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.