Happy Summer 2019: DBF's Mid Year Update

Summer at Alfa & Omega means camps!

Summer at Alfa & Omega means camps!

One of our first memories of meeting Jorge Pastor, who along with his wife Encarnita founded Colegio Alfa & Omega 40 years ago, was during our first month of living in Dénia on a sabbatical in August 2001.

In the midst of mounting frustration of getting used to a new country, a foreign language, a new culture, a new school, a new church and not being able to complete the ten things on our Silicon Valley-esque to-do lists every day, Jorge stopped by our little townhouse near the port to check on us. He just seemed to sense that we needed a hug and some encouragement. Jorge's visit instantly transmitted a sense of peace and tranquility and a feeling that things would be okay. From that point on, we felt that maybe God had a purpose for us being in Dénia.

Soon after Jorge’s visit to our townhouse, he asked us to help organize the school library and serve as librarians for the year that we were there. We soon added assistant scout leaders working with Paco and teaching English to four-year old pre-schoolers to our CVs. Then fifteen years later, we prayed with Jorge and Eunice in Dénia about how we could best support Alfa & Omega’s mission from the US which was the beginning of the Dénia Bridges Foundation. Jorge is truly incredibly gifted at challenging people to use their gifts for God’s purposes.

And then in November of 2017, on the same Sunday that Jorge and Antonio Calero, co-senior pastors of Trinity Church of Dénia passed the baton to Pastor Elias Nofuentes, Jorge found out that he had a large tumor in his colon. This was of course a shock for all of the Dénia community around the world. It's been a long battle with multiple surgeries with seemingly more downs than ups. Amazingly though somehow in the middle of much pain, Jorge was able to receive the honorary doctorate of letters from the Dallas Baptist University one year ago in Dallas and give the commencement address to a large chapel full of graduates, 19 members of his family from Spain and over one hundred friends from all around the US. God is truly faithful.

The chemotherapy and radiation treatments weren’t working well enough so Jorge’s doctors recommended that he try an innovative new immunotherapy treatment that might be more effective in reducing both the pain and the size of the tumor. And miraculously this is exactly what has happened so far! It’s still early in the process, but the news is promising.

Clearly Jorge is not out of the woods yet, but he feels stronger, has much of his amazing energy back and is regularly participating in Trinity’s Sunday services which are broadcast weekly on Facebook Watch. It appears that God must have more kingdom work for Jorge to do. Please Please Please continue your prayers for Jorge and his doctors and that the immunotherapy would continue to be effective and that the cancer would go into complete remission.

On behalf of DBF's board, we pray that you are receiving God's blessings this summer and getting much needed rest and relaxation. We also sincerely hope that you will enjoy this newsletter. Please send any questions or suggestions to us directly at info@deniabridges.org

In His service,

Sue and Scott Johnson


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End of 18/19 School Year Update from Alfa & Omega

Head of School Eunice Pastor Sendra

Eunice shares the highlights and her thoughts on the school year that recently ended at Colegio Alfa & Omega. Please click here to read Eunice’s update.


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Alfa & Omega students spend summer in Texas!
 

As part of its long term partnership with Trinity Church of Dénia, the Columbus Avenue Baptist Church of Waco, Texas, hosts Alfa & Omega students for a summer filled with fun. Please click here for the story and photos.


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Partnership Update : The King's Academy, CA

The King’s Academy, (TKA) a large Christian high school on the San Francisco Peninsula is partnering with Colegio Alfa & Omega by sending a group of 15 high school juniors and seniors to Dénia next April 2020 for Holy Week. For more information click here!


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Clara Johnson, former Alfa & Omega

student, teaches Psychology research techniques to

A&O 3rd Year ESO students.

In May, Clara Johnson, a soon to be doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Washington, spent the month of June in Dénia, teaching a Psychology survey course to Alfa & Omega 3rd Year ESO students. It was a special experience for Clara to come back and teach at Alfa & Omega after attending her first year of elementary school there 18 years ago in 2001/2002 .


