Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Fuente del Peregrino--June 12-26, 2011


For two straight weeks a group from the U.S., led by Christopher and Julia, have been working at the "Fuente del Peregrino" (The Fountain of the Pilgrim). For them it´s been a very special experience. As Christopher describes his time there, he says that the group experienced a great atmosphere of fellowship, especially because it was easy and natural to talk about spiritual things.

During the dinners they had lots of opportunities to share their faith. Christopher shared about a pilgrim named Günter who started the "camino" in France. After a month of life as a pilgrim he felt disappointed because he had not yet found what he was looking for. After passing by the "Fuente del Peregrino" he finally felt the authentic spirit of the "camino." At almost the very end of his pilgrimage he found our pilgrim house which meant for him fellowship and genuine love, an atmosphere where one can feel at home and live out a true spiritual experience.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The PDE in Granada



From June 1-3, the PDE (Student Priority) met in Granada with its directors, Garrick and Dziu Roegner, to lead them. Donna Cannella, Joan Armand Forero, Samuel Palacios and Mar Resa were all there.

Together they worked on an evaluation of the school year and also had some time to dream, to plan, to work on and pool their resources so as to carry out the most effective work possible for the upcoming school year. Projects such as "Existe Más Mundo" (More World Exists), Urban Consortium and Obra Social (Social Work) are more and more effective and relevant in the world of students.

We give thanks to God for all of our fellow staff that work with young people: for the time, the encouragement and the engery they invest to help, to guide and to reach students of our country, showing them the love of God.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Chapter 5 of the Zero File



We can now enjoy Episode 5 of Archivo Cero (the Zero File) by clicking here or you can visit the animated series yourself at www.archivocero.net.

Be sure not to miss this new epidsode and share it with others!

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

"After this summer the Dawn Refuge will not open its doors again."


It´s been almost fifteen years since we started to develop our dream of helping the most disadvantaged and what better way to help than working with children who, for a variety of reasons, had been deprived of a family. This is how we began the adventure of the "Refugio del Alba" or the Dawn Refuge and that´s how 5 young Spaniards who started this "crazyness" ended up living in Portugal.

In January of 2000 the Children´s Home received its first child: Nelson. He came from a marginalized neighborhood in Lisbon and had just turned 5 years old. Since then, 35 children have come through the Home, 35 new opportunities for 35 lives in which we have seen real miracles happen.

For the past three years we have stopped receiving new children. The Portuguese Administration (that has never helped us financially) started to require changes and improvements in our facilities which we´ve worked hard to complete at great financial costs, but it´s all been in vain. In a country where the crisis has pushed the government to ask the European Union for help, children´s homes like ours begin to disappear because it´s more politically correct tos ay that there are no institutionalized children, although there continue to be hundreds of children with a family, which is what the Dawn Refuge was able to offer them. 

We have tried to fight this, but we can´t have a Children´s Home without children. For this reason, we have been left with no other choice than to accept the fact that at the end of this summer the Dawn Refuge will not open its doors again. In these moments, we don´t have the words to express our sadness and the impotence that wefeel toward a system that keeps us from doing good; but we will not let anyone destroy the dream: our commitment to those who are suffering will continue to move forward.

Our greatest dsire is that this generation of children that have lived these last eleven years with us at the Refuge will in the future become good men and good women who will in turn help others so that the world will be a better place.

Now, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone that has accompanied us on this journey, those that have accompanied us in this adventure...

We will keep moving forward again and always....to build hope.

Edi, Isa, Rubén, Loida and Rut

Friday, 17 June 2011

First Week at the Fuente del Peregrino



On June 5th the Fuente received its first host team who got everything rolling for the season:  the house, the beds, the coffee and the service to tend to the pilgrims on the Way of Saint James. Rex Winn was the team leader of this group which was made up of 3 Spaniards and 5 Americans that came to Spain for 10 days just to serve the pilgrims.

It was a week full of surprises and challenges. The first and most evident was upon arrival finding the "camino" under construction! For the last four months there has been a group of workers working on the "camino" that passes right through Ligonde, the village where the pilgrim house is located. During the week that the first team was in the house, the construction work continued. That very wek they had just asphalted the road that passes right by the pilgrim house. This meant that the pilgrims that wanted to come to the "Fuente" for coffee or use the bathrooms had to take a detour from the "camino," which the boss of the construction was nice enough to mark with signs.

In spite of the changes that the team had to make, the most interesting events as always are the personal stories, the people that they were able to assist. As in previous year, there were a lot of people that used the word "oasis" when they referred to the pilgrim house. Many others said that they felt an unexplainable peace when they passed through our doors. One can´t help but notice the love of God.When it is present you can feel it, you understand it, even without words.

