‘An Encounter with God‘, the three day Couples for Christ India (CFCI) Singles retreat, was conducted from 5 to 7 December 2014, at Snehadaan, Bangalore exclusively for the African community in India.
Tito Tony Corriea and Tita Maria Corriea, full time missionaries of CFCI serving in Africa, led the three day retreat, where intense teachings, vibrant gospel music and energetic dance were all found under one roof. Guillaume Gatchuessi, CFCI Singles from Bangalore was the moderator between the participants and the service team.
The Africans, who were thrilled to see missionaries from their own country, received the regular CLS teachings at the retreat. Few teachings like ‘Sin’ and ‘Repentance and Faith’ were handled well, keeping in mind the spiritual needs of the Africans, as it would make them aware of their wrong doings and get them closer to God.
As Tito Tony spoke, Guillaume translated in French and the teachings were mostly given in an informal way. The CFCI Singles also gave their moving testimonies on how God changed their lives. The participants were also led into a time of adoration at the end of every teaching after which the groups met together to share their experiences and struggles.
It was indeed a beautiful sight to watch the Africans and Indians coming together to seek God and give glory to Him as one family. The Africans who are well-known for their cultural music and dance were seen enjoying the gospel action songs and bonded mostly over food at the cafeteria. They never asked for any special food, rather they enjoyed the same meal that the Indians had in their own unique way. They mixed rice with bananas, or just ate plain rice with some sabzi (dry vegetable curry).
On the last day, Tito Tony also spoke on the importance of ‘Confession’ in everybody’s lives which encouraged many Africans to make use of the ‘Sacrament of Reconciliation’. The retreat came to an end with the Eucharistic celebration, after which, the participants shared their testimonies on how they encountered God at the retreat. They also sang in French and affectionately thanked Tito Tony and Tita Maria.
The organizers, CFCI Bangalore, concluded the retreat with a thanksgiving.
Currently, about 15 participants continue to meet every Sunday at 3:30 PM at St Gerard’s chapel for their weekly formation program.