I Believe – CFCI Youth Conference 2013

The CFCI National Youth Conference 2013 was held from 8 November 2013 to 10 November 2013, at St. Anthony School Monte de Guirim. CFCI youth from Mumbai, Gujarat, Orissa, Jharkhand, Mangalore, West Bengal, Delhi, and Goa travelled from far and wide to be a part of this conference.

i Believe

The first day started with registration, during which the youth introduced themselves to each other. Grace Afterglow, the music ministry for the conference along with the dance ministry from Mumbai, helped loosen every one with some action songs. Vivian Braganza, the event head for NYC 2013, declared the conference open. Neil Todankar led all the youth into praise and worship.

The first session of the conference was given in Hindi by CFCI Singles from Gujarat, Praful Masih and in English by CFCI Single from Mumbai, Basil Rodrigues. It spoke about the rejection of God. The session was a reality check on how it is difficult to experience God and how sometimes prayer can feel like talking to a blank wall. They attributed this distance between God and man to rejection of God, knowingly or unknowingly, and the indifference shown to him. Moreover, they explained that another reason for this distance is the split lives that people live – one being a CFCI Youth and another a Youth for the World. They made the delegates comprehend the fruit of the spirit they bear, and areas or fruits where the Spirit may not be manifested.

After lunch, delegates were led into praise and worship by CFCI Single from Goa, Asiel lobo who shared on God’s love. He stressed that he continues to want the best for us, in spite of our sinning and drifting away from Him.

The Second session in Hindi was given by CFCI Single from Ranchi, Vidya Dadel and in English by CFCI Single from Goa, Levin Gomes. The session focused on the Heart of God. They shared that God continuously and unceasingly loves us, irrespective of how often we sin or drift away. They stressed that God never stops loving us and he is the same irrespective of the situation or change in scenario. They spoke about the misconception that God is the cause of misfortunes in life and enlightened the delegates on how it was their own choices that led to their hardship. They explained that man is a victim of his own choices.

The third session of the conference was given in Hindi by CFCI Couple from Goa, Baptist Dias and in English by CFCI Single Goa, Joshua Cordeiro. It was on God’s will and man’s free will. They stated that God doesn’t micro manage our lives. We have the freedom to choose, and our choices need to lead us to love God more perfectly, Moreover, we need to be able to lead others into a loving relationship with God.

A short time of adoration was held in front of the Blessed Sacrament to help the youth absorb and understand the sessions of the day. This was followed by the Incredible India competition where CFCI Youth showcased their talents as well as the cultural diversity of their respective states. It was a riot of colours and amazing performances showcasing India’s cultural heritage.

The second day started with rosary and mass. The main celebrant Fr Allan Tavares in his homily, focused on youth being the light of the world and how they need to lead people and inspire people. The morning worship was led by CFCI Youth from West Bengal, Hemant who encouraged the youth to praise God freely and from their hearts. Open forum was held next, to help clear misconceptions as well as clarify doubts that the youth had with regard to all the sessions.

Various competitions like Splash-Face Painting, Quiz, JAM, Duet Singing competition, Story Writing where held wherein all the delegates showcased their creative side and their artistic abilities.

CFCI Youth from Goa, Carlton D’Souza led all the delegates into a short time of praise and worship in the afternoon, followed by adoration and confession. This was followed by a session on seeking God’s will and making God centered choices given by CFCI Singles from Goa, Luane Gomes in Hindi and Ehrlson De Sousa in English. They explained how to discern God’s will in our lives rather than depending on instant answers.

The much awaited theme party was next, with participants dressing up in ethnic wear, the theme for the party. It was a time full of fun, enjoyment, dancing as well as worshipping God.

The last day of the conference began with rosary and mass where the celebrant spoke on the importance of youth, of saints in jeans, of the need of the youth to become role models. The last session of the conference was on Road to Transformation given by CFCI Single from Goa, Deidre Fernandes and CFCI Single from Chennai, Biron D’Souza in English and CFCI Single from Bangalore Kelvin Castelino in Hindi. They spoke on the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the difference between Training and Trying. They explained the need to practice spiritual discipline in order to grow in the fruit of the Spirit. They elaborated on the spiritual disciplines and the fruit of the Spirit it would help manifest.

