November 10, 2020
I have changed the category of this fundraising campaign to Memorial. When I first began, it was with anticipation that Joseph would recover and eventually return to work. This fund is now going to assist Tina and the children in Joseph's permanent absence.
November 6, 2020
Saying that Joseph's death is devastating is quite an understatement. However, the continued generosity and love of others has profoundly impacted the Atiles family. Please read the beginning of the story below.
October 16, 2020
Pastor Joseph Atiles is a husband, father of 7, lover of the Lord, His Word, and His people and faithful employee. However, on Saturday, October 3, 2020, all of these important roles came to a crashing halt when Joseph was hospitalized with severe complications from Covid-19. As of this posting, he has been in the hospital for 15 days, much of which has been spent on a ventilator. The hospital staff has spared no effort in helping Joseph survive. Unfortunately, his lungs have not healed enough to allow him to breathe on his own. Currently, he is awaiting transfer to a larger hospital with advanced equipment that will hopefully help him recover. Joseph has left at home his wife, Tina and their 7 great children, ranging in age from 22-9. Unfortunately, Tina recently lost her job as a travel agent due to downsizing related to Covid-19. With Joseph in the hospital and not working, the family income has been drastically cut and the expenses have increased. When approached about setting up this fundraising page, Tina's reply was, " I would never have asked, but I have to accept it, because we really need it."
Pastor Joseph and Tina have been involved in ministry for the past 20 years. The beginning of Agape Bible Church found them meeting practical and spiritual needs individuals and families in the Hispanic community in Lakewood, NJ. Next, they expanded by holding both Spanish and English services in Howell, NJ. Up until this point, the Atiles children attended a local Christian school. When the Lord called their family to homeschool, He also brought about the opportunity for Agape to assume oversight of an existing homeschool co-op, which is still in existence today. Additionally, 8 years ago, the Lord led Agape to sponsor the first American Heritage Girls Troop in the state of NJ. This troop has impacted over 75 girls with it's focus on Faith. Service. Learning. Fun. The newest, and perhaps most exciting ministry that Agape Bible Church oversees is Agape Arts Center. After several years in existence, AAC moved into a new home in downtown Freehold, NJ. This new location has allowed the school to reach out to the community, which is largely Hispanic. Finally, Pastor Joseph still leads Spanish and English services on Sundays in Asbury Park, NJ. Joseph has also served as chaplain for the Lakewood Blueclaws Minor League Baseball team. All of this while Joseph is an IT expert at Hackensak-Meridian Hospital System and Tina is a travel agent.
As you can see, serving the Lord and furthering His kingdom in varied and creative ways is a hallmark of the Atiles family. Their 4 oldest daughters have spent many years singing at various churches, events, and ministries in NJ, PA, NY, and MD. As a personal friend and ministry partner, I have always said that Tina is the "BIG IDEA" person. When she hoped for opportunities for her own children and the children of her community, she trusted the Lord and got to work, all with the spiritual guidance and support of her husband.
As devastating as Joseph's illness is for his family and friends, God has been so faithful. He has brought hundreds of Christians together in prayer, support, and encouragement. Christians from different churches, communities, and ethnicities. Christians with one thing in common: Each one has been positively affected by the Atiles family in some way. It has been beautiful to see the invigorated prayer lives, renewed sense of service, sacrificial love, and Christ centered unity.
As I was with Tina this evening she said, " I have an indescribable peace and I know that it is only from this...all these people praying and loving our family and my husband...and from the Lord."
This is where you can enter this story of God's love in the midst of unimaginable suffering. Please pray for the Atiles family and specifically for Joseph's physical healing. Encourage anyone you meet to pray for this family. If you know them personally, send a note of encouragement, sign up to help with meals, transportation, or other needs. Finally, please prayerfully consider giving a financial gift to help the Atiles family during this difficult time.
Thank you in advance and God bless you all for your kindness, generosity, and love.