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Friday, May 31, 2013


By Mark Nethanel Michael (SYCC)
Photo by Jonathan Fabian

SANDAKAN: On Saturday, 25th May 2013, a half-day recollection called “Expectation Check” was conducted by the Diocesan Youth Apostolate for the participants of ER EMPOWERED Conference in Kuching, Sarawak. Eight youths will be participating in the 4-day Conference in Kuching beginning 6th June, themed, 'Rise Up'.  Seven participants are from the Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC) Youth and a participant from the Sandakan Parish Youth Apostolate (PYA).

The session began with a 'Time of Life' (praise and worship). Shawn Ian proclaimed the Gospel reading taken from Mark 10:13-16 themed 'Receive the Kingdom of God like a child.' The aim of the program was to prepare the participants what to expect and their goals to attend the Conference. Anna Teresa began her session with the objectives and the theme of ER Empowered Conference, that is taken from Luke 7:14 'Rise Up'. She highlighted that participants must have a “MISSION” attending the Conference and a proper follow-up program.

A questionnaire was given both to the participants and their parents. The questions highlighted their expectation of the Conference, their commitment in achieving their goal and the graces they ask from God. The participants' goal is to have a fruitful retreat and to learn as much as possible about what is Praise and Worship in the Catholic contexts and to identify their talents. Equally important, the participants need to apply what they have learned from the Conference to the local church.

Romeo Cordova

For the parents, they expect the youths to be an instrument of God and be a light to others, said Mr. Romeo Cordova. On the other hand, Mr. Michael Lai has high hope for the youths by giving them words of encouragement and affirmations. He said, “parents don’t raise their children, but train their children “.  
To end the day, a pray over session for the participants was held with.the participants kneeling in a circle and each of them were prayed over by their elders and parents. All in all, it was a very much needed program for the participants prior to their departure for the upcoming ER Empowered Conference in Kuching . 

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