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!!!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Training Leaders in Orlando

This past October, Félix Ortíz and Sara Bonet travelled to Orlando, Fl to particpate in the Convención International de Liderazgo Juvenil (Youth Leadership International  Conference) organized by Especialidades Juveniles (Youth Specialties), an organzation whose mission is to train and equip leaders to be effective youth leaders.

Close to a thousand leaders from the United States and Latin American countries met together for an intense time of vision, motivation, training as well as opportunities to gather resources and make connections with other youth leaders.

Félix was responsible to lead several training sessions for more than four hundred youth leaders: How to share your faith in a post-modern culture and How to facilitate cooperation between families and youth leaders were among the topics that he spoke on.

However, Félix was especially pleased to have the opportunity to give three workshops on How to Integrate the Basic Tools of Coaching Using Your Own Leadership Style. About three hundred youth leaders participated. Both Félix and Sara think that Coaching will be one of the key topics and tools in the development of future leaders. By integrating these tools, the effectiveness of leaders will increase and the impact that they can have in developing mature and stable followers of Jesus will also increase, as well as their commitment to be agents of restoration in a broken world.


Both Félix and Sara are adding to their own training and certification, not only to become experts in this tool of Coaching and use it in their own ministries, but also to be able to develop others.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Violet Ngo, the Spanish Roegner!

Violet Ngo Roegner was born November 23rd at 3:34am in Granada, Spain. Violet es the youngest member of the Roegner family. Our fellow staff Garrick and Dziu, national directors of the Student Ministry in Spain, just became parents for the third time, but it´s their first time to be parents of a daughter born in Spain.

Both mommy and daughter Violet are doing very well. They arrived home on Saturday. The delivery and recuperation have gone well; and, as they explained to us, their experience in the hospital was a very positive one. They are very happy.

Garrick told us that her older brother and sister are very happy with Violet´s arrival as well. Evelyn thinks she has received a doll as an early Christmas gift and wants to hold her in her arms all the time. Mathis tells her jokes and makes funny faces whenever she cries to help cheer her up.

We are so happy for all of them. Many congratulations!

Monday, 5 November 2012

GAiN Spanish Course 2012-2013

The Spanish classes for Moroccan women in the Can Anglada district in Terrassa is in its fifth year, helping these immigrant women to learn our language and, with that, to give them the ability to communicate in our country and the opportunity to go beyond merely their own social circles and to meet other women who follow Jesus.

The school offers 5 learning levels: Pre-Writing, Literacy I, Literacy II, Reading and Writing and Advanced. This year, 100 women signed up and there were at least 50 more who were not able to enter since the school cannot accomodate such a great number of students. In spite of this, our fellow staff felt obligated to allow more students than originally decided into their classes because of the great demand. Even still, there are women who show up every week at the GAiN office requesting a place in these classes, but unfortunately there is no more room.

On the team of staff and volunteers for this project there are social workers, educational psychologists, teachers, and even a Moroccan volunteer as well.

The classes take place form 9:30-11:45 Tuesday through Friday.

One of our fellow staff shares the following story about this project:

"We continue to discover amazing stories of the influence that we have had on the lives of these women. During this school year there are many new women and it´s wonderful to be able to see how the "veterans" describe us to them. Some of them literally say that we are "angels," good people that take an interest in their lives and not just to teach them a language. 

For women who really have no Spanish context and who, on many occasions, live life trapped in their apartments and their families, these language classes are offering them the opportunity to express themselves, to learn, to relate, to see people that live differently because they follow the person of Jesus. Truly, the Moroccan women with whom we are working see how we are different and in this way we are communicating the love of God and Jesus to them. 

Through this Spanish course we are building significant bridges to influence lives, lives that are totally isolated and that have many physical, emotional and spiritual needs. If we could actually put ourselves in the place of these women, we would realize why they are so appreciative for a simply Spanish class: It is the only path for them to leave their ghetto, in every sense of the world: cultural, family, religious, etc."

In addition to these Spanish classes, GAiN is offering "Attention for the Moroccan Woman" where assistance is offered in connecting with Social Services in the district. Our social worker dedicates an entire morning to meeting with them, detecting their needs and trying to find resources to aid them. It´s a great opportunity to develop greater contact with them on a personal level and influence their lives.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

GAiN´s Winter Campaign for the Homeless

The statistics and the most recent headcount tell us that there are, at the moment, a total of 3,175 people living on the streets of Barcelona due to a lack of resources and/or personal struggles. This reality becomes even more complicated with winter´s arrival since the cold is one of the factors that makes living on the street so difficult for the homeless.