In 2015, we founded the Dénia Bridges Foundation (DBF), a US 501c3 religious non-profit corporation based in Menlo Park, California to raise financial support for Christian Education and Youth Leadership in Spain from the United States. Each of our six volunteer board members has deep experience volunteering for extended periods at Colegio Alfa & Omega and the other related ministries in Dénia.

We pray that you will consider financially supporting Colegio Alfa & Omega, the Trinity Church, Montgó Christian Retreat Center and/or Felix and Sara Bonet this year. And as always 100% of your donation will arrive to your designated recipient as we do not deduct any administrative fees. Our EIN is 47-3436255.

You can make either an online donation here or send a check to

Dénia Bridges Foundation

PO Box 7749

Menlo Park, CA. 94025

phone: (650) 503-4501





The King's Academy Partners with Colegio Alfa & Omega

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We are very happy to announce that The King’s Academy, (TKA) a large Christian high school on the San Francisco Peninsula is partnering with Colegio Alfa & Omega by sending a group of 15 high school juniors and seniors to Dénia next April 2020 for Holy Week. The team will be working with Alfa & Omega students, helping them with their English, sharing the gospel, and encouraging their brothers and sisters in the faith. The TKA students will also be helping out with a work project on Alfa & Omega’s campus.

While TKA sends service teams around the world every Holy Week, this will be their first trip to Europe. And it’s the very first team going to Dénia from the SF Bay Area.

You can find more information on TKA’s Website: https://www.tka.org/page.cfm?p=10432

Merry Christmas 2018 from Dénia Bridges!

Eunice explains the historical significance of the Prayer Garden at Colegio Alfa & Omega in Dénia to Les, Suzanne and Scott from Menlo Park, CA.

Eunice explains the historical significance of the Prayer Garden at Colegio Alfa & Omega in Dénia to Les, Suzanne and Scott from Menlo Park, CA.

2018 was truly a year of profound change in the ministries that DBF supports in Dénia. The torch was passed to a new generation of leadership at both Colegio Alfa & Omega where Eunice Pastor (also DBF Founding Board Member) took the helm from her father Jorge Pastor as Executive Director, and at the Trinity Church of Dénia, where Jorge and Antonio Calero passed the baton to Elias Nofuentes, as Senior Pastor.

2018 was also a year of celebration and praise. In August, Jorge gave the Summer commencement address at Dallas Baptist University's graduation exercises after receiving an honorary doctorate of divinity awarded by DBU's president. And then in November, retiring pastors of Trinity Church, Antonio and Jorge, were honored in a very special Sunday service in Dénia for their more than 40 years of ministry and service. We are also very grateful for the families in Texas, Tennessee and California who hosted Alfa & Omega students during the year. And finally we thank God that Alfa & Omega's classrooms are full and that the school continues to build a reputation for delivering a high quality Christ-centered education where kids can flourish. Colegio Alfa & Omega truly serves as a beacon of God's light from Dénia that shines all over the world. 

On behalf of the faculty, staff and administrators of Colegio Alfa & Omega, the leadership of the Trinity Church of Dénia and the board of the Dénia Bridges Foundation we wish you peace, happiness and joy this Christmas and throughout the New Year.   Scott and Sue Johnson

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End of Year Thoughts of Colegio Alfa & Omega's Head of School, Eunice Pastor

Eunice gives an update on the past year and her biggest prayer requests. Click here to read.

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Baccalaureate Program Marches Forward!

Alfa & Omega has embarked upon the Light for the Future capital campaign to add the two year college prep Baccalaureate program. We are only $5,000 away from fully funding the startup phase! Click here for to read more.

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Dallas Baptist University awards Honorary Doctorate to Jorge

Dallas Baptist University honored Jorge Pastor with the Honorary Doctorate of Divinity with 17 of Jorge's family members and over a 100 of Jorge's friends from around the US on hand. Click here to read more.

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Jorge and Antonio Honored for 40 years of Ministry and Service

In an emotional celebration, the Trinity Church of Denia honored co-senior pastors Jorge Pastor and Antonio Calero for their more than 40 years of service and ministry. Click here to read more.

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The Power of Partnership 

Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, Texas is Giving Light for the Future to Colegio Alfa & Omega. Click here to read more.