Formators where then involved in the action and found engrossed in playing the various games that were organized.
Delegates were then encouraged to draw up an action plan, on how they could manifest areas where the fruit of the Spirit were lacking, and how they could transform the area and manifest the fruit of the Spirit.

In the afternoon, the prizes of all the pre-conference competitions as well as the competitions held during the conference were distributed. The winning video and photograph were displayed, as well as a performance by the winners of the talent round. The conference concluded with a Praise Fest led by CFCI Youth from Mangalore, Chris Crasta, who praised God for all the wonders and blessings poured during the conference.

Official Photographers: Mauvin Matthew & Jane D’Souza
Report by: Asiel Lobo & Afrodite Colaco, CFCI Youth Goa

Where you a part of this conference? Could you care to share a few lines below in comment section how was your experience?

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10 Responses to I Believe – CFCI Youth Conference 2013

  1. This was my fourth NYC. It was an amazing experience as always but one thing that touched my heart the most was during the session given by Ehrlson in which he spoke to us about how we should do what Jesus would do. He asked us to reflect on the times we have not done ‘what Jesus would do?’, and of course immediately a long list of incidents filled my mind. He continued to ask us to reflect on incidents in our life where we have done what Jesus would do. And it surprised me that even after so many years of being in the CFCI Youth community, not one concrete incident popped in my head. I had to literally think hard to finally find a situation where i have done so. And after this it hit me that after every camp im on a godly high and i follow what Jesus wants me to do. But a couple of week’s later im back to living the life that is pleasing only to me. So i made up my mind that from then on i would keep up this fervour for God and not just make it temporary but make it my lifestyle. I also decided that everyday no matter what do, i will ask myself ‘is this what Jesus would do?’ and i imagine Jesus doing it with me so that my life is more and more Jesus centred everyday.

  2. The national youth conference was held in Goa this year for the third time in the five years that I have been in CFCI Youth. My life before the conference wasn’t so different than it is now. I do believe in God, I know he has a plan for me and I know that God is love. However in line with the theme this year that focused on the gospel of John 6:29 “the work of God is this: to believe in the one he sent.” I actually have begun to believe that God loves me irrespective of what I do.
    Before the conference my life wasn’t very different than it is now. However I do believe more strongly and with conviction that God truly loves me irrespective of the choices I make. And it was Levin and Joshua’s talks that spoke specifically of God’s love and that God has a plan for us. Earlier I used to think that God was this play writer, who wrote a play called life and now directs it according to a script and that all the choices I make are part of this play- the good and the bad ones. And every time something bad happened, I used to think I wasn’t performing my part well and that I would get punished for it. The role I played as a catholic girl wasn’t according to God’s standards. But through the course of the conference I was relieved to find out that God was no puppet master or play writer and that He loved me no matter what and that my choices did not alter His love for me and that He had no criteria and that His love never gives up and will never run out on me!
    The inner healing and the confession sessions on the second day made things clearer and gave me a chance to spend 3 whole hours, just me and my God we cried, sang and prayed together. I left feeling more determined and satisfied and happy within. The praise fest sessions got my adrenaline pumping and left me thirsting for me. One more chance to sing and dance for our God. One of the most marvellous ways to end my five years in the CFCI Youth ministry.

  3. well I loved the content…
    I loved eriksons talk and.deidre talks.
    amazing content…
    very well explained…
    explanatory answers…
    bang on types…I loved the way they showcased their talk…
    I loved the content of the talk…
    even levins talk was good…
    all these 3 talks had an instant.connection with the me..
    not only with me but with audience,they understood what you guys were trying to speak on…
    coming to praise and worship..think during praise and worship you guys should take only those songs which the crowd are familiar with..
    like for an instance for worship you guys took new song half of them were actually lost …looking at the screen and standing and doing nothing..
    no connection…nothing…
    even second day adoration..
    it was good but went for 4 hours ..
    It just got carried away…
    overall the event was good…
    something to take back..
    but didn’t reach meet my expectations..
    if I compare last years conference with this..
    last years one was too.good…
    at a point event got carried away and it felt like “just to fill in the time slot,you guys spontaneously put something”
    even the idea of incredible india ..
    I think.you guys should have explain them.in a more precise manner…..
    one last.thing in mind…
    try to some activity or session.where we can interact with other delegates..its a amazing gesture to do so…
    I mean during recreation and all we only talk to few other people…
    the event was too good…
    adoration really touched me ….