Most recently, GAiN has designed a winter campaign that consists of collecting and delivering items that, in one way or other, help to soothe the suffering of those who are homeless in Barcelona. The campaign is focusing its efforts on the collection and delivery of the following items which help combat the cold:

-fleece pullovers
-gloves and wool hats
-sleeping bags

The goal is to collect items for a minimum of 200 people.

The collection of these items will take place, free of charge, thanks to the business, RGT Mensajeros (Delivery) which has partnered in solidarity for this cause.

You too can partner with this campaign individually by donating some or all of these items. Another way to partner is to promote this campaign in your neighborhood, church, among your circle of friends, at your university or high school so that others also have the chance to participate.

For more information, please contact Ruben River, the campaign direcotr, by email: ruben.rivera@gain.org.es. He will get you all the information you need including brochures and posters for the campaign.

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me....The King will reply, ´I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.´" --Matthew 25:35-36, 40

Thursday, 18 October 2012

"Q" Meet Up

The "Q" Team from Valencia and the "Q" Team from Granada met together from October 5-7 in Murcia. As previously mentioned, "Q" is the name of the campus ministry groups in Valencia and Granada whose goal is to make Jesus Christ known on campus.
The purpose of this gathering in Murica was to plan activities and projects at the universities of both cities for this 2012-2013 school year.

In addition to thinking, planning and dreaming together about how to make Jesus known among the university students in these cities, they also discussed  the launching of "Q" in a new city.

"Q" is casting its net to reach new campuses across the nation.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Using Sports as a Bridge


On Saturday, September 29th, the Barcelona Athletes in Action team offered some training to 4 churches in the city. A total of 17 people attended with the desire to serve with their churches through the medium of sports in their surrounding neighborhoods.

This past summer Athletes in Action received a group from Holland who came to help develop a project where sports was used to connect adn serve the neighbors and people on the street. This project, called Heartbeat, is the model that several churches would like to develop in their own communities, using soccer, basketball adn other sports that can be played in the street and the nearby parks to build bridges and, in the long run, to change lives.

Ellen Quarles and Jessie led this first training meeting in which they cast the greater, long-term vision, discussed the planning and the steps necessary as of now to make this dream a reality. During this training Ellen and Jessie, together with their team, offer helpful tools and mentoring to the leaders of this sports ministry in each church.

On November 11, there will be a second training meeting to begin the training series with additional churches that would like to use sports in their neighborhoods to build relationships and to offer a service to the community. If you live in Barcelona and your church might be interested in using sports to build bridges for the gospel, don´t miss this training opportunity on November 11. Write us here at the blog and we´ll put you in contact with Ellen or Jessie to get you more information.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Heartbeat Tallin: A European Mission


Every 4 to 6 years, all the Agape staff, together with their most committed volunteers come together in a European city to renew their vision, share their achievments in the mission and to celebrate together the love of Christ. When the European gathering for 2012 was still in the planning stages, it was decided that in order to carry out our mission as Christians in the city that hosted us and to give a good testimony of what it is to be a Christian, the conference should be designed with this mindset of  bringing the Kingdom of God there where we would be. That is how Heartbeat Tallinn was born.

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, was chosen to receive more than 1500 Christians to participate in this event, something that was surprising and completely unusual for this city.

Heartbeat Tallinn was not merely a European conference. It was a European mission. In the mornings, we gathered at Tallin´s Nokia Hall where we listened to testimonies and became familiar with new materials that were being developed and heard about plans for the future. In the afternoons, however, were dedicated to the city of Tallinn. There were groups that went to hospitals, others that went to homes in need, others that met with businessmen in the area, others that drank coffee with a group of Estonian young people...It wasn´t about big signs or grand events. It was about the small things, face-to-face, the one-on-one, in small groups scattered all over the city there were barely detectable but we were there everywhere.



The teenagers at the conference took over the main city square and created a fun space for all of the youth who were just hanging around with nowhere to be and nothing to do. They could come and spend time there. Concerts, games, activities, including a live version of Angry Birds.

The littlest ones were involved in a variety of activities all day long.

During the evenings there was no lack of concerts and other large events offered to everyone in the city. During the week we offered a great variety of high-quality events with a Christian influence.




In addition, the university students and Campus staff had the opportunity to gather and give testimonies of all that God was doing on the university campuses around Europe.





The week culminated in a large event that Estonians could only have dreamt of 25 years ago under Soviet domination: "Jesus Day," a gathering at Tallinn´s football stadium with all the different Christian denominations who came together to proclaim and praise God.

One of the best things about Heartbeat Tallin is that all the events that were created were a response to the needs of Christians in Tallinn. Agape just helped facilitate the process.