In 2015, we founded the Dénia Bridges Foundation (DBF), a US 501c3 religious non-profit corporation based in Menlo Park, California to raise financial support for Christian Education and Youth Leadership in Spain from the United States. Each of our six volunteer board members has deep experience volunteering for extended periods at Colegio Alfa & Omega and the other related ministries in Dénia. 

We pray that you will consider financially supporting Colegio Alfa & Omega, the Trinity Church and/or the Montgó Christian Retreat Center this year.  And as always 100% of your donation will arrive to your designated recipient as we do not deduct any administrative fees. Our EIN is 47-3436255.

The Power of Partnership: CABC is giving Light for the Future at Colegio Alfa & Omega!

by David Villarreal, CABC Minister of Missions and DBF Board Member

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:3-6

In the fall of 2015, Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, Texas recognized the profound gospel work that was taking place in Dénia, Spain and signed a covenant of partnership with La Iglesia Evangélica Bautista La Trinitat de Dénia or Trinity Baptist Church (TBC). The Baptist Church of Dénia has called this coastal city home for more than 102 years. In fact, it is one of the few churches in Spain where an evangelical church has remained for more than a century. Today, the church in Dénia is the largest Baptist Church in a 4-hour radius and serves as a “mother” church to several other churches in Spain.

Our goal is to work together in expanding the Kingdom of God in Spain and around the world. One of the ways this is being fulfilled is by partnering with TBC to plant 5 churches in cities surrounding Dénia where there is no evangelical presence over the course of at least a 5-year partnership. TBC has since established Houses of Hope or church plants in the nearby towns of Bellreguard, Benissa, Javea, Ondara, and Pedreguer.

Another essential part of our partnership that takes place on the campus of Trinity is Alfa & Omega School, which serves over 400 students aged pre-school through 10th grade. For the last 3 years, CABC has partnered in this work by bringing over 7 different missions teams resulting in over 100 members of our church serving in the school. From our first visit, it became evident that the school and its leaders have done an exceptional job connecting with the community. Apart from Alfa & Omega being the only private evangelical school in Spain, it is also the first and only school to have a platform that seeks to bring in the whole community and is used as an outreach program. This is why we are delighted to celebrate and support this work through the Light for the Future project. CABC recently voted to support this incredible new vision and project by donating over $12,000 to see the gospel shared with students and their families. Alfa & Omega is a light in the darkness, a refuge among the storms of life. Therefore, we at CABC want to echo Paul’s heart and give thanks for the power of partnership. I am grateful to CABC for their generosity and TBC and Alfa & Omega for their vision and partnership in the gospel.

Retiring Pastors Jorge Pastor and Antonio Calero Honored for their 40 Years of Service

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In an emotional celebration on Sunday, October 28th, the Trinity Church of Denia honored co senior pastors Jorge Pastor Mut and Antonio Calero Cerrada for their more than 40 years of service and ministry. Attendees and speakers included the Mayor of Denia and other city officials as well as the senior leadership of the National Spanish Baptist Church. Friends and family members gave heart felt tributes during the ceremony while others living abroad and not able to attend honored Antonio and Jorge via video. While both Jorge and Antonio will continue to appear in the pulpit occasionally, both have recently retired from active leadership of the church, having passed the baton earlier this year to Pastor Elías Nofuentes who presided over the special service.

Summer 2018 Newsletter

Kiko, Leah and Maria, with their Menlo host families at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Kiko, Leah and Maria, with their Menlo host families at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

2018 started off with the arrival of Kiko, Leah and Maria, Colegio Alfa & Omega secondary students, to Menlo Park as a part of Alfa's Study Abroard Program.  Next we welcomed David Villarreal, Minister of Missions and Pastor of the Hispanic Ministry, Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, Texas to the DBF Board. David is our first board member outside of California and brings a wealth of missions experience to DBF.  Colegio Alfa & Omega has also begun the Light for the Future capital campaign which will complete Jorge's and Encarnita's vision to add the final two years of the Spanish education cycle to the Colegio Alfa & Omega's curriculum.  We at DBF will devote much of our effort and energy towards supporting the Light for the Future project. And then in September, Missionary Félix Ortiz from Agape (Campus Crusade for Christ Spain) will lead eight Menlo Church members on a five day pilgrimage on the St. James Way (El Camino de Santiago) from Lugo to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. From there, part of the group will go on to Dénia. It's been a busy and intense half year but all of us at DBF see God's blessings every day and give thanks to all of you who support His mission on the Costa Blanca.