A pilgrim from Málaga was sent on his way with tears in his eyes after two host team members tended to his one of his feet and wrapped it bandages. He said that he had never seen anything like that anywhere on the "camino."

Bego, a Basque pilgrim, also left deeply touched and crying after another host team member prayed for her, asking Jesus to show himself to her.

There were many stories, many people, seeds sown that we hope that will one day yield good fruit, fruit that will last.

We continue to be tremendously grateful to God for this place where we can continue receiving people, people that house in their hearts experiences, hopes, promises, expectations, questions, sadness and memories that move them and motivate them to pick up their backpack and start walking.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Proyecto Llar Manel Pujades, Recovery House


For some time now our fellow staff in Barcelona have been working ona  new project with GAiN to help homeless people and ex-convicts. The project consists of an apartment that will serve as a recovery house for these men and will be under the direction of GAiN.


Last week we received the news from Samuel Palacios that the Bona Nova church, current owners of the uninhabited apartment, voted to yield the apartment to GAiN for this Llar manel Pujades Project. As a result, this property will be converted into the recovery house that they have been looking for.

We hope and desire that this project creates restoration and brings hope to those who need it most.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Office in Terrassa



The Vallés team has new offices in Terrassa whose doors have been opened to serve the city community, the city hall and our fellow staff. Isabel Fernández tells us about these facilities and how they are being used:

"We present our new offices in Terrassa. As you can see they are quite spacious and we feel very privileged to be able to put them to use. The activities that we are developing here are quite varied: the "Existeix Més" (More Exists) for teenagers, a women´s workshop called "per tu" (for you), Spanish classes for Moroccan women....All of these activities are held in the large 1356 square foot hall on the first floor.


The second floor is office space where we´ve created a cozy environment to meet with people, have some coffee, have exploration groups about the person of Jesus, have a women´s Bible study, a training time for financial support raising as well as other topics. This floor is also the office for GAiN (Global Aid Network-an Agape NGO) in Spain whos objective is to provide help in urgent situations and natural disasters through volunteerism and humanitarian aid. In this way we are able to share God´s love with those in need.


In addition, I think it´s important to note that we are serving the community. Even our own city hall is using our facilities to teach its official Catalan courses. It´s really been an incredible gift of God and all the staff in Terrassa feel very grateful and privileged to be able to work in such an inviting atmosphere."

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

And you shall be my witnesses....


Julia is an American STINTer that has come to Malaga for a year to work with the student team in that city, partnering with them in various projects and talking about Jesus with the young people. Julia met Anne Marie on campus and since then their friendship has grown. Julia wanted to share her story with Anne Marie here on the Agape blog, of how they starting talking about her faith and how Anne Marie wanted to do the same with her friends.

"My friend Anne Marie is a student from England that is studying in Málaga with the Erasmus program. Since I met her in October, it´s been a great blessing for me to see how the Lord has been touching her and influencing her heart. A pretty tragic and complicated situation in her family has caused her to search hard for God. Anne Marie and I meet once a week to pray and read the Bible together. A couple weeks ago when we were finishing our study she asked me if I could help her learn how to share her faith with her friends. I´m so grateful to have met Anne Marie and to have the opportunity to be here and to be able to accompany her on this faith journey and to share how to talk with others about who this Jesus is that has changed her life and her heart. I trust that the Lord is doing great things in her life and that she could be a woman of influence in the future for God´s kingdom."

When you find something that is really good, it´s difficult to be quiet about it and not tell the whole world what you have found and how its changed your life. Without a doubt, Jesus has impacted the life of Anne Marie and she wants to tell everyone about it.

"...and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  --Acts 1:8

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Existe Más Mundo Málaga in Portugal


As we published a few weeks ago, the Existe Más Mundo team from Málaga travelled to Portugal to the Dawn Refuge to take food goods to the home, to do odd jobs around the home and to get to know the Existe Más Mundo team in Portugal better.

Our fellow staff and the students from the team also brought along 2 young university women studying early childhood education whom they met on campus during a food drive for the children´s home. The experience was very positive for both women who shared that they had never before been involved in anything like this. Without a doubt, these days made a great impact on their lives.

During their time at the Dawn Refuge the team helped with a variety of jobs from gardening to playing with kids and spending quality time with them. They also organized some sports activities for the children in the neighborhood of Canellas (where the home is located) led by the children living at the Refuge.

In addition to their work at the Refuge, the Málaga team also partnered with the Existe Más Mundo team in Portugal who regularly distribute food to homeless people. The experience must have struck a chord with the Málaga team who will start this month to partner with another organization in Málaga that provides food for almost 300 homeless people a day in the Andalusian city.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt the love of Jesus is practical: it is seen, it is lived and, at times, it is expressed with words.