To read more about Heartbeat Tallin, please visit Heartbeat Tallinn´s website.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Story of One House

The Pilgrim´s Fountain or Fuente del Peregrino opened its doors in June, allowing an endless flow of stories to flood in. Stories of pilgrims, of workers, of neighbors, of reunions, of memories, of hospitality...

A total of 160 volunteers have cleaned, cooked, prepared and accomodated in this house each day. These volunteers have received, welcomed and served each person that passed by the door and entered therein with dedication and love. These work teams arrived from all over the country to use their vacatino time and serve with nothing in return. Thanks to all of those that have made it possible for the Fuente del Peregrino to be an authentic refuge for the bodies and for the souls of many people. A very sincere thanks to them because so many of them dedicated their vacation time to be working in the house.

While the number of volunteers we can count, it is almost impossible to say the hundreds and hundreds of pilgrims that have had some coffee, filled their water bottles, stopped to chat, to rest, to have lunch, to have dinner, to sleep and to share their Camino stories with us. Thanks to these as well because they have given meaning to all the effort, the work and the dedication. The guest book is full of thanks through written words that show the impact that the Fuente del Peregrino is having. The kindness they have received during their time with us has affected their lives.

In these fotos to the left, one can read two notes that were left this summer by two different pilgrims.

Without a doubt, all that pass through the doors of the Fuente del Peregrino remember her. At the beginning of August a German woman who was walking the Camino for the second time in her life arrived at the pilgrim house. The first time she walked was four years ago and she slept at the pilgrim house. This year she said she just "had to stay" and also slept in the pilgrim house when she passed by. When she arrived and started talking with the work teams she told them, "I had to stop in Ligonde and stay at Jesus´hostal." She herself named the pilgrim house this way because she said that it was the only place that she had visited where she was truly treated as Jesus would treat her.


In addition to receiving work teams and pilgrims, the Fuente del Peregrino also hosted a group of 25 people for the "Encaminar" Training from August 12-26. "Encaminar" (to guide or to orient) is a training that Agape offers each year to its staff, partners and volunteers who want to grow in their relationship with God and in their commitment to help others.


We could say that all good things must come to an end, but that is not always true. This year, the Fuente del Peregrino will close its doors in September, but as of now, the house will continue to receive visitors this winter. Natán de Souza and Tere Alvarez, together with their family, have just moved to Lugo to be close to the refuge and to be able to continue working on its maintenance, and in some way, continue to serve the pilgrims even though the house will not be open all year long.


You can follow the stories from the Fuente del Peregrino here.





Friday, 7 September 2012

Welcome Radvile


Radvile is the newest addition to the student team in Málaga. She arrived this past Saturday to the city and she´s happy to be here. Here she introduces herself so that we can get to know her….

“Hello! My name is Radvile Aleknaite. I´m 27-years-old and I come from Lithuania. I came to know Jesus 6 years ago through Agape during my second year of college. Since then, God has invited me on this new journey with Him where He continuously surprises me with the plans He has for me.

I have been working with Agape´s student ministry for 4 years in Lithuania and now God has brought me to serve with the student ministry in Málaga. I love Spain and I am really happy to be in this country. I am looking forward to starting my new adventure with students here.”

Friday, 17 August 2012

Heartbeat Barcelona


What would your neighborhood be like if it resembled God´s idea for your neighborhood?

This is exactly what the Athletes in Action-Holland ministry asked itself and they created the initiative Heartbeat Europe, a project dedicated to getting to know one´s neighborhood, discovering the needs, and, through sports, helping the neighborhood become the neighborhood that God longs for it to be.
The truth is that sports is important to everyone: the adults get excited watching it, the young have fun participating and the little ones imitate their idols with their brightly-colored shirts worn on and off the field. Sports is a great context to share values as well.

Half of the 48 young people who came to Barcelona
Heartbeat Europe´s goal is to help established churches in 16 different European cities to start a sports initiative in their neighborhoods with the idea of establishing relationships, promoting values, sharing Jesus´ message and helping the neighborhood to reflect what God has in mind for it.

This program has been working with 6 different churches in Barcelona since January. In July and August, 48 young people from different countries were welcomed to make a big splash in these neighborhoods and to develop and advance the preliminary work done over the last 6-7 months.

These 48 young people spread out into 5 teams and created an additional team dedicated to the street cultura to collaborate with fellow Agape staff from UrbanConsortium.

Those who have been involved in the Barcelona project tell us that the neighborhood reaction has been very positive toward this initiative. The residents of these neighborhoods witnessed a group of people who gave of their time, their money and their summer, without asking for anything in return, to make their neighborhoods a better place.

