Zoila was touched by the enthusiasm of one of her students, a Moroccan woman who had never had the chance to go to school. Now she is one of the participants in project Agape, run by OM partner Zoila Garrido and the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) in Fuenlabrada, Spain.
After working with OM amongst Muslims in Egypt and southern Spain, Zoila started offering Spanish classes a few years ago in an immigrant community in the Madrid area. The local CMA church she partners with allows her to use their premises for the meetings.
From Monday through Wednesday, she teaches Spanish to 32 immigrant women in the community, in two groups. All the participants are from North Africa. Then on Thursdays, the set up is a bit different.
"We call this meeting Spanish Club," she explained. "During this time we talk about various subjects like love, forgiveness, the value of a woman for Jesus, friendship, etc."
Once a month, she organises a breakfast, makes time for storytelling and offers craft sessions.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon, the children in the community are invited to come to 'Agape' for a school support group. Currently there are five children attending. "Generally they are the children of the ladies who come for classes in the morning," explained Zoila. The gatherings are fruitful, and their teachers at school notice that the kids are improving their marks.
"I praise the Lord because each one of them is in a different school," Zoila added. "They are even changing in their behaviour. It is amazing to hear them talking to God, even though they haven't given their lives to Jesus. I sense the time is approaching for that to happen."
OM, although based in another part of Spain, is supporting the Agape project. Zoila would love to have team members to run this ministry with her. "We are looking for people who have already served in the Middle East or North Africa so they know how to work with Muslims," said Rebeca Lampaya, OM Spain director.
“It's a blessing to build relationships with North African immigrants,” shared Zoila. Some moments are unforgettable, like the lady proudly showing her that she could write her name. “These are the times when my soul just cries out thank you Lord, thank you Lord."
Credit: OM International · © 2016 OM International