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.