As of now, the churches will do the follow-up work that these teams helped to start. In September they will begin new training sessions for the churches, with the hope to start other sports projects in their spheres of influence. If you are interested, please contact Ellen Quarles (Ellen.quarles@agape.org).

Heartbeat Barcelona is one way to show Jesus´love by giving ourselves away to others. This is just what Jesus did. Isn´t this what Jesus taught us to do when he told us to love our neighbors and to pray for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done?


Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Fuente del Peregrino



The Fuente del Peregrino Pilgrim house continues to welcome pilgrims and serving all the walkers on the Camino. This week Miguel Castillo has been serving as team leader for the work team at the refuge.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Heartbeat Tallin



Heartbeat Tallin started this past Tuesday with more than 2000 staff, volunteers and associate staff of Agape from all over Europe. The objective during this time was to celebrate the Agape Europe´s Staff Conference and to take the gospel to the capital of Estonia. Today, Heartbeat Tallin come to a close with the Jesus Celebration, attended not only by the 2000+ conference members, but also by all the churches in the city.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Alexander Samuel Pérez Hiney


The Agape family continues to grow. The latest one to join our family was Alexander, the son of fellow staff members Samuel Pérez and Rebekah Hiney. Alexander came into the world on July 8th in Granada at 12:35pm. He weighed 3,64kg (8lbs.) and measured 54cm (21.25 inches) in length. He is blonde like his mommy and they are both at home and doing very well. We send congratulations to the family.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Leah Joy Iglesias Resa

Leah Joy, daughter of fellow staff member Mar Resa and her husband Ismael Iglesias, arrived yesterday at 2am. Mommy and baby are doing well. Leah weighed 3,4kg (7 ½ pounds) and was 52 cm (20 ½ inches) in length. This little girl took quite a while to arrive since the contractions had started early in the morning on the previous day. We are so happy for this very precious girl and for her happy parents. The Agape Family continues to grow.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Filling the Void


“In search of something with which to fill my empty heart, I find in my path people like you that manage to occupy a great part of the vacuum. I will arrive to Santiago with something to give. Thank you for being here today and for being who you are. You are doing an incredible job.”

These were the words of one young pilgrim woman that were written in the guestbook of the Pilgrim House. She, like many others, have been surprised and touched after their stay at the house. Last week there were a total of 37 pilgrims from 15 different countries who stayed at the refuge. 

Some of them arrived with real burdens in their hearts, as was the case for a Japanese man who was able to share his heart and find comfort after talking with Mariano, one of the work team members. That same man asked to speak at dinner to give thanks for the help that so many people from different countries gave to his country after the earthquake that they suffered in 2010. He highlighted the work that the Christians did to help them.

Stories like this man´s story make an impact. And there´s the story of another young woman who asked with great curiosity if the work team members were very religious. After our fellow staff explained how she could have a relationship with God she wanted them to tell her more about how to read and understand the Bible and grow in her faith.

As you can see, the pilgrim house continues to be a place of refuge and a place where people´s stories can change thanks to Him who called Himself the Way, the Truth and the Light.

Last week´s work team included Mariano Pineda and Fanny Benitez as team leaders, Don and Joana Heck, Taylor O´Neal and three more volunteers. According to Mariano and Fanny, it was a special treat to have Taylor O´Neal with them. Taylor is the oldest child of John and Carrie O´Neal, the founders of the Fuente del Peregrino pilgrim house. From what we´ve been told, the neighbors of the house were amazed when they saw her and overwhelmed as they remembered her parents and the work that they started some twelve years ago to make the opening of this refuge possible.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The “Fuente del Peregrino” has once again opened its doors


The first work team, called “hospitaleros” (or greeters), led by Betsy, was made up of 2 from Cáceres and 7 from the United States. During their time at the refuge, they met an Italian who had walked the camino several times. He shared with one of the team members how he had felt hurt by institutional religion. Several days later, some of the work team were in Santiago and they asked God to give them an opportunity to see the Italian again.
When the work team arrived and the main square in Santiago, they heard a familiar voice that said, “Hello!” After greeting him, they told this Italian pilgrim how they had asked God to allow them to see him again. They also shared that they prayed even more that they would see him in heaven once he places his trust in God. He hugged them and thanked them.

They also met an Irishman who arrived at the pilgrim house, but when he heard that it belonged to a Christian organization he decided he didn´t want to stay at first. But in the end, he did stay. Later the man told them that, although he had only slept 2 hours the previous night, he was very interested in watching the Jesus film. One of the work team members shared many things with him, especially God´s love, and he was deeply touched.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Piercing Interview in INFINITAS: Claudia Matos Tells Her Story

"Removing masks, healing wounds" is the latest interview that Infinitas has published on its website. In the article, a difficult story is shared about years of abuse that was suffered; but it is also a story of healing, restoration and hope. Without a doubt it´s a story that everyone should hear to bring understanding, to know how to help and to know how to prevent something so cruel and destructive as sexual abuse.

