July is the most lively time of the year in Altea. Each night, the shops and restaurants are filled to the brim with people from Spain, Britain, Germany, Norway, and beyond. World-class balloon makers and local musicians make their presence most known during this season, capitalizing off of the energy and euros of the crowd. Plays, choir concerts, and junior symphonies take place throughout the week at a small amphitheater in town. Fireworks and gun shots reverberate throughout the town, heralding the arrival of yet another festival. Like Altea, we at EDGE are celebrating; we too are full of life.
Week 3 has been our most lively, active, and plentiful time. The arrival of two attendees of Saddleback Berlin brought the total count of EDGE participants to 30 +, making for the largest coalition of EDGE members in Spain in the organization’s history. Though they were only with us for a week, their overwhelming enthusiasm set the tone for the rest of their time, and has certainly set it for the rest of ours. Some staff members of past EDGE projects returned this week as well, offering encouragement and support to those of us here this time around.
Our art gallery is nearly complete, only needing some final furnishings to restore it to where it was three long years ago, when the ceiling caved in and the building had been condemned. Led by Ex Creatis, week 3’s art night was by far the best attended, with visitors, friends, and fellow EDGE members having their portraits drawn onto a large “Everyday Icons” frame made of recycled objects (seen in picture above). The community meals now not only have new guests, but returning ones. On Friday morning, six members of EDGE were baptized in the Mediterranean, either for the first time or as a public declaration of a new step in maturity and intimacy with the Lord our God and His son Jesus Christ. Among the six was a neighbor lady of one of our groups here, who, within a matter of days, stepped out in faith through seeing how our group loved and cared for her.
If this week’s post reads less like a reflection and more like a listing of the goings-on here at EDGE, it’s because this third week has been mostly characterized by actions, and the glorious results of those actions. The sheer number of people coming and going, and the amazing works this has produced, is a testament in itself to a grand purpose behind all of us being here, and of EDGE existing where it does, when it does.
Though we rejoice in times such as now, when the number of believers—united and active—are many, we must remember that it cannot always look this way. Ex Creatis and the Berlin members have already moved on to their next destination, cutting our group size in half for our final week. Just as every Altean summer must turn to winter, so EDGE must soon disband and return stateside until the next project, Lord willing, takes place in Altea. Though the seasons change and all members, staff or student, must return to their respective homes, we do not need to be discouraged. Instead, let us be encouraged by what God has done in this particular week. Remember the amazing, like-minded young people who have entered our lives, even if only for a brief time. Remember that, unlike Altea’s tourism, EDGE never really goes away.
Each week is but a chapter in the story of this summer. Each summer is but a chapter in the story of EDGE. Each believer’s experience while here is but a chapter in the continuing story of believers throughout time, who, as in Hebrews 11, demonstrated faith in a story that was both bigger and beyond themselves. The full story has yet to be fulfilled even now, this July of 2015. After this week though, I can boldly say a great new chapter has been added to that Grander Story. Thank you all in EDGE project, that in all of your coming and going, beginnings and ends, large groups or small, you are evidence of the ever-living spectacle of God: full of love, sparkling in light.