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?


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