We want to recognize and appreciate such great generosity on the part of Claudia Matos for sharing such a painful part of her life with Infinitas.



Monday, 4 June 2012

La Fuente del Peregrino Opens for a New Season

This past weekend, part of the Fuente del Peregrino Team was in Ligonde making the final preparations for the Project 2012 kick-off of the Fuente del Peregrino. Yesterday the first team of volunteers arrived.

As of today, the "Fuente" has opened its doors to receive pilgrims for this season. We are so grateful to God because all the upcoming weeks are full with work teams from different places. These volunteers will dedicate a week to serve those who walk the "Camino de Santiago" (Way of Saint James). It is our desires that the "Fuente" would continue to open its doors, gathering beneath its roof the special people who walk the "camino." We pray that these special ones will be changed by the service and love they receive from the volunteers that care for them.


Pictured above-The start-up team for the 2012 season: Natán de Souza, Enric Andreu, Fanny Benítez, Rex Winn and 2 additional volunteers from Lugo.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Volunteer Meeting With GAiN


This past April in Terrassa the first volunteers meeting with Global Aid Network (GAiN) was held. More than 60 people attended the meeting....volunteers and staff of the projects that are being developed such as the recovery house for homeless men which has 20 volunteers and the project with immigrant women in Terrassa in which 10 volunteers are serving, as well as 5 additional staff that are involved in the reconstruction of a children´s home in Haiti.

It was an open time where those involved were able to share with all about their experiences as volunteers with GAiN. The program was focused on helping to make known the various projects that are being developed by the volunteers. They were the protagonists of the evening. Several volunteers were interviewed in front of the group to discover their personal motivations for involvement with the needy and why they have chosen to partner with GAiN in their service.

At the same meeting were additional GAiN staff from other countries who were able to enrich the vision of GAiN by sharing their own experiences.

This month an application period will begin for homeless men to be able to live at the recovery house in Barcelona. So, along with this new stage, a new round of recruitment for additional volunteers to accompany them will also start.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Training For New Staff

The first phase of training for this year´s new staff  was held in Málaga last week. Edi Souto, Tere Álvarez, Rex Winn and Gema Álvarez hosted this time, presenting various topics to help encourage, motivate and prepare staff in this module of their training.

The objective of the gathering was to highlight our organization´s philosophy, its objectives and how it functions. Five people, four of whom are in the application process right now, participated in this meeting, which is the first of four meetings for New Staff Training.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Follow Up Gathering to "Llamados" in Barcelona


Last Saturday in Barcelona a follow-up gathering from the National Staff Conference "Llamdos 2011" was held. More than 30 staff and volunteers attended to remember and continue meditating on the topics that were addressed at this conference in Girona in November 2011. Marc Fuentes and Joan Armand facilitated the time. The participants were divided into groups and guided through questions and brief reflections on their calling and how to put it into action.


New Interview in INFINITAS: Isabel Fernandez

The latest Infinitas video interview, "Servicio Como Estilo de Vida" ("Service As a Lifestyle"), with Isabel Fernandez, is now available on line. 


Don´t miss all that Isa shares from her heart and her experience. You can view it at www.infinitasweb.es

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Original Soundtrack Archivo Cero (Zero File)

Does the name Archivo Cero (Zero File) sound familiar? Sure it does since we´ve been talking for a long time about this animated series that we´ve been promoting among young people around the country. But even more than just sounding familiar for all the talking about it that we´ve done, starting now you´ll also recognize it for the theme song that Praxiz has created for Archivo Cero called "Encuentra la Salida" (Find The Way Out).

See the video here:





Friday, 4 May 2012

Agape Málaga Enters High School

Today, a new challenge has begun for the Agape Malaga team. It´s a program that Mar Resa and fellow Agape staff have offered to a high school to work with students that are in suspension from school. The “Jardines de la Puerta Oscura” High School had a vacuum, according to the school principal, of help and attention that they could offer to the students that were suspended for bad behavior. Sending them home with a list of topics and activities to complete did not spur any of the students to reflect, to think about how to change, nor to even be aware of the long-term consequences of their behavior .

However, today an alternative has begun with Agape which our fellow staff from the Student Ministry in Málaga will offer. This team is made up of people who are not only willing to help these students with their homework assignments, but also willing to listen to them, to invite them to think and to show them alternatives to the verbal and physical aggression and the indifference to their studies.

