Mukah, Sarawak – Four Malaysian graduates of the Institute of Formation Fondacio, Asia, Philippines, Mag Chin (Batch 1), Nina Chan (Batch 3), Cecilia Ong (Batch 4) and Anna Teresa (Batch 5) joined hands together with Annie Yap, a member and Country Coordinator for Fondacio in Malaysia, Bro. Joseph Lim of the Congregation of The Disciples of the Lord (CDD) to run a 3-day Youth Camp at St Peter's And Paul's Parish Mukah, Sarawak.
This is one of a few team-ups carried out by graduates of IFFAsia and members of Fondacio in organizing programs with and for the youth. Previously done in the Diocese of Handan, China where IFFA graduates (Mandarin speaking) from both Malaysia and China came together to organize a camp for the youth. In the Diocese of Sandakan, Sabah, IFFA graduates, Roselinah Francis and Cecillia Ong (Both from Batch 4) together with Patrick Sta Maria, a member of Fondacio Malaysia were invited by Anna Teresa (Batch 5) and Sharon Tan (Batch 6) to help out in giving sessions during the recent Youth Leader’s Camp II in Holy Trinity, Tawau. It was a very positive approach to actually, continuously being in formation and at the same time journeying as one community, especially for IFFA graduates from China and Malaysia.
The camp was held from 26th to 28th April 2013 and participated by 34 youth leaders from 5 parishes, Mukah, Dalat, Julau, Kapit and Selangau. The theme was 'SERVANT LEADERSHIP IN ME' and the objectives are i) to bring awareness to oneself of their own attitude towards themselves, the people around them, and their own life; ii) to experience God’s love.
The participants were drawn into discovering themselves through sessions like ‘Who Am I?’ and ‘My Strengths and Struggles’. This is to allow participants to look, to discover and to acknowledge the beauty of themselves, from inside to the outside. They were also invited to accept and embrace the good and bad in them, because at the end, that good and the bad are all THEM, the one created by God. Day 1 ended with night prayer - praise and worship led by Anna Teresa.
|'My Strength and Struggles' - Cecilia Ong|
|My Strength - Participants invited to list down characters of the person who they liked and adored and paste it on the human form drawing|
|What a beautiful morning to start day II.|
|Morning Prayer - with Nature|
|Extract text from the bible hidden in a short article.|
|Communication and be a good listener.|
|Help one another.|
|Washed!, team failed to complete a given task|
|Group Sharing related to Treasure Hunt|
|Participants give 'stars' to those activities done well and 'dots' for not doing well during the treasure hunt|
In this session, Nina shared and helped the youth to identify different attitudes and characters in them that always appear, either consciously or unconsciously in a community, from as small as family, school, working place or Church. She also shared on attitudes that help to build, and attitudes that destruct a Christian community. It was a very enriching moment for each one because as youth leaders it is very important to first change themselves before changing others.
|Attitude - Nina Chan|
|A community / church needs each other to row the boat.|
|In times of darkness we need to go back to the Father.|
|Rhythm of Prayer|
|Participants sharing their experience in the Rhythm of Prayer|
Finally, on Day 3, participants arrived at the peak of the camp, Servant Leadership of Jesus - 'Washing of the Feet' facilitated by Mag Chin. It was a very touching moment for each and everyone where they really felt Jesus' presence during the washing of the feet. Washing one another's feet is an act of humility, a criteria necessary for servant leadership.
|Mag Chin inviting participants to be ready for the washing of the feet.|
|Washing of the feet, an act of humility.|
Participants were given the chance to share their own experience.They were requested to make their commitment in areas of their life that they want to change. The final day ended with a short movie ‘I Am Special’. It was a good way to end the day as the movie showed how great is our God who created human completely, uniquely and above all He does not make mistake. He loves us so much that He made us just the way He wanted it to be.
It was a fruitful camp for both the participants and the facilitators. For the youth, they have experienced friendship and God’s love. For facilitators, they have learned to let go and be docile to the Holy Spirit. It has always been God’s work and He alone has made it happened.
The fruitful camp did not end there and then, for some facilitators continued their journey to Mary Immaculate Conception's Church, Kapit a 3-hour boat ride from Sibu on the 30th April 2013. Nina, Cecilia and Anna took the chance to share with the youth about Personal Development Plan (PDP). As for Bro. Joseph Lim of the Congregation of the Disciples of the Lord (CDD) and a volunteer from Kuala Lumpur, Janet spent their time experiencing life of the Iban Community at a long house in Julau.
On 2nd May 2013, both teams met up and headed back to Mukah. The next day the teams had their recollection, to collect and integrate the fruits from the past days being in Mukah. Each one shared their fruits, what awakened them and the invitations from God for them when they return to their respective places.
|On our way back to Mukah. Rainbow - the sign of hope.|
What a wonderful way to end the Sarawak Journey. The beautiful sunset, as though God is saying thank you for our heart and effort. Simply relieved and happy - our mission accomplished! - Nina Chan
“REDISCOVER, RENEW and RECONNECT AGAIN WITH CHRIST, Openness to God, letting go of myself and let God lead me; made my faith journey in Mukah a refreshing and energizing experience with my team mates, the youth, with myself and God. I thanked Jesus for knocking on me at the right place and at the right time. It has always been His plan......” – Anna Teresa