On February 3rd 2019, CFCI Singles – Bangalore put together a teaching and activity program for all children in the community, in the age group of 3.5 to 12 years. The activities were surrounding the theme inspired by Matthew 11:28-30-
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.”
The hall at National Biblical Catechetical & Liturgical Centre, Thomas Town, Bangalore came alive with their energy. The first session began at 9 a.m. with Praise and Worship. We were amazed by their enthusiasm and excitement. They were soon sorted into groups called ‘Tribes’ where they had an older brother and sister from the Community to guide them.
The program was structured in such a way that children of any age would be able to grasp our Saviour’s teaching of trust and dependence through a series of games, skits, questionnaires and action songs. Three simple aspects covered the day’s theme- Come, take and rest.
‘Come’-an invitation extended by God to ‘all’ of us to come to Him. The children were encouraged to discuss their areas of struggle, whether in studies, house chores or maintaining a self-image among friends. We discussed the kind of resting that God wants for us. Does he want us to ‘sleep’? Or, does He want to give us something more? Like helping us have a peaceful heart, mind and spirit? Engaging both younger and older kids in curious, thought-provoking conversations captured their attention.
We discussed the ‘Three D’s’ that keep us from resting in God. A ‘Distracted heart’, a ‘Discouraged heart’ and a ‘Doubting heart’. To better identify these emotions, the Singles enacted a skit, about how as children, in our daily lives, we fail to receive the ‘Call of God’ and spend time with Him in prayer. We are too ‘busy’ doing chores, homework and enjoying the company of friends and we justify our lack of desire to pray.
The children were then clubbed into pairs and one of their legs was tied to their partner’s with a rope. They were made to exercise dependence on one another through a game of ‘Three-Legged Relay’. Quite naturally, the smart ones chose their best friends or siblings as they understood that compatibility and teamwork were necessary for the task. This paved the way to the next session of how we cannot do everything by ourselves. The best way to work around our worries is to accept “Jesus in my heart”. No matter how difficult it may get, we must learn to endure all our struggles without losing trust in Him.
And lastly, we learnt to take a ‘Picnic with Jesus’, where we broke down the simple characteristics of Jesus. Learning what it is to be humble, obedient and always listening to the Holy Spirit.
We ended our program with a meaningful celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Fr. Bacil Sebastias Singh. He too stressed on the theme of trusting our dear Lord because God loves the young ones the most! He takes great delight when we depend on Him for every small and large worry. There is no problem too big that God cannot solve. Fr. Bacil instilled a fervent desire in the children through his homily to have a strong friendship with our Lord. Indeed, there was no better way to close the evening than to receive our Saviour in the Eucharist.
Everyone went home renewed in faith and love. The children, still bursting with energy, gave us a heartfelt farewell with smiles and laughter as their parents received them from the venue. They took back with them a token of remembrance from that day, also containing an evening snack and an interesting do-it-yourself activity book which most of them could not wait till they went home to solve. Their innocence, love and their strong ability to trust completely, without doubt, is inspiring to witness. God bless them always and we look forward to another fun-packed weekend in Kid’s Village 2020.