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Friday, March 25, 2011

1st Youth Alpha Leaders' Training in Sandakan Parish

The young participants
Sandakan: 24 young adults from the St Mary's Cathedral Parish attended the Youth Alpha Leaders' Training held on 18th – 20th March 2011 at Room A, Parish Hall. 
Getting the venue ready

Welcoming and registering the participants 
Youth Alpha is an effective worldwide evangelization program for the younger generation. It is simple and easy to understand the questions such as “Who is Jesus”, “Why did Jesus die?” “Why and how should I pray?”  Participants are welcomed and encouraged to share their feelings and thoughts on the questions. There is no right or wrong answer.  Some said when they think of Jesus they think of Christmas. Some said Jesus is just a carpenter. They are free to express their thoughts.  And this is the reason why Alpha is very popular especially the Youth Alpha which is filled with games and fun activities.
Opening Prayer led by Seminarian Marthin Steven
The training was organized by the Youth Alpha Team with Caroline Tai (Ah Siau) as the coordinator and Rodney Sining, Clare Tivit, Shirley Joseph, Jellferlyne Joseph, Claire Andrew, Arlene Abel, and Crispus Mosinoh as supporting team members.  The training was facilitated by two members of the Alpha Malaysia, Chrissane Chin and Elaine Teh, both part timers in Alpha Malaysia tasked  with the Youth Alpha Training Program.
Elaine Teh

Chrisanne Chin

Fun-filled activity
Throughout the training sessions, participants were engaged in giving live talk, facilitating as group leaders, team builder and how to handle questions raised by the participants. They were also trained  to manage the team, honoring and respecting time.    These are necessary steps for all the leaders to capture.
Input Sessions

Slide Presentations 

Group Discussion

Group Presentations

 Youths from the Chinese community

Append herewith are a few testimonies from the participants and we strongly recommend youngsters to join the 10-week session of the Youth Alpha program which will be announced soon.  We kindly request parents to encourage and support their children to participate in this program.

Prepared by:

Caroline Tai (Ah Siau)
Youth Alpha Coordinator

Comment from the Coordinator

First of all, I would like to thank God Almighty for making this program a reality, our Parish Rector, Fr. Thomas in lending us his support and seminarian Marthin to be with us in the sessions.  

I joined the Alpha Conference in April 2010 in Kuching. I was brought to the Youth Alpha session and I thought it would be bored as it was meant mostly for students.  Amazingly, I was over-joyed. I like the concept and the lively sessions so much. Consequently, I had the opportunity to join the Youth Alpha Leaders' Training  in Selangor and St. Michael's Church, Sandakan last year.

After the training sessions, I was full of zeal to introduce the similar program in our parish and with the Grace of God, the 1st Youth Alpha Leaders' Training was held (18th – 20th Mac, 2011). We are blessed to have 21 talented young leaders from the various communities in the Parish, participating in the training. They communicated well, interacting and learning from one another. They shared their experiences without fear and  participated in giving live talks with much enthusiasm.

I was deeply touched by their vibrant participation and  their willingness to share. I knew they were chosen for a purpose to undertake the mission to share the Good News.  I can’t wait to see them shine. I am confident they will because God will lead the way. 

“The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his spirit. He has chosen me and sent me to bring Good News to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to announce release to captives and freedom to those in prison” Isaiah 61:1

Even though it was a short exposure, the young leaders have got the answers to their questions about Jesus. They hunger to know more and deeper about Jesus and Christianity in their faith life. Everyone couldn't wait for the 10-week session to begin. We look forward to the positive response from our young people in Sandakan.

Praise the Lord!
Caroline Tai (Ah Siau)

Testimonies from participants / Members of the Organizing team

'Who is Jesus?' the longer we sit together and discuss (Alpha; where no opinions are wrong), the more I get to know Jesus. Suddenly everything make more sense to me, everything is linked. From there, I also get to know that there are 73 books compiled together and becoming the Holy Bible. It is like 73 diaries that tells the same story but from a different view or angle, and all of them tell the Word of God. Though the   Youth Alpha leaders' training was three days but it had strengthened my relationship with God through Jesus. Now, I am sooooo..... EXCITED for the 10-week Youth Alpha course. I can't wait to hear what my fellow youth have to say about all the questions. 
Rodney Roger Sining (Boy)

Ermm..ok, the training had deepened my understanding about Jesus; why he died for us and also about the Holy Spirit which before this I had very little knowledge. Beside that, I'm also grateful for I have the opportunity to learn how to be a leader/helper and how to present live talk. Basically, the training was inspiring and had strengthened my faith in Jesus. For me, this is another vocation that I need to respond to. Therefore, thanks so much to the organising team for opening the way for me to get a step closer to Jesus.
Jellferlyne Joseph (Jell @ BB)

To me, this is the best talk I have ever been because I have got the answers to my questions about Jesus. Even though it was a very short programme, still it was very meaningful. And the thing that makes me so happy was the unity we have with the Chinese group. Personally, I miss the unity among all the various Youth Groups. When I was in form 1 to 4, I could still see the Chinese, BM and English Group together.. after that..tiada lagi. Sedih! But..we need to make it happen again..we must always open our arms and hearts to welcome anybody..I love the facilitators, the topics and all the games.. to summarize, I AM VERY SATISFIED!! I hope all the young people yang tidak dapat join will open their hearts to this programme. There's no such thing as 'language is the barrier'.. like Thomas (one of the participants) said, whether you have the heart to come and listen or not! Thank you, dear Ah Siau... that’s all..
Clare Michael Tivit (Klay)
More photos and testimonies coming up next...

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