The CFCI Youth camp was held at Daddy’s Home in Margao, from 26th to 28th May 2017, the theme being ‘Relentless is God’s love’. The purpose of the camp was to help the youth to stay focused on God thereby experiencing His persistent mercy and love. The camp comprised of 20 participants along with a service team of 10 youth and couple formators, and other members of the community who offered their services.
The team leaders, assisted by the service team handled the registration followed by the allocation of rooms. The service team made sure that the participants were comfortable and an icebreaker game was introduced to facilitate interaction among the participants. The activity was enjoyed by all as they laughed and mingled around meeting and greeting each other. They were then taught gathering songs by the music ministry followed by the explanation of house rules by the service team leaders. There were 2 talks scheduled for day1. The first talk ‘God’s love and his plan for us’ was given, that described the greatness of Gods’ love and how we need to trust in His plans. This was testified by a service team member, who shared how she experienced the love of Christ in her life and saw Gods’ plan for her. A group discussion (GD) was held after the session which was followed by a little singing and dancing.
It was then time for the second talk on ‘Who is Christ to me?’ followed by a testimony. Through this talk and sharing, the real image of Jesus and the importance of Him in the lives of the speakers were portrayed to the participants, who showed a keen interest in knowing Christ and building a relationship with Him. The GD helped the participants to share their thoughts and express their feelings thereby creating a greater understanding of the teachings provided through the talks. Post dinner was a night of fun and fellowship, the day was ended with a closing prayer, by a member.
Day 2 began with a talk on ‘Sin and Repentance’ along with a testimony. Through this talk, the participants were able to understand that we are all born sinful. But God in His mercy has forgiven us through the work of Jesus and calls us to live in repentance in response to His grace. After the GD was the faith walk and faith fall. Through this activity, participants received an insight about trust and the similarity between how they can count on Jesus as their friend who would guide them safely through all the hurdles they might experience in their journey. The morning program concluded with the inner healing session which helped the participants practice forgiveness and receive healing from the negative emotional effects of hurtful experiences in their own lives.
In the post-lunch session, participants acquired knowledge about the significance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and how examination of conscience can help in making a good confession. They also had the opportunity to ask questions and clarify their doubts. This was followed by one to ones, where each participant spent some time talking with their group leaders sharing their lives and areas of difficulties. Confessions followed, where the participants were able to unburden themselves and emerge renewed, ready to praise God. They were then taught free praise and the reason why we praise God. The fourth talk was on ‘The Holy Spirit’ with a testimony enlightening everyone on how the Holy Spirit is God’s power in action and the way the Holy Spirit works in our lives. After the GD was the commitment to Christ ceremony followed by, ‘The Prayover’. With the help of all the Titos, Titas and the music ministry, everyone was able to surrender themselves to God and stir up the Holy Spirit within. After dinner, a worship session was organized and participants with confidence and full faith testified how they felt after the pray over. Most of the participants shared experiences. Post dinner, another evening of entertainment was held after which day 2 ended.
The third day began with, guiding the participants on how to engage in personal prayer. With the teaching of a song and worship, the participants began writing letters to their parents expressing their love and asking for forgiveness. Finally, the last talk and testimony on ‘How to grow in the Spirit’ enabled the participants to gain a new perspective of their life post the camp and were made aware of what lies ahead. Following the talk, all the youth attended their last GD. This was followed by a fun-filled activity of water games that helped to beat the summer heat.
After the final lunch, the participants were asked to pack their bags and get ready for the Eucharistic celebration. Parents too were invited to attend the mass. During the mass the mass, the priest encouraged the youth to lift up their lives to Christ and follow the teachings of Jesus. Later, the participants gave their written letters to their parents and in turn received letters from them as well. Everyone was filled with joy and gratitude as their hearts expressed their innermost thoughts and feelings. Hugs, kisses as well as tears filled the environment making their lives richer and lighter as the load was lifted and they were filled with the grace of God. The participants also shared their lives and the love of Jesus that they experienced through their testimonies, in front of their parents.
The camp ended with a Praise Fest led by the music ministry where the participants and service team praised and thanked God for His love displayed God’s love that they experienced during the camp.