Just today our fellow staff have begun to work with three students between 13 and 14 years old who have been suspended for two weeks. The school leadership as well as the parents of these students are pleased and very grateful for the work that Agape has offered.

We´ll share more about how this new experience is going for the Agape Málaga team who have started with such motivation, expecting big things and hoping to make a real difference. It is a very special opportunity for building bridges to change the lives of these young people.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

EJE Barcelona


Last weekend, EJE came back to surprise, as always, this time in Barcelona. EJE Barcelona had a work team of 36 volunteers ranging from 15 to 30 years old. All the members worked hard to serve and make this time a very special experience for the 20 participants that attended.

In spite of the fact that launching the EJE and carrying it out involves a lot of work and some difficult moments, the volunteers and the leaders of the various responsibilities are very happy with the result, especially to see how the EJE continues to make an impact in the lives of those who participate.

Pictured left is the work team of volunteers.


Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Miguel, María Juan´s Birthday Gift


This past April 12th our fellow staff member, María Juan, received a special gift for her birthday. Miguel, the third child for María and Nacho Marqués, arrived at 11:45, weighing 3,650 grams and measuring 50 centimeters in length. Mother and baby are both doing well and the delivery went well without complications.

We congratulate the whole family and welcome Miguel to the Agape family. Nacho mentioned that Miguel´s brother Caleb and his sister Carmen are very happy about the arrival of the little one, although judging by the photo of Carmen and Miguel (left), someone is especially motivated. Maybe Carmen is thinking that, instead of a little brother, her parents have brought her another new baby doll to play with.


Monday, 16 April 2012

Follow-Up Gathering to “Llamados” in the South



Last Saturday, the follow-up meeting to the Llamados conference was held in Malaga. Full-time staff, associate staff, students and friends from Cádiz, Granada and Málaga showed up to remember the topics from our Llamados conference held in Girona last October 2011. Once again, they were challenged to reflect on the world situation and the needs of those around us.

Some of the staff from Granada shared a series of principles that can help us draw close to those in need, to understand their hearts, their pain and to show them care and love. All these principles are based in the example that Jesus gave us.

It was a good day, not only for what was recalled and learned anew, but also for the opportunity to get together with friends and fellow staff. A total of 30 people attended the meeting, among them was a great group of students from Málaga and Granada who were highly motivated to contribute to the mission of building bridges to help change lives.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Follow Up to the Llamados Conference in Valencia


On March 31st a follow-up gathering to the Llamados conference was held in Valencia. It was an event hosted for Agape staff, volunteers and students. The goals of this Llamados gathering were to bring together once again those who attending the Llamados conference in November 2011, to remember the challenges that were given during that time and to evaluate to see how those challenges had been applied in our day-to-day lives.

Marc Fuentes also accompanied the group in Valencia. The central theme was "the mission." During the different sessions, the principles of our mission were shared. There was also a time to evaluate how well those principles are lived out in the lives of those who participated in the meeting.

There will also be a Llamados Follow-Up Gathering in the south of Spain in Málaga on Saturday, May 14th. In the north, the same type gathering will be held in Barcelona together with participants from Madrid.

These follow-up gatherings serve to bring those people together who attended Llamados, the National Agape Conference and to keep remembering, challenging and evaluating those themes that were shared at the conference.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

GAiN Spain Sends Water Purifier to Children´s Home in Haiti

Just a few months ago some marvellous news arrived from Haiti: in the small village of Ça-Ira, a water source for a well was found near the orphange that GAiN Spain is helping to reconstruct, together with other GAiN offices from around the world. However, this water still needs to be treated to guarantee the health of the children that are currently living in the orphanage. 

Soon this need will cease to be a concern. Within a few weeks, our children at the home will not have to worry about the quality of the water that they drink and bathe with. This is due to the kind donation that GAiN Spain received last week from Óptima Renovables. The donation is a water purification system with the latest technology that has the ability to purify 7000 liters of water a day, which is more than sufficient to cover the water needs of the entire center. In addition, one of the prinicpal characteristics of this new machine is that it works completely autonomously through solar energy. This is perfect for the children´s home. Since it has solar panels there is no need for a diesel fuel nor a generator.

Not only did the Óptima Renovables company grant the machine at cost, but they also took responsibility to look for the particular donors to cover its expense, which means that it is a completely free gift for the orphanage. We are very grateful to the company for such a generous act and for having trusted us to ensure the arrival of this very valuable tool to those who most need it.

