Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Week 7: Our Lady Queen of Heaven & St. Joseph's - Wednesday

Today we served migrant families during our food bank. It was a very powerful and moving experience, and it was amazing to interact with the different family members. I especially loved being with a volunteer who has come up and helped with the food bank every week. He helped me with my Spanish so that I could interact with the different migrants, which made the experience much more meaningful to me, to know that they could understand me without having to ask for a translation. Today was a step into a culture that I was not familiar with, but we had an amazing time!

-Agape Youth

Today we served over 100 migrant family's at our food bank. It was amazing to see all the hard work we had put in on Tuesday  in action today. I loved the feeling of helping people and I felt like we had a big impact on the migrant community, for example all the kids loved their backpacks and were so proud to show them off. I also felt like I learned a lot about responsibilities for young migrant kids and improved my Spanish. 


We were able to serve 136 families today for this summer's last food bank! We'd like to thank everyone who could make this happen, including all the St. Joseph's and Our Lady Queen of Heaven communities! You are awesome!
- Agape staff :)

Week 7: Our Lady Queen of Heaven & St. Joseph's - Tuesday

Hello friends and family, I am Feliscia Dimayuga from Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish. Today, the Agape group and I went to a blueberry farm here in Bellingham. During our time at the farm, we picked blueberries for around two hours. My experience with farm work taught me many things. First, an hour of work was already tiring for me, yet I thought of many things. Such as how migrant workers work everyday for several hours, not to mention the farm work is strenuous. I began to think about what the migrant farmers go through and how they receive such little pay for so much work they do. I really respect what migrant farmers do to make a living. Having small wages yet needing to pay for dinner for their family of two or ten. Also, buying dinner feels very limited and restricted. This ties into the beatitude we are focusing on today, which mentions how the meek will inherit the land. Migrant farm workers really express this beatitude, for they are incredibly humble with the amount of money they make in a day, in ratio to the amount of work they do in a day and what they spend their wages on. 

Hello friends and family, my name is Eva Scearce and I am from St. Joseph's Parish in Seattle. Today, my group and I went to Growing Veterans, a farm that works to help ease and heal the trauma of America's war veterans through the peaceful experience of cultivating land. During our time at the farm, we weeded the crops and harvested squash and cucumber. The squash and cucumber will eventually be sold to different buyers, so we also got to do a bit of sanitation too. It was really interesting to get a bit of an inside look in how fresh food first starts to be produced. When we were working on the farm, I started to think about how hot it was and how difficult the work was. It made me realize that migrant workers put in far more time and work into this sort of job and hardly ever complain, yet a mere few hours of work for me made me feel completely exhausted. Realizing this difference reminded me of the beatitude we focused on today, which was, "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land." Migrant workers, as I have come to learn, are far more humble than any one else I have ever met. Now that I've had the chance to learn more about the experiences of others, I feel like I better understand humanity and life as a whole.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Week 7: Our Lady Queen of Heaven & St. Joseph's - Monday

I'm Mariah from Our Lady Queen of Heaven. Today was amazing, after eating breakfast we did our Monday activity and we were learning about all the things that migrants and immigrants have to go through to come to the US. After that we got ready to go to a migrant farm and play with all the kids. It was so fun to play soccer and dodge ball with them. when we got home we changed into our Agape shirts and went to stores to ask for donations for the food bank that we are doing for the migrant families. It was such a fun experience to see all the people that were willing to give us the food or other items that were provided on a list. I really felt the grace of God moving through every interaction that I had today, and I can't wait for tomorrow to come. 

I'm Ayanna, from Saint Joseph School. Today was truly a day where I was pushed out of my comfort zone, to make the local migrant children happier, and to do and care for others. After breakfast, we were engaged in activities that allowed us to understand the process for an immigrant to become a citizen, create a bill of rights based on rights we believed every individual should have, and to understand the push and pull factors which cause people to leave their country. After that, we went to a migrant camp, and interacted and played with the kids. It was amazing how kids, even at the ages as young as six were taking full responsibility of their siblings while their parents were at work. They even sacrificed what they wanted to do to make their siblings happy. Once we left the farm, we collected food donations at different grocery stores for a food bank we are holding to support these kids. It was scorching hot outside but we persisted through it, and collected three cartfuls of food. We were really proud of that, and someone we didn't even know bought us all ice creams for our hard work. Overall, today was an AMAZING day, and  I really look forward to the rest of the week at Agape.

Thank you to everyone who were able to give contributions to our foodbank! Wether it be big or small, everything is greatly appreciated and it will be going towards a greater cause in helping our borthers and sisters in Christ in the migrant community. Come back on Thursday to see how many families we were able to serve from all of your generous donations! -The Agape staff

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Week 7: Our Lady Queen of Heaven & St. Joseph's - Sunday

This is our final week of Agape for 2019!

When we arrived at camp the first thing we did was do activities like human-knot, Ultimate rock, paper, scissors and a name game, which were all very fun. Then later in the day we did an Ignation exercise where we listened to a story about Peter, Simon, and Jesus and got to reflect throughout the story. Finally we got our camp t-shirts and snack and went straight to free time! This day was super fun!

