March 24, 2016

Lenten Retreat on 19 March 2016

On the 19 March 2016, a Lenten retreat, with the theme of Servanthood, was animated by the ICPE team for a Filipino prayer group that consist of parents, young adults, youths and children. The retreat was conducted in various groups based on the age of the retreatants.

Photo Credit to Bernie Velasco

The junior, youths, and young adults groups first met together for some fun filled games which broke the ice and followed by time of praise and worship. They were then broken into groups according to their age, as they proceeded for the sessions.

The junior group had two boys who were 10 and 11. We started by getting to know each a little bit more by some answering questions. Then we had a sessions on forgiveness and told the children they are loved and important and it is in knowing this that they can serve with a joyful heart. The boys, later had a special time with Jesus as they had a time of adoration. Both the boys responded well and took the teachings to heart.

The middle group is consisted of 6 young people with age ranging from 14 to 16. As we started the first session, each of us shared our reasons for attending this recollection. We realized that no matter what our reasons were, here because God invited us here as part of His plan. Through the many different games that we had, we learnt about servanthood. We then had a creativity workshop where we created artworks representing ourselves in God’s eyes. This is to help us understand who we are, how we can become better in serving God and his people.

As for the young adults group, we have the privilege of having a brother and a sister. The day started with a round of introduction and getting to know where they are in their journey. Both of them had shared that they do not belong to any particular ministry but very open to the idea of being of service to others. They participated very well with the discussion after the talk and a lot of input being given by us to wrap up the talk. This was later followed in the afternoon by a cut-out puppet called 'mini me' to represent each one of us as how God sees us. We closed the session with a short time of sharing and prayers.

Photo Credit to Bernie Velasco

The day ended with all the groups coming together as one to celebrate mass in the church. All in all, it has been a fruitful experience. We believe that God has worked in the lives of these young people and will continue to do so.

Photo Credit to Bernie Velasco

Here are some testimonies from the participants;

“I have learnt that we can get closer to God by communicating, working as a team and solving problem by thinking outside the box” – Gale

“I now feel closer to God! I was able to reflect on the question; “Who Am I?” and understand what it means to be a servant of God” – Ryan

“The Holy Spirit has opened my soul to know the fullness of beauty, when we surrender and pray; ‘Lord, not my will but Your will be done unto me’” – Mary

“From the Lenten Retreat I got a chance to revive my faith; that gets lost easily in this busy world. I feel so blessed with the Holy Spirit and very renewed to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Rachael