We believe that this is a very important moment for the children knowing that clean water is one of their great practical needs, maybe the greatest of all. With access to clean, quality water the vitality and quality of life for the children will improve greatly day by day.

The water purifier will be shipped out within a week to Haiti where it will be picked up by our partners at the children´s home. We are anxious to receive news as soon as possible about its usefulness at the center.

If you want to participate in the Ça-Ira project, or in any other project of GAiN Spain, please visit our website where you can read all the details on how to do it.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

"EnRed" (In the Net)

The weekend of March 9-11 at the Cielos Abiertos Ranch in Guadalajara, Madrid the first "EnRed" ("In The Net") event took place.

"EnRed" is a project of Alianza Joven (Youth Alliance), a ministry of the "Alianza Evangélica Española (Spanish Evangelical Alliance), whose objective is to create a network of youth leaders supported by an internet network. This network will contain the most significant collection of youth resources, provided without charge by the ministries that created the materials. The users that sign up to use these resources will also be able to invite and sign-up new users.

The idea is to generate an online community of people who work in youth ministry, from church youth leaders to representatives of ministry associations, who can connect with each other and at the same time share their resources with each other.

In this network we´ll find articles, podcasts, videos, mauals, presentations, ideas...everything that young people and their leaders look for, and all the things that they can contribute, in one, online location, the largest pool of youth resources in Spain.

This event had 3 objectives:
To connect: Connecting youth leaders and youth ministries to each other through a network of relationships.
To inspire: Inspiring with new perspectives in pastoring, the church and the mission.
To launch: Launching the Network of Online Youth Resources where the participants are registered and active on the site.

The address is: www.recursos-enred.org

In this event, the following groups participated: Alianza Joven, Comunicando Vida, JPC, GBU, Sepal, Oleluya, Contracorriente, La Industria and Ágape.

Mar Resa, Amy Gibson and Mariano Pineda represented Agape and got the word out about Archivo Cero (Zero File), EJE and Existe + Mundo to more than 100 young people and youth leaders.

Monday, 26 March 2012

The Latest Gathering of "Tu Sí Que Vales"

This past Saturday in Málaga there was another gathering of "Tú sí que vales." (You, yes, You are valuable!) "Tú sí que vales" is a workshop aimed at adolescent and young adult women in which topics are addressed such as self-esteem, how to live a healthy life, how care for your body and your image in a balanced way, etc. The topic of this most recent gathering of "Tu, sí, que vales" was the relationships between men and women.

The person responsible for this important talk was Gloria Medina. Gloria, together with her husband, has been working for decades to coach and mentor couples and families, giving talks throughout Spain and speaking at workshops for adolescents and young adults.

At this particular gathering, there were women of all ages, from teenagers and university students to older women, all of them full of questions on the subject at hand. After Gloria´s presentation, each one shared how this talk had helped her and all were pleased with the things that they had discvoered that afternoon.

The highlight of the workshop was that everyone was able to discover and become more aware of the importance of knowing oneself, to care for one´s self esteem and value as individuals, as women, knowing that, as Gloria taught, this directly influences one´s romantic relationships.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A New Video Interview in the Infinitas Magazine

Today on the web page of the Infinitas magazine a video of an interview with Sara Bonet was published. Sara, a strong, brave woman, tells her story of how she faced such a difficult illness as cancer. In the interview, she opens the doors to her house and her heart to share part of her strength and hope.

You can see the interview on the Infinitas magazine web page.



Monday, 20 February 2012

Grand Opening of the Manel Pujades Recovery House


Yesterday, February 19, the grand opening of the "Llar Manel Pujades" (Manel Pujades Recovery House) was celebrated. This is a new project of GAiN Spain...an apartment where 3 men, who have been living in the street, will come to live. More than 40 people attended the celebration, among them volunteers, investors and members of the Bona Nova church and one of their pastors, Félix Ortíz, who have granted the apartment for this purpose.

All those in attendance were able to celebrate the beginning of this project, toasting with a glass of cava (Catalan champagne) and the desire to invest in and change the lives of others. After the toast, a small lit candle was given to each person, displaying the reality that when one small light is lit and then continues to light others, in spite of the fact that they are small, they will illumintate the space until the light becomes intense and very visible. Right now there are only three candles, three people who will occupy this apartment: Paulo, Oscar and Joan Manel. These will receive warmth and light in the midst of their darkness. We hope that this is just the beginning of a great and inextinguishable light.

It was a very significant time to usher in today´s event, the day that 3 homeless men now have a place to rest their heads.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Manel Pujades Recovery House Will Open Soon


Next Monday, February 20, GAiN España will celebrate the beginning of a new social work project, focusing its attention on homeless men who are at great risk of social exclusion. The project is a recovery house called "Llar Manel Pujades" in Barcelona which will use an integrated approach to tend to the needs of 8 homeless men. The center will provide their housing, their food and psychological and social support through special programs, workshops and other activities.

