UNDEFEATED – For the Battle is not Yours, but God’s, was the theme for the 2018 intake camp for youth, organized by the CFCI Youth of Siolim and Porvorim, which took place from the 15th to the 17th of May 2018. We were blessed with a beautiful venue this year, Casa Pallotti at Assagao. Around 30 youth attended the camp.
As the name suggests, we have not lost the battles of life, for God is with us.
The three-day camp began on the 15th of May at around 3:30 pm with an orientation for the participant’s parents, while the youth were welcomed by the service team. We played some exciting games which allowed the youth to interact, break the ice between them and get to know each other better. They were also taught some action songs and hymns which was followed by the 1st talk given by Charissa Lobo on “God’s Love and His Plan for us”. In this talk she spoke about God’s immense love for us and that we need to trust in Him to be able to experience His wonderful plan for us. After the talk, we broke into smaller groups for group discussion (GD) on the talk just delivered. After a small break, we assembled for a few action songs which were followed by the second talk, “Who is Jesus to me”, delivered by Dalreen Fernandes, which taught us about who Jesus is and how important it is for us to build a strong personal relationship with Him. The second session was followed by GD which encouraged the participants to talk about their personal relationship with Jesus and ways to strengthen their bond with Him. After dinner, we had a ‘Talent Show’, where the participants were given a chance to showcase their talents. It was an amazing, fun-filled night which ended with a Prayer.
The second day was very exciting and filled with more learning. We began the day with the Eucharistic Celebration along with the Pallotine brothers. After breakfast, we had the ‘Faith Walk’ activity which was aimed at enabling the participants to understand that in our lives too, we will have hurdles and struggles to face, but if we put our faith in God, He will guide us through all the obstacles of life and never let us fall. Next, we had a few action songs, immediately followed by the third session on “Repentance, Faith, Healing and Forgiveness” which was given by Alysia Fernandes. This talk helped the youth realize the importance of repenting for their sins and how important it is to forgive others and also ask for forgiveness from others in their lives. They also learnt about healing through forgiveness and what it is to have faith in God. After this was the Inner Healing session during which the participants were able to get rid of the negative emotions that they were carrying from their past. The session also highlighted the importance of Confession and how to make a good Confession by examining one’s conscience using the Ten Commandments. We learned that to sin is human nature, but our God is so merciful that he is willing to forgive all our sins no matter how grave or silly they may be. Later the GD heads had ‘One to Ones’ with the participants from their groups. Through this, the participants got some quality time with their respective GD heads to talk about their lives and the areas in which they struggle. Meanwhile, the rest were engaged in a group activity. Post this session we had a good lunch, followed by Confession during which the other participants silently prayed, dwelling in the presence of the Lord at the Blessed Sacrament. The Divine Mercy rosary was prayed once Confessions were completed. The fourth talk- “The Power of the Holy Spirit” was given by Silverio Souza wherein he enlightened our minds about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This was followed by a brief teaching about free praise after which we had the Pray over session where everyone was asked to surrender themselves to God and allow the Holy Spirit to dwell amidst them. Post this session, the participants were asked to share their experiences; some felt very light, others felt some special calmness and peace. After this, we proceeded for dinner which was followed by a lovely night of fellowship and fun which ended with a Prayer.
The final day began with teaching the participants a simple tool for daily personal prayer, i.e. the acronym ‘ACTSS’ – Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication & Scripture. The morning Praise and Worship was led by Joshua Noronha (CFCI Couples). The next session was that of letter writing wherein the participants were asked to write letters to their parents. After a break it was time for our last session- “Growing in the Spirit” by Erica which made the participants aware of how to deal with daily life struggles to post the high we all experience at any spiritual retreat. After the talk, we had a very meaningful Eucharistic Celebration where the priest gave us an inspiring sermon which emphasized that the youth are the pillars of the Church and that it is our responsibility to take the Church ahead.
After mass we had lunch, played some games and did a few action songs. Later, when the parents of the participants arrived, the participants were asked to hand over the letters to their parents. It was wonderful to see the joy on the parent’s faces as they read the letters. The hugs, kisses, smiles and tears were moments to be cherished. The participants shared their camp experience in front of their parents. Most of the parents were surprised and happy to see a positive change in their children. The camp ended with a Praise Fest conducted by our Music Ministry led by Joshua Noronha during which we praised and thanked God for this wonderful experience. The service team had an evaluation meeting at the end where they received appreciation and praise for the service put in towards this camp.