- Jonah, St. Joseph's

Day one of camp: Arrival. Before even leaving on the van to Sacred Heart I was very excited. though I had no idea what was in store for me or how God will work in my life I knew that He as a plan and that I will trust in Him. At first it started out a little rocky and I was kind of nervous but once we got going I remembered why I was going on this trip which was to show the love, acceptance, respect, and humbleness Jesus had shown and continues to show us everyday. On the drive here everybody in the car was sleeping, resting up not knowing what was in store for us when we arrived. Driving up to the church you look outside your window and see the beautiful water that is shining from the warm sun above. The parish itself is very beautiful and surrounding it was blossoming flowers of various colors. Pulling up to the side of the parish office we are greeted by excited staff members ready to share their knowledge and experience with us as well as learning new and unknown experiences. We unloaded the donations and it was amazing to see how much we had unloaded. So many backpacks not only filled with school supplies but filled with hope and excitement for the future these kids are able to have. After unloading we all gather around in a circle playing various games to get to know each other as well as our hopes and goals for this week. After being loud and playing games we were able to have a reflection time where we read the passage of Jesus and Simon Peter fishing for men. In this reflection we were asked to place ourselves there and reflect on how we felt in different situations and how are reactions were. It was a good reflection time and it was nice to be able to visualize how I would feel as a fishermen seeing this miracle of God working before my eyes and the desire of my heart to want to seek more of this truth and abundance of not only happiness and love that one would feel after being provided with this abundant bounty. Although it was only the first day, there were a lot of great things that had already been shown through the kids and staff making this a lot of fun and being very excited for whats to come and how God will show Himself in each of our lives.

- Destyne, Our Lady Queen of Heaven

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Week 6: St. Andrew's - Thursday

Today as our last day of Agape we spent our time celebrating. After morning prayer we went to church to start our day, soon after the Agape youth headed down to a local public pool to swim and relax for a few hours. Finally to wrap up our day we went to a migrant camp for a barbecue and to play with the children there for one last time before we leave.
signing off now.

alright my turn now
so as she said today is our last day at agape so we decided to do something fun. we went to mass, the pool, and went to the migrant camp to have a barbecue and a water balloon fight. so she really explained what i was going to say so bye!
-Agape Youth

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Week 6: St. Andrew's - Wednesday

In the morning after breakfast, we loaded the vans full of the food we brought with us and collected from tabling and donations. We drove to a field next to a church and spent 3 hours setting up the tables and items to make the migrants journey around our makeshift food pantry easier. A quick break for lunch was taken, then we opened the food section of the food pantry up to the migrants. Two adults took surveys from the people who went through the line as everyone else worked tirelessly in handing out the correct number of items to people. This continued for the next 4 hours serving the migrants until we finished with the last few stragglers in the line. Putting everything away was a struggle, especially the clothes that were laid out on tarps. Eventually it got so bad we just stuffed the clothes into the bag and threw them into the shed!

We all finished tired,but we all finished working really hard and brought joy to a lot of people by giving back. A lot of the migrants were very grateful for our very limited Spanish and how hard we tried to speak their native language. A few of the volunteers, like Nancy and Brandon, helped us with our Spanish and translating with the more complicated phrases.

Agape Out!
Sara and Brandon

We were able to serve 163 families today! That's roughly 815 people when the average family size is 5 members. Thank you so much for your support and donations, we couldn't have done it without your support.

Week 6: St. Andrew's- Tuesday

Hello friends and family,

Today we woke up around 5:15 to make it feel like we were actually migrant farm workers. We worked in the fields for about three hours but we did a lot. We were moving the weeds out from where the strawberries were. Some of us picked potatoes and the rest of us were weeding. There were a lot of points where we would feel like it was super hard. For some maybe even one of the hardest things they’d had to do outside. It took a lot of resistance not to eat the strawberries which were big, red and juicy; however farmer Sam took pity on us and let us eat a strawberry or two. We learned a lot about how hard the farm workers worked and then after this we learned just how much they would make for the work we did. This in turn was shown when we went to Grocery Outlet to buy dinner with the money that we made for that meal. $1.25 each. We were put into families with 3 – 4 people most people bought noodles and sauce, one group even bought eggs and chimichangas. We were given the refrigerator and the ability to use salt and pepper and the utensils in the kitchen so it was pretty fun. The cooking part was especially fun, even when about five of us kicked the rest out of the kitchen.  After dinner we went to many different migrant camps to pass out flyers to the families that lived there to let them know about the food bank that is happening tomorrow. Overall the day went pretty well and we ended on a good note at the health fair at Sunrise Migrant Worker Camp. Yesterday we went to Sunrise Migrant camp and played with the kids. We played a couple of field games with them and some of us did crafts. I have been playing with this little girl, she and I have been doing craft together, and we watched the circus together she sat in my lap. While playing with her I’m actually using a little of my Spanish.
  Molly & Miriam

Monday, July 29, 2019

Week 6: St. Andrew's - Monday

Hello Boys today at the mission trip me and Jantzen learned about illegal and legal immigration. We went to a migration camp and there we played dodge ball and scrum ball. We also did tabling for a food bank for the "fam" in needs, we collected lots of food and brought it back to the church. Some things that stood out is how many people donated and how they cared about people in need. No matter what bad things happened there were good things that came out of it! 

       -Raidon & Jantzen AAAAAAAAAAGAPE!!!!!

Thank you to the Bellingham and St. Andrew's community for all the donations! Check back in on Thursday to see how many families we are able to serve this week with your help!

- Agape Staff

Today's groups at Haggen: