more about this beautiful work that they have done in Africa.

"On Friday, April 22, some of us went to CEFISE, a large center in West Africa where deaf children and hearing children study together. This enables them all to learn sign language which creates a perfect integration for those who have partial and total hearing loss. All together, in the 3 centers that CEFISE has in Burkina, there are 3,434 school children between 3 and 25 years old. The educational needs of every age group are met, from infancy to high school graduation and professional training. One out of eight of these children is deaf.

Emsimision´s partnership with CEFISE consists of child sponsorships by families of children with hearing deficiencies. These families cover the necessary costs of development for these children to become an integrated part of society, to be able to communicate and recognize their self-worth. In fact, many of these deaf children go on to university and the majority of them learn a trade thanks to the professional training that is also given at the center.

We can see an example in the picture above: In the photo we see Poline. She is a 7-year-old deaf Burkinabé girl and in September she will be able to go to school for the first time thanks to Silvia. Silvia decided to sponsor her and give her the opportunity to learn sign language and she may also have the opportunity to receive auditory implants tht would allow her to hear for the first time. 

Emsimision partners with CEFISE to fund the costs of education and feeding of 15 boys and girls that have been sponsored by families thanks to the Oumarou Project (which takes its name from the first child that was sponsored.) We visited them on Friday and we took them some gifts that the sponsors had asked us to bring."

We give thanks to God for this opportunity, for their protection and also for the courage and the commitment of this team that traveled there, that worked hard in spite of the riots, the nation-wide curfew and all the complications that came from them.

"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" --Matthew 25:40

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Archivo Cero (File Zero) in Barcelona

"Thank you for the bracelet. I congratulate you guys for your initiative. Coming to this Hall of Comics has really been worth it. Congratulations again and I hope that everything goes well as you continue updating the web. You have a new fan."

"This morning I saw the series and it´s not bad at all. It´s very well dome; and thanks for the candy and the braclet."

"Will this series be shown on TV? Because that would be awesome."

"It´s an interesting proposal from the hacker series. It´s a series that I was looking for and by conincidence I just found it on the internet."

"I love Archivo Cero (the File Zero). I´m hooked and I am so curious and anxiously waiting for the new espisode."

"Without historical memory, we are more easily swayed and influenced. Fantastic series and I love the bracelet. Thanks for everything! :D"

"I´ve seen some of the episdoes and I really liked them. When is the next one coming out?"

These are some of the comments that young people from the Barcelona Hall of Comics left on Archivo Cero´s Facebook page.

Marc and Eva also told us that there were several kids that were looking for the Archivo Cero stand because several months before they had seen it for the first time. They told Marc and Eva that they had been following the series and they couldn´t wait for episode 5 to come out. There was even one young person who has for an additional bracelet because the one they gave him at the last Hall of Comics in Barcelona was worn out.

We are so happy to know that the series is reaching adolescents and young adults. It´s encouraging to realize that they are following the series, it´s making them think and they are enjoying it.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Emsimisión in Burkina

Emsimisión has traveled once again to Burkina Faso to continue the restoration of body and soul of the Burkinian people. Our fellow staff member Javier Garcia accompanied them as on other occasions.

During this trip, not only did the group encounter the usual challenges, like 112ºF average temperatures and the condition of the physician´s medical tools; but they also had to deal with the unstable situation of rioting that has been going on in the country. Even though they themselves are well and far from danger, the nation-wide curfew that was declared has forced the delay of their plans and projects.

In spite of these circumstances, the team is completing its objectives. The following is a summary of what they have experienced and done from their log on April 21st:

"It´s been an intense day in which we have completed 130 extractions, 81 dental visits, 22 cataract operations, 53 pediatric visits, and 64 blood tests, half of which tested positive for malaria.

The statistics, listed as they are, would mean nothing if they weren´t linked to people with names, with families, with personal projects (although the idea of "projects" might have a different concept from the way we in the Western world think of projects.) Their projects are not projects of innovation, nor of real estate speculation, nor professional development. They are life projects, personal projects of survival, in a land that is dry and arid during this time of year, where the basic food needs are barely met for the population. 

Emsimisión offers what it does best: qualified professionals and volunteers from the healthcare field and their time and professional knowledge, free of cost, to serve the peole of Yagma to help aleviate their suffering; while at the same time, offering professional training to medical students in the country, the future doctors of Burkina."

We thank God for the commitment, dedication and courage of these well-equipped people to continue helping and serving in the midst of difficult circumstances. Let´s continue to pray for our fellow laborers and for Burkina Faso.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

EJE in Madrid

This past April 9th and 10th EJE showed up again in Madrid, surprising 24 teenagers and young adults from different cities who got to live the experience of the EJE. Mariano Pineda, the director of this ministry tool in Madrid, summarizes the impressions of the participants:

"At one point, we asked the youth that attended the event, `How would you define the EJE in one word?´   And these were their responses...

"Community," "Service," "Fun," "Change," "Jesus," "Opportunity," "Action," "Love," "Friendship," "Surprise," "Emotion."

During this weekend we experienced all of this once again, serving 25 teenagers and young adults. We also had the privilege of team members from Tarragona, Granada and Albacete working with us."

Monday, 18 April 2011

News from GAiN

We continue to receive news from Riga where the directors of GAiN, from different European countries, are meeting. Ruben Rivera´s most recent update mentions the agreements and decisions that have been made.

The directors of GAiN continue our meetings in Riga and we have signed a protocol document of collaboration and common strategies among the 5 European countries represented. Among other things, we were able to come to an agreement about the projects that we will be concentrating on in the upcoming years. These projects are located in countries like Estonia, Lativa, Romania, Bosnia and outside of Europe as well, Haiti, Uganda and Japan. Working together we hope to continue creating and increasing their aid network to reach the maximum number of needy people in these places. This is what unites and motivates the group. 