Kiko, Maria and Leah in Santa Barbara at Winter Break

Kiko, Maria and Leah in Santa Barbara at Winter Break

Building Bridges between Denia and California!

This past January, Sue and I, along with two other Menlo Church families, the Koonces and the Lanigans, became the host parents for three Alfa & Omega high school students from Dénia. The Spanish teenagers spent the following three months experiencing American culture - California Style.  For the full story, please click here.

Pastor David Villarreal, DBF's Newest Board Member

Pastor David Villarreal, DBF's Newest Board Member

Meet New DBF Board Member - David Villarreal

We are super excited to announce that David Villarreal has joined our board. David is the Minister of Missions and the Pastor of Hispanic Ministry at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, Texas and volunteered at Colegio Alfa & Omega from 2006-2008. For more info about David, please click here.

Secondary Students at Alfa & Omega

Secondary Students at Alfa & Omega

Light for the Future! - Alfa & Omega Baccalaureate - We need your help!

Thanks to our generous donors we have raised $31,000 of the $40,000 necessary to obtain the permits, licenses and architectural drawings for the new classroom building. We could really use your help in raising the remaining $9,000 so please consider making a donation today. For more about information about Light for the Future please click here!

The St. James Way  (El Camino de Santiago) in Galicia

The St. James Way  (El Camino de Santiago) in Galicia

Camino/Dénia in September

In September, our close friend Félix Ortiz from Agape (Campus Crusade Spain) will lead eight members of Menlo Church on a five day 100 kilometer pilgrimage from Lugo to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. Then from Galicia, part of the group will go on to Dénia to visit Colegio Alfa & Omega and attend a Sunday service at the Trinity Baptist Church. We will meet with Jorge, Encarnita, Eunice and others as well during our visit.

Announcing New Board Member

The Denia Bridges Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of David Villarreal to its Board of Directors. The Board provides leadership for carrying out the Foundation's mission to promote and support Christian education and youth leadership in Spain.

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David is currently the Minister of Missions and the Pastor of Hispanic Ministry at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. He also serves as a graduate assistant for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. David has served in Dénia as a Volunteer and English teacher at Colegio Alfa & Omega where he served from 2006-2008. David is married to Rut Calero from Dénia and together they have three beautiful children: Lucas (7), Elisa (5), and Joanna (1). David's father-in-law is Antonio Calero, former co-senior pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church of Dénia.

"I am very excited to welcome David to the Board of Directors," says Scott Johnson, DBF Board President. "He brings to DBF both a wealth of missions experience and a passion for what God is doing on the Costa Blanca in Spain."

 

2017 End of Year Newsletter

Scott and Sue in the Alfa & Omega Prayer Garden with Jorge and Encarnita

Scott and Sue in the Alfa & Omega Prayer Garden with Jorge and Encarnita

It's been a busy 2017 at the Dénia Bridges Foundation. Sue and I were able to spend two weeks in Dénia this past September catching up with many old friends and learning more from Jorge and Eunice about the plans for the new Baccalaureate program at Colegio Alfa & Omega. We have also been preparing for the three Alfa & Omega students who will come to Menlo Park, CA in January and then for a five day Camino de Santiago trip next September, led by our friend Felix Ortiz from Agape. We will continue from Santiago de Compostela to Dénia for a weekend visiting with Jorge and the various ministries. We continue to be amazed at how God changes the lives of the students, parents, international volunteers and mission/university teams on the Costa Blanca.


