Led by the Holy Spirit, brothers and sisters from different parts of the country, came together to serve the youth of the diocese of Bareily, at Anugraha Ashram, Sitarganj, Uttarkhand for a four-day Youth Camp from 13th June to 16th June 2019. These youth were full of energy, enthusiasm and a deep devotion for Christ; all they needed was a listening ear, a hand to hold and a path to be directed to. The service team was all set to serve 150 youth but were surprised to see around 300 youth on the first day itself.
The youth camp began with a quick introduction of the service team to the participants, some energising songs and activity. Maria Kerketta (CFCI Singles, West Bengal), gave the first talk, revealing the truth about God’s immense and unconditional love for all. The activity called ‘crazy dream‘ preceding the talk, was a fun way to help understand this love and His plan for our good. She used diagrams which emphasized how sin separates man from God, the only way to reach God is through Christ. Another activity after the first talk was the ‘Yarn activity‘, which helped the participants realize that sharing experiences and beliefs would only build stronger bonds and help each other grow spiritually together. The second talk by Benedict Mundu (CFCI Couples, West Bengal), explained what it means to be a Christian. Benedict later went on to help the youth understand how they could build their relationship with Jesus Christ through personal sharings. The day ended with Holy mass animated by the youth of Anugraha Ashram, and a fun game called ‘Walk of Faith‘, post which Kelvin Castelino (CFCI Couples, Caranzalem, Goa) got them all together and briefly explained how walking this journey of life isn’t easy, unless we trust our God completely, because we do not know what stands ahead of us and there are innumerable voices of temptation and worldly pleasures, which will only want us to deviate from our path.
Day two at the camp began with actions songs, after which Benjamin Kandulna (CFCI Singles, Assam) taught the youth the importance of making a personal prayer. Dinus Mundu (CFCI Singles, Assam) delivered the third talk -‘Repentance, Faith, Healing and Forgiveness’. Giving testimonies of his own life, Dinus reached the hearts of the youth helping them realize the sins deep within them. He helped them understand that repentance is a change of mind and it needs a firm decision to repent. He also explained that faith isn’t just a feeling, but an act of relying on God and accepting Him as our Saviour. While understanding sins and repentance, the youth also learnt the process of inner healing from Shaveta Bakshi (CFCI Singles, Gurgaon) who took them through the inner healing process. Sujata Beck (CFCI Singles, West Bengal) explained the importance and process of ‘Examination of Conscience‘, which then helped the youth to prepare for confessions later that evening. The priests, youth and event volunteers of Anugraha Ashram organized and conducted a mesmerizing evening with Taize worship which got every individual at the Ashram lost in love with Jesus, and confessions following the worship ended the day in absolute peace.
Day three again began with song and dance followed by personal prayer. Anand (CFCI Singles, Assam) then taught the youth the importance of ‘Praise and Worship’.The response of the youth was beautiful with multiple youth prophesying confidently and praying their hearts out. Suzi (CFCI Singles, Pune) then explained in brief with a testimony of her own life that in times of trouble it gets difficult to trust Jesus without knowing what lies ahead, but only by trusting in Him can we get to sweet and clear waters. The fourth session – ‘Receiving God’s Gift – the Power of the Holy Spirit’ started with an exciting quiz based on the Holy Spirit. Maria (CFCI Singles, West Bengal) beautifully explained that the Holy Spirit is God’s promised gift helping us live authentic Christian lives and guided the youth on praying for the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, warning them of the hindrances that they could be facing in receiving these gifts. Later that afternoon, the youth enjoyed some fun games conducted by the service team. The evening began with a peaceful adoration which was conducted by the youth, priests and volunteers of the ashram, along with the service team. The youth were then prayed over by their group leaders. Bishop Swami (Bishop of Bareilly) visited the ashram and celebrated the Eucharist.
The fourth day began with a wonderful Praise and Worship session led by Benjamin. Before beginning with the fifth session, Rajiv and Suzi conducted the ‘paper tools activity’. Then began the session ‘Growing in the Spirit’ wherein Suzi helped the youth realize that everything learnt at the camp needed to be implemented on going back to their routine lives, which would seem very difficult, but possible only with the strength of the Holy Spirit. She used the Wheel to explain that our Christian lives (the outer circle of the wheel), can be strengthened only by Jesus (the centre of the wheel), and to receive this strength from Him, we need the four tools (spokes) – Personal prayer, Fellowship, Sacraments and Service. Also, if any part of the wheel is taken off, the wheel cannot function. She encouraged the youth by asking them to continue practising personal prayer, praise and worship, inner healing, confessions and everything they learnt at the camp, to strengthen their bond with Christ. Rajiv then testified to the same with his life.
The youth camp then ended with Kelvin giving a brief description about the CFCI Community and encouraging the youth to be a part of it, which then got multiple youth to register with the service team to join the CFCI community. Service to the community is an opportunity to grow closer to God, and there is nothing more beautiful and satisfying than using our hearts, minds, bodies and souls in service for our Creator.