“So, la la la la Live out Loud!”… the CFCI Youth Camp started on this note! Minus the crazy actions and awesome lyrics, this song captured the gist of the three days that were to come – a camp designed for the youth of Bangalore to relax, have fun, and most importantly meet God.
The camp began with some ice breakers and games through which we got to know each other. The first session was about our Father’s love, His crazy plans for us, the big dreams He has for us and how we must respond to Him. We realized that our Father is more than a rule-maker or King – He wants to be involved in our lives and He wants to be our friend. Everyone was excited as the day progressed.
The next session was about the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, our Savior. This talk was about the amazing sacrifice Jesus made. We learnt about His walk on the earth, His desire to be invited into our hearts and His immense ability to share our pain. Each talk ended with a testimony and a group discussion. The group discussions gave us a safe space to share our experiences and grow together. The day came to an end with a good dinner and night of fun games.
Day two began on a high note with praise and worship – singing, dancing, and shouting praise. The first talk was about sin and its consequences, the small sins we never knew we were doing and the promise of salvation that we have in Jesus. This session was incomplete without understanding how to fix the problem which is why our next talk was about Repentance and Faith, finding our way back and turning over a new leaf.
We all have baggage such as hurts from our past and experiences which we want to forget. Our next session was on inner healing through which we were able to identify the people who have hurt us and people whom we have hurt. We went through a process of both forgiving and seeking forgiveness. At the end, we pinned up all these hurts onto the cross and burned the sheets of paper we had written them all on. There was a sense of peace everybody felt as if a big weight had been lifted off our shoulders.
Then we had one-on-one discussions where we spent some time talking to our respective group discussion heads, shared our worries and difficulties with them and finally prepared ourselves to make a good Confession. After this entire process was complete, all of us felt refreshed and re-energized. After a break we had our next session about the Holy Spirit, the role He plays in our lives, the person that He is and how He is always there for us, to help us in our prayer lives and to show us the right way. We learnt about His power and also the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. In the Adoration we had next, the group discussion heads prayed over the participants for healing, protection, and most importantly for the Holy Spirit. It was a blessed time and this was evident in the time of sharing and testimonies that came next. We ended the night with a Rosary and games.
The next day started with praise and worship. Our first session was on personal prayer. Some of us were starting on our journey of prayer while others were moving to the next level. Our last session was about growing in the Spirit and we knew that it was time to face the reality of our lives outside the retreat centre for which the tools we needed were prayer, fellowship and constant help from the Holy Spirit.
Next, we wrote letters to our parents and they wrote letters to us. We exchanged these with each other and it was an amazing time of bonding that we experienced. As teenagers sometimes we forget to spend time with our family and to communicate our love for them. This was a time to set our awkwardness and fears aside and talk to our parents. After this came to lunch and we celebrated the Eucharist with our families. And so #LOL came to an end with new friends, new choices, and new learnings. Now we move ahead to live our lives with joy, faith and of course to Live Out Loud!