Tomorrow, Sunday, there will be an informal "grand opening" ceremony and the following day the "Llar" or Recovery House will open its doors. At the moment, the center already has more than twenty volunteers who will be responsible for giving an integrated care to the men that come to the home in search of help. They will also be responsible for guiding them in their social integration using workshops and specific programs that will be adapted to the needs of each individual.

You can follow the details of this project through the GAiN Spain Facebook page or at GAiN´s website: www.gain.org.es

"Infinitas" Was Presented to 1000 Women in Madrid



This past weekend there was a women´s conference in Madrid for women from all over Spain. Presented at his conference was the Infinitas magazine, a new project for women from Agape. During the weekend 1000 copies of the magazine were given out and all the feedback from those who received it was quite positive.

Thanks to this nation-wide conference, many copies of the magazine will be taken to every corner of Spain so that Infinitas might continue reaching the hearts of additional women in other cities.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

"Infinitas" is now here

Infinitas is a new project of Agape, brought forth by the hand of Isabel Fernández. Isabel dreamed about making a magazine for women that was out of the ordinary...not just to help her feel more physically beautiful, more confident, nor to give advice on how to live better. Infinitas wants to present women just as they are, with their weaknesses and their virtues, with their struggles, problems, joys, challenges, dreams, fears, etc.

Nestled in this month´s edition is the story of an artist who, through her creations, denounces an atrocity that she is fighting against, that is imprisoned women of the mafias and sexual exploitation. Also there are testimonies about abortion, cancer, mothers of families with multiple children, the challenge of caring for a child with disabilities. Finally, Infinitas inteviews Esther Martínez, a well-known Christian psychologist.

Infinitas also has its own web page where the magazine interviews are complimented with videos of the same women. Each month more stories will be added about other women. The web address is www.infinitasweb.es

You can get a copy of the magazine at the Infinitas web site or at www.agape.org by clicking the "Resources" tab.

Don´t miss this opportunity to hear the stories found in this magazine. And recommend it too! Show it and share it with your friends and contacts. You´ll be surprised by the response.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Agape Staff Member Gabino Fernández Receives the Jorge Borrow 2012 Award

Gabino Fernández Campos, on of our fellow staff, has been honored with the "Cervantes" award of Spanish Evangelical literature in the 3rd Annual Jorge Borrow Award at the Bible Giveaway 2012. The award was given for his latest work, "Efemérides Ilustradas." The award will be given on April 21st at the Historic Building of the University of Salamanca. The news has been recognized by the national media like ABC and the EFE news agency.

Alfredo Pérez Alencart, secretary of this year´s committee of judges, was the one responsible for speaking with the press regarding the award: "This award is being given to honor his multi-faceted career as historian, journalist, writer, Evangelical pastor, international speaker, anthologist of Spanish-speaking poets and director of the Center for the Study of the Reformation."

Gabino has been part of Agape since 1979 when he began working with the Jesus Film Project. 15 years ago under the umbrella of Agape, he formed the Center for the Study of the Reformation (CER), of which he has been director since it´s inception. In 1979 he registered with the Spanish Association of Evangelical  Journalists. From 1985 to 1993 he was regional secretary for the Spanish Biblical Society, representing 5 autonomous communities in Spain, among those being Castilla La-Mancha and Andalucía. In 1995 he became a member of the group Christians For the Communication of the Gospel. In addition, he is a travelling speaker and has given bibliographical expositions and talks in countries throughout Europe, America, Asia and Africa.

Agape Spain congratulate Gabino for this well deserved award.

Click here to read the news article in ABC.es. 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Full of Hope After Returning from Haiti



From December 28th to January 5th, a GAiN Spain team was working in Haiti in our long-term project in the Ça-Ira Children´s Home.

There were several objectives for this trip: on the one hand, to work directly with the children to able to update the information of our sponsorship program through which specific support is sent from Spain for many of these children; on the other hand, to continue working and developing the construction work on all the buildings at the  children´s home that were destroyed by the 2010 earthquake.

The activities with the children were truly a special time, filled with unforgettable moments. At the same time, the construction work is moving ahead according to schedule. So far, we have finished each phase according to schedule. We were also able to bring specific aid (blankets and shoes) to the children that was collected previously in Spain during the Christmas holidays.

Next summer a new GAiN team will head to Haiti from Spain with the desire to keep working on this project that fills us with hope....for them AND for us. Are you in?