Deuteronomy 31:8, ‘The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’
This promise is as sure today as it was in the times of old! And that’s why with so much excitement I share this. We began approaching St Xavier’s College, Goa sometime in 2007. At the time there were many CFCI Youth studying in the institution and we had big plans to start an on-campus program. However we weren’t given permission for the same. That didn’t stop the enthusiastic youth. They continued to meet between lectures or after college, on campus in 2’s and 3’s and sometimes a much bigger bunch. Over the next few years, CFCI Youth kept growing and as many graduated, many more joined college. They not only attended their lectures, but also supported each other, started cleanliness drives, encouraged other students and went on to take on big responsibilities like General Secretary and Joint Secretary. Little did anyone realize that this was not only for their own growth but God was planning something BIGGER.
I was also one of the many youth who passed through the portals of St Xavier’s. I must testify
that it wasn’t my idea, I rebelled and fought, eventually believing God had a plan for me and
now I’m so glad it all turned out the way it did! The big dream to start an on-campus program didn’t die completely, but now it was being replaced by another dream. One in which we would be invited to have sessions for the students. I joined part time as college counselor in August last year. During my first meeting with the principal, he asked me where I was working. I thought it was an easy enough question and replied quite plainly. But Fr Walters’ response amazed me. He sat up straight, looked directly at me and said, “I want CFCI Youth to come and conduct programs for my teenagers. I have been searching for resource people, who are your program heads?” With a smile that stretched from ear to ear, I mentioned Joshua and Deidre and Father remembered them for their hard work and dedication in the student council in college. We considered various topics and opportunities. I was overwhelmed with joy! Finally Lord, finally! It took less than a day to arrange the whole program. The students were invited and we were left to plan. I wasn’t too happy about the date because it was soon after the Kids Village, but the date got pushed to the following week. Conducting a program on such a short notice can be quite challenging. I was wondering who would serve and how we would go about it, but God sent people and directed us.
Was it a good program? Yes! It was tremendous! On a holiday, 40 young people came to college to attend a workshop entitled ‘3D – Discover, Develop and Decide’. We covered the 4 areas of Talent, Passion, Need and Conscience when making a life decision, especially one that would entail your calling and vocation in life. The feedback we received from them was overwhelming. More than the words we spoke, we shared our lives with them. In every sharing there was deep sense of abandonment to God’s will in our lives. We couldn’t believe the program was so well received, we wondered how amazing it is to dwell in the arms of God who planned this day and time for us. So many plans in the pipeline!
I’m writing this report at St Xavier’s, sitting in the counselors’ room, fully knowing that true counsel only comes from the Holy Spirit. If any change or growth, any hope has to be renewed, He will do it! I’m so excited at the prospects of serving these young people on St Xavier’s Campus. Got to go… someone’s knocking on my door.