Hello fellow travelers!!
I hope that the summer has been a good time of rest, that you have been able to enjoy a well-deserved vacation, together with family and friends, and that the Lord has renewed your strength to start a new course.
We started the 9th Season of the adventure “Ari works at YL“, it was in 2013 when we started this journey together. In this email, which I admit is a bit long, I tell you about the final part of Season 8 and give you a taste of what’s to come in the new season.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
It has been many months since I sent the last letter. And it has not been because of carelessness, lack of desire or not believing it important; but the Lord has shown me through some friends that I needed a time of rest, renewal and understanding myself.
For the last few months I have been in the process of getting to know myself better, and to know what God can do in my life, to make the most of my gifts, but for this I have had to withdraw from some fronts, to pick up speed and return with more strength. This process is long, hard at times, but the end seems to be happy, beautiful and healthy.
In these times I have seen the hand of God in many aspects. Taking things away and putting things back, meeting new people, teaching me to set limits in certain situations that needed it. All with the help of professionals in mental health and spiritual life.
Changes at the office
During the Christmas vacations, together with my father and my brother, we moved the office that my church has been giving me for more than 5 years.
The room where I was before was too small, and I could hardly move with all the papers, printers, file cabinets, computers… so I proposed to the elders of the church to move to another room, and take care of the work myself.
For two weeks, we raised a wall, did the new electrical installation, new lights, new furniture… everything to be able to have more space to work, to meet, to spend time that I dedicate to both YL and the church.
At least, after two virtual editions, this year we were able to do Mision Posible in a face-to-face format, a camp for young Christians that is held every two years. This time near Banyoles. Almost 300 people were able to enjoy nature, meet again with old friends, learn more about Jesus through the talks….
It was a very good time where I was able to serve through games, energize part of the plenary sessions, help the management, the housing… those of you who know me know that I don’t stand still, and that I try to help in any way I can.
From here I want to thank the whole team of MP, and Debbie, the camp director, for the trust placed in me, and I’m grateful to the Lord for being able to serve at his side, and looking forward to continue doing so in the next editions of MP.
In the photo you can see a moment of the camp, where Brooke and I were able to share with the youth our mission and how our passion for the youth made us launch into the adventure of serving God.
Since I got the “sports discharge” in February, I started playing paddle with some friends, and the idea of organizing a tournament to get scholarships for YL camps came up.
On Saturday June 11, we had the first edition of the Torneig de Pàdel Solidari YL Catalunya, in Banyoles, with the participation of 8 couples. It was a very fun day, where Jona and David gave the surprise proclaiming champions.
We were able to collect more than 150€ that were destined to cover the expenses of some campers of #joventura2022.
We already have a date for the winter tournament, which will be on November 26, in Lloret de Mar.
This year has once again been a very full summer, I leave you with a few highlights of each of the camps where I have had the opportunity to serve
Street Summer Basket
We believe that this year we have reached the 12th edition (I say we believe, because we have already lost count, hehehe). This time we started with the help of all the associative network of Banyoles, as it was the Ciutat del Bàsquet Català, and therefore we were part of the events of this celebration.
Every day about 100 young people came to the basketball court to compete in the 2Ball shooting tournament and the 3×3 tournament. We were able to count on the presence of Júlia Soler, professional player for Cadí La Seu, and the sponsorship of Bàsquet Girona, CB Banyoles and many other companies and entities that helped us with prizes and with the bar service, which we used to raise funds for scholarships.
Campamento de Verano #Joventura2022
Once again this year God has broken our schemes and gave us 122 campers! 122 opportunities to share the gospel, but at the same time 122 campers and 60 team members to accommodate, coordinate, take care of….
It was quite a challenge, but I think the whole team went into warrior mode, and things went as well as we could. The weather played a trick on us, but nothing that we couldn’t solve together.
This year, my roles during the camp were to coordinate the multimedia team, to make the daily videos (that you can see here), as well as all the logistics of the camp (rooms, transportation, registration, help with decoration…).
⬇️ All of us down here are already looking forward to #joventura2023 ⬇️
For the second year in a row I have dedicated 100% of my vacation time to serving in the two adventure camps (ages 12-17). During the first week (Adventure 1) I was running the Team Building activity with Gerard, and at the same time acting as Deputy Director Viktor, at Arcadis, the Hogwarts Summer Camp we set up for the kids who were coming.
In the second shift (Adventure 2), together with the activity group, we prepared the afternoon games and evenings, which I had the honor of presenting with my friend Vladi. As well as helping with logistical tasks.
This year presents many challenges, both personal and in Young Life. New areas to explore, of which I will inform you later, new tasks to develop and old ones to enhance or improve.
I will continue in this period of pause in certain topics of ministry, but at full speed in other issues, such as program management, camps and others. All this with the vision of finding the best version of Ari so that more people can hear the gospel.
I’ll also continue with the sessions with the health professionals who are helping me in this process, and for whom I’m very grateful to the Lord for putting them on the road.
Reasons for gratitude and prayer
- I thank God for each one of you, for your friendship, for your families and for your prayers for the YL ministry in Spain.
- I’m extremely grateful for my church, La Bisbal, for supporting the youth ministry, for supporting me in all the crazy projects I offer, and for continuing to trust a crazy guy in a cap, who sits in the back of the room at worship, watching the church grow.
- Thank God for letting me meet so many new people, cheesecake and gifs lovers, Galician girls whose accent sticks, apprentice magicians who make you laugh your head off, kids who give you a hug before going to sleep, basketball players who preach with their example like any other, rockers who make 122 kids understand the gospel…
- Thank you for each of the lives changed in all the Young Life Camps around the world (Surf Camp, USA trips, Joventura, City Camps…).
- Thank God for all the volunteers who have helped in the different Young Life programs this summer. Pray for more volunteers during the course in each of the areas of YL Spain, as we have many kids who need someone by their side.
- We continue to pray for the war situation in Ukraine, where many of our brothers and many Young Life colleagues are risking their lives to cross the border, go down to the subway and help hundreds of people.
During all this time of reconnection, I have continued to pray to the Lord for more partners to join me in this journey. But due to all that has happened in the world, I have lost some companions who contributed 30% of my monthly income.
To be very honest with you, I now hardly reach 40% of my monthly budget of $2500. I have a need to increase 15000$ per year, approximately.
Therefore, I invite you to continue to pray for me and the ministry that we carry out in Spain, as well as to put in the hands of the Lord to be able to collaborate financially with this mission.