The Kids Village 2015 “Born to Praise” was held on the 17th of September, 2015, at Don Bosco, Panaji, Goa. It was organized by Couples for Christ India (CFCI). It was a fun-filled, one-day program with prayer, activities and workshops meant for children between the age group of 4 to 12 years. There were a total of 220 kids at the Village. Members from CFCI-Couples, CFCI-Singles and CFCI-Youth served at the Kids Village.
The children came to the venue with a big smile on their faces looking forward to having a wonderful day ahead. Once their registrations were done they were sent to the hall where the Music Ministry and Dance Ministry taught them new action songs like “Free As A Bee” and “Jump Around”. The children enjoyed jumping around and worshipping and praising the Lord.
The children were then divided into tribes which were named after various Saints. Each tribe had two leaders from the CFCI-Youth. After this, the groups then headed for their workshops.
“God is the same at all times, so we praise Him at all times” – was the objective of the first workshop. As the children settled down in the class they were asked what their understanding of praise was. They were told that God being so wonderful and He being our Creator, deserves our praise at all times and therefore in all circumstances of our lives we must thank and praise Him. They were also told the story of the ‘Three Brave Men’ and were made to reflect on it. The children were taught how to praise God, after which they praised Him with an open and happy heart.
The second workshop was ‘Mary, lead us to Jesus‘ which aimed at encouraging the children to see Mary as their mother. They were first told the story of The Wedding Feast at Cana and were aided in reflecting upon it. They were then taught about Mama Mary – what a loving and caring mother she is, someone whom we can approach at anytime of our lives, who takes our prayers to Jesus and who will also help us learn more about Jesus and take us closer to Him. They were then taught about the rosary – about how the rosary is a crown of roses for Mama Mary as each Hail Mary that we recite is a rose given to her. Lastly, they were made to say three Hail Marys in unison to Mama Mary.
After a snack and a drink, the children were taken back to the hall for their last workshop – ‘Jesus and Me‘ or “JAM”. At this workshop the kids were led to offer their lives to Jesus at the Holy Eucharist. They were first shown a picture of Jesus and were asked to describe how much they loved him. The children were then told about St. Therese of Lisieux, how she loved Jesus so much that she gave her life to Him and did all she could to be close to Jesus. The children were then taught how they could offer their lives to Jesus and how at mass, during offertory, was the best time to do so.
After a small prayer asking Jesus to make them like Him and to help them praise God always, they were given an activity. Boy and girl cutouts were distributed to the kids and they were instructed to write their names on the front of the cutout and their hobbies, ambitions, fears, likes and dislikes on the back of the cutout.
The children were then taken for mass to the shrine. At offertory, a basket was passed around and the children were told to put their cutouts in it, thereby offering themselves and all what they had written to Jesus.
After mass, lunch was served to the children with ice cream for dessert. After lunch, they were back to the hall singing, dancing and praising the Lord with happy hearts. They were given another activity of making a wall hanging which they took back home with them as a remembrance about all that they had learnt that day. Before leaving they were given another snack after which they all left happily with Jesus and Mama Mary in their hearts.
It was a joyful day and an amazing experience not only for the children but also for those who served at the Kids Village.
Report by Alicia Fernandes, CFCI – Youth, Margao – Goa