On behalf of the faculty, staff and administrators of Colegio Alfa & Omega, the leadership of the Trinity Baptist Church and the board of the Dénia Bridges Foundation we wish you peace, happiness and joy this Christmas and throughout the New Year.   Scott and Sue

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PHOTOS FROM A GET-TOGETHER IN DENIA WITH THE ALFA & OMEGA STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS COMING TO MENLO PARK AND THEIR FAMILIES. SEPT 2017

PHOTOS FROM A GET-TOGETHER IN DENIA WITH THE ALFA & OMEGA STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS COMING TO MENLO PARK AND THEIR FAMILIES. SEPT 2017

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Quote from Junior  JT Harris   "It has been an amazing experience here in Dénia, sharing the love of Christ with these kids. Having the opportunity and experience to play basketball in Spain has been great for our team and a lot of fun." 

Quote from Junior JT Harris
"It has been an amazing experience here in Dénia, sharing the love of Christ with these kids. Having the opportunity and experience to play basketball in Spain has been great for our team and a lot of fun." 

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Eunice Pastor will become the new Executive Director of Colegio Alfa & Omega

After 38 years as Executive Director of the Colegio Alfa & Omega, Jorge J. Pastor has announced his upcoming retirement. Jorge and his wife Encarnita’s vision when establishing Alfa & Omega in 1979, was to provide an alternative to the existing educational options on the Costa Blanca using innovative pedagogical methods as Spain transitioned to democracy following the death of Franco. The project began with the Montgó Pre-School which is widely acknowledged as a ground-breaking milestone in the region and over time has evolved into one of Spain’s leading primary/secondary schools. Colegio Alfa & Omega is now in the process of adding a baccalaureate program for college bound students.

Stepping into the role of Executive Director is Eunice Pastor Sendra who for the past 12 years has served as head of Alfa & Omega’s primary school. Eunice, trained as an elementary school teacher and holding a master's degree in School Mediation, has spent 20 years at Alfa & Omega. In her new role, Eunice will lead a senior administrative team consisting of Maria Eugenia Utor, Candida Garrido and Hugo Walthon. New initiatives on the horizon are a dual American baccalaureate, robotics and programming with LEGO and the continuation of several innovative projects already in progress.     “We founded Alfa & Omega upon the principles of respect and the development of each child’s unique personality.  Because each child is different, we closely align our teaching with each child’s particular learning style and interests. And although Alfa & Omega is a private non-profit institution, we welcome all students who are open to our beliefs and lifestyle without regard to gender, religion, social class and ethnicity,” the school said in a statement.     (Translated from the original story published August 30, 2017 in lamarinaplaza.com.)

Stepping into the role of Executive Director is Eunice Pastor Sendra who for the past 12 years has served as head of Alfa & Omega’s primary school. Eunice, trained as an elementary school teacher and holding a master's degree in School Mediation, has spent 20 years at Alfa & Omega. In her new role, Eunice will lead a senior administrative team consisting of Maria Eugenia Utor, Candida Garrido and Hugo Walthon. New initiatives on the horizon are a dual American baccalaureate, robotics and programming with LEGO and the continuation of several innovative projects already in progress.

“We founded Alfa & Omega upon the principles of respect and the development of each child’s unique personality.  Because each child is different, we closely align our teaching with each child’s particular learning style and interests. And although Alfa & Omega is a private non-profit institution, we welcome all students who are open to our beliefs and lifestyle without regard to gender, religion, social class and ethnicity,” the school said in a statement. 

(Translated from the original story published August 30, 2017 in lamarinaplaza.com.)

DBU Will Award Honorary Doctorate to Jorge Pastor, Executive Director of Colegio Alfa & Omega

Dallas Baptist University announced that it will award an honorary doctorate degree to Jorge Pastor, executive director of the Colegio Alfa & Omega and senior pastor at the Trinity Baptist Church of Dénia (Spain). In a letter dated July 16th, 2017, the president of DBU, Dr. Adam C. Wright described Jorge as an incredible servant leader among his community in Spain and around the world and that the university would be pleased to recognize his influential leadership with this honor. He added that Jorge's commitment to sharing the Gospel, teaching the scriptures and Christian education is an inspiration to so many.  DBU will confer the honorary doctorate during its summer 2018 commencement services in Dallas, Texas.