  4. God constantly listens to our prayers; this I realized during NYC. He removed all possible obstacles that were hindering me from attending my first NYC and I am truly grateful to Him for that because I had an absolutely amazing experience which I will cherish for life.
    It was so amazing to see youth from all over India coming together to praise and worship God. I made new friends and the existing friendships also strengthened during the conference. And I’m sure that our friendships will last as they are God-centered. These friends are much more than friends who will always support and guide you onto the right track, be there with you during your ups and downs and will never let you go.
    The talks made me re-think a lot of things and I learnt so much from them. They were directly connected to our lives and I will always keep the key points of the talks in mind. I realized that all of us have struggles in our lives, all of us fall, doubt and sin but no matter what, God always picks us up no matter what and He NEVER lets go. Sometimes this gets me thinking…How great is God’s love? How can He manage to love me even when at the times when I disregard His importance in my life? But, GOD IS LOVE and this answered all of my questions.
    It was really a happy day when God washed all my sins away. The adoration during confession was completely on another level. After confession, I could truly feel Jesus’ presence as we all adored Jesus and sang and praised Him in one voice. Those moments were the best, I was completely overwhelmed.
    The conference was truly fun-the kind of fun where we were part of the world but not off of it. This conference surely made an impact in all our lives and I pray that this change can be seen through our personalities and never fades away; but in fact gets stronger each day.

  5. Coming back after a year for another wonderful conference was one of the best things in this year that has happened to me, the conference was real good and a wonderful learning experience and especially for me who was totally uncertain about coming for the conference. Loved the content it was really a stand out for me throughout the conference the speakers delivering the sessions made it even more inspiring with their testimony’s it really made me look back and think over my life and the various places where I needed to be ready to believe in Christ really loved the testimony Levin shared and the sessions conducted by Joshua, Deidre and Biron were really interactive. The adoration service really made me look deep into various areas of my life where I needed god’s presence .To some it all up I must say it was the most inspiring conference with the wonderful sharing’s and moreover wonderful experiences and not to forget the really awesome friends I made here moreover after this conference I can proudly say “I believe in walking with Jesus Christ.”

  6. NYC 2013-‘I believe walking with Jesus’, is my first conference and the best one so far. Before conference, I didn’t know much about God’s teachings and found it hard to experience His closeness. When I prayed, I always felt I was talking to a blank wall in front of me. Intake camp bridged all these differences for me, but as soon as it ended I experienced it all over again. My relationship with God kept growing harder gradually. I didn’t read the Scriptures regularly and prayed only when I needed my prayers to be answered. But NYC got me back and closer to God once again in such an amazing way. The sessions given to us made us reflect on our relationship with Jesus. The testimonies made me take a second thought on my own life. I realised that this conference is a fresh start for me that God is calling me once again to know Him better, to interact with Him more often, to open up my innermost feelings to Him, to transform myself as a true Christian. I got to know that ‘God is love’ and He loves each one of us immaterial to however much we sin, He will still continue loving us and helping us follow His ways justly. All my worries and anxieties vanished and I felt free and as light as a feather soon after I received the sacrament of reconciliation.
    This conference was worth attending and I’m glad that through it I got myself so close to Jesus in every way! Cheers to NYC 2013 😀

  7. All I could think about was to write about my NYC experience and how it has really changed my life and how there is a lot that I’m going to change in me! This conference wasn’t just about the sessions and getting to know the different ways in which we could get closer to God but it also included meeting new people, making friends, learning how they look at life and well, having a lot of fun as well! Also, this wasn’t my first conference. I have been for another one before and that one was amaaaazing as well! But I have to admit, there most certainly was something different about this one!