--Ruben Rivera

In the photograph (left to right):
Daina Vilde (Gain Letonia), Rubén Rivera (Gain España), Max Veenstra (Gain Holanda), Klaus Dewald (Gain Alemania) and Peter Heinz (Gain Austria). 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

GAiN in Europe unites its efforts to continue helping throughout the world

The directors from the European countries where GAiN exists are meeting from April 13-17 in Riga, Latvia. Ruben Rivera, GAiN Spain director, informs us below of what´s happening in this first European GAiN Conference.

"Greetings to everyone from Riga!

Represented here are Germany, Holland, Austria, Latvia, Estonia and Spain. Together we are working out common strategies to be more effective in the sending of humanitarian aid wherever it´s necessary. We are creating a combined logistic network that will sustain the sending of this aid throughout the world, especially wanting to involve people that want to participate in this mission that unites us all.

It´s very exciting to be a part, as GAiN España, of this common visoin of so many countries, working with intensity and excellence in the midst of the needs of those who suffer most around the world.

While I´m here at the conference I wanted to encourage you to join with us in the projects that we are carrying out within Spain and outside of Spain.

You already know it....TOGETHER WE CAN HELP.

--Ruben Rivera"

Pictured in the photo are the European GAiN directors.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Buenpass Jam

This past Saturday, April 9th, the team of teenagers from Urban Media particpated with the Buenpass Jam event in the Bon Pastor neighborhood in Barcelona. Buenpass Jam is a hip hop event with sports and urban culture whose objective is to mobilize young people of the neighborhood to create community and promote positive values through the mediums of the arts and sports.

This festival came from the initiative of the educators in the neighborhood and the youth associations related to the urban culture of the District 9 neighborhood, of which Urban Media is a part. It was a great opportunity to be able to serve and help the city of Barcelona through the talents and resources that God has given us.

Urban Media was also responsible for producing the promotional video of the event.

BUENPASS JAM 2011 from Urban Teuve on Vimeo.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Basketball Academy in Parque Victoria

Athletes in Action has re-started its bilingual basketball academy in La Cala, Malaga. It´s a project for children, teenagers and young adults from 4-18 years-old. Through these basketball classes, AIA is able to share life principles and values that not only reach the young people who participate, but this activity also gives our fellow staff the opportunity to be in contact with the parents and the community of La Cala.

This basketball project is a relational project that deals with people, but it is also a high-quality sports program. These classes are some of the most well-known in Málaga and they are linked to Sportplus in Frigiliana. The coaches, official players, are Spaniards and Americans.

Among those that are participating are our fellow staff Ruben Fernández, Abraham Crespo and Lindsay Zastrow.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Archivo Cero (File Zero) in El Fuerte

Our fellow staff member Mar Resa is starting to work with one of the Malaga Administrative Councils, specifically with the council of the El Fuerte neighborhood. There she is promoting Obra Social Agape (Social Work Agape) and also Archivo Cero (File Zero.)

This past Saturday Archivo Cero was shown at the community hall of the neighborhood. On the work team, in addition to counting on the partnership of the Student Ministry STINTERS in Málaga, a youth group from one of the local churches attended to lend a hand. This same group participated in the Hall of Comics in Granada and the associated event of LINK a few months ago.

It was a good turn out with 25 young people, between 10 and 15 years-old, showing up. Their response was very positive to the introduction of the series. The most significant thing was the reaction of the adolescents when Jesus showed up in Chapter 3. At first, everyone was quiet without having to be asked to quiet down. As the animated comic continued they started to whisper about who that person was that left the protagonists speechless.

Mar said that what impressed her most was to see how Jesus continues to make an impact by His presence alone and never leaves anyone indifferent. Noone told the crowd that the character in Chapter 3 was Jesus, but the adolescents knew it as soon as they saw him. Our desire and prayer is that not only recongize who Jesus is by his physical appearance, but that He also reveals Himself to their hearts.

The next challenge for Mar and Gema Álvarez is to be able to take Archivo Cero and Link to other cities in Andalucía. The next stop where Archivo Cero will be shown will be Jaén.

Our great desire is that Jesus continues to impact and reveal himself to adolescents in Andalucía through this special comic series.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Chapter 4 of Archivo Cero (File Zero)

Chapter 4 of the Archivo Cero series has now been published. You can see it by clicking here. Be sure to promote this series among your contacts, acquaintances and friends.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Felix and Sara in Chile

During the months of January and February, Felix Ortiz and Sara Bonet travelled to Chile where they visited different cities with the goal of working with leaders and young people. It was the first time that Felix and Sara had done ministry in this country. According to Felix, the really enjoyed their time and it was a great blessing. Below we are able to learn more about the trip, narrated by Felix himself:

Our first stop in the country was Vallenar, in the north, in the Atacama Desert. There we worked with an NGO called Filadelfia that, among other activities, works with boys and girls at-risk. We had the opportunity to lead a training time at their camp in mid-January. The work that this organization does is very important and they are doing a great work and having a great impact among young people in the area. 

Our next stop was in Valparaiso/Quilpué where we participated in CIMA/FACTOR X, a national missions conference whose objective was to motivate young people to missions, short-term and long-term. The enphasis was not just in missions to other countries but also in the mission here and now, that is to say, in our own countries and our own little worlds. 

Our last stop was in Chile´s capital, Santiago. There were worked with "Especialidades Junveniles" (Youth Specialties) and shared a seminar with youth leaders about working with post-modern youth.

Pictured above: -Felix during one of his talks at CIMA/FACTOR X