    To begin with, the theme for this year’s conference was ‘I BELiEVE~ walking with Jesus’ and that really touched my heart, literally. In one of the sessions, this friend of mine spoke about how we tend to believe what someone says instantly and blindly even though it is not all always the truth but because we trust that person. And then when I actually thought about it I realised that I’ve done that so many times that I’d take forever to count! These last few months, (well, before the conference at least) I have had the most pain and suffering and thought that my whole world was coming down at one point. I wondered why all this was happening to me. Why was it that even when I tried to do the right thing, I’d end up doing the wrong thing and hurt the people that meant the most to me? I wondered why my life was so messed up and why I felt so lost. And I wondered why God wasn’t doing anything to help me out? Why was He okay with me feeling the way that I was? Then after that session I realised that ‘God is Love’. Do you realise how strong that one phrase is? I didn’t, till I actually felt it! I realised that it wasn’t God that wanted me to feel that way. It was my own choices and will that led me to. I realised that no matter how terrible and useless I was feeling that God loves me NO MATTER WHAT and that he always would and that nothing could and would ever change his love for me! Talk about a promise! 😀

    The next part of the conference was all about fun and dancing and singing on the top of my voice that I even ended up losing my voice! A lot of competitions were held as well. One of them included getting my face painted. I saw some people with so much talent and I was so surprised and grateful to God that he has given me such blessed friends! After all of the fun under the sun was over, we had this session about returning to God which we could do by confessing our sins to Him and making Him the centre of our lives and so the session was followed by Confession and Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I had the most wonderful confession. You may go and confess your sins and sometimes not end up confessing it all. It becomes a wonderful confession when you actually dig deep down inside your conscience and find out that there are so many things that you have never ever thought about confessing before. That’s a real confession! And the feeling you get after that, it’s just pure JOY and you can feel that Jesus is in your heart and that he has forgiven you and that he loves you so so much! But it doesn’t stop there. We as humans, have the tendency to sin again and again. So we have to work on trying not to sin! We have to transform ourselves and become more like Jesus because it is always possible, even though it is never easy and rarely quick! Because when we transform, it is just WORTHWHILE! We have to train ourselves till we succeed!

    Another thing that really touched my heart were these FOUR words –WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? So everytime you think of saying something or if anything happens and you’re on the verge of saying something mean, say those four words in your head. Then think about if Jesus would ever do that to anyone and then you’ll have your answer. This conference really changed my life and answered some of the questions that I had left unanswered. It showed me that through all these years that I’ve been living one thing has remained constant and that is God’s love for me! That the circumstances in life don’t change who God is. It has showed me that the Word of God is not only true, but has the power to purify ones conscience and dead actions. So focus on becoming like Jesus, and all the pain and sorrow will fade away on it’s own! So go on, and live God’s dream for you! 🙂

  8. To begin with this was my first NYC and i wasn’t really sure what the NYC was all about…anyways it was awesome! The talks were really inspirational and many of the points put across to us were from a person who has experienced it in his/her life…i remember one thing that i think of before i do anything and thats “What would Jesus do?” The confession and adoration was truly amazing!! I think no matter what happens in my life now i know that Jesus will always be there walking besides me. I know that i am not the same person as i was before i attended the conference…can’t wait for the next!!

  9. N.Y.C. 2013 was a truly amazing experience. The talks were truly inspirational. The adoration and the confession were so touching. N.Y.C. was not only prayer but, Fun, Dancing, Fellowship, Singing and many more things. The competitions held at the venue and the Pre-Conference competitions were also a lot of fun. The Band, GRACE AFTERGLOW rocked the house with their melodious voices. I met a lot of people and bonded with them at the N.Y.C. Overall, I felt the N.Y.C. was a worthwhile, fun filled conference, and I am hoping to be there for N.Y.C. 2014.

  10. NYC this year was a different experience I actually related to the topics with regards to the theme I Believe. I actually liked the part where they discussed about the difficulties in standing for God when in public as we are very offensive. And the major thing I took back was what would Jesus do ? I apply it in my daily life making any kind of decision and I get the right answer to my question. That has changed my life alot. About the book stuff I actually didnt relate it at the conference but when I came back and went through it that made a lot of sense.