By Julita, SOCCOM Tawau
Tawau : The ALPHA Team of Holy Trinity Parish Tawau held a 'Graduation Night' for all ALPHA participants who had just completed a series of 15 sessions of the ALPHA program in 15 weeks on Sunday evening, 4th August 2013. This memorable night was attended by some 70 participants.
The talks were conducted every weekend beginning late April this year from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm. Participants who attended the program ranged from senior to young adults. The program concluded with a 'Weekend Away' last 14th – 16th June 2013 at Shan Shui Golf Club, Tawau.
Jocelyn Angar, the coordinator of the program expressed her gratitude to all committee members, facilitators and the participants who had contributed to the success of the 2nd round of the Alpha course. 'We are privileged to have the full support of our rector, Msgr. Nicholas Ong in running this program. It is indeed a motivation for all of us to have the event carried out smoothly and with much joy.' The program this year had attracted more participants. Knowing, loving and serving Christ is a continous journey.
Msgr. Ong in his word of encouragement, said that ALPHA is another way of faith formation which can help us to grow deeper in our understanding about our salvation and belief. He added, 'I encourage all of you to continue to come and know Jesus personally in your life through the Scripture. You will find it very meaningful in your faith journey. We must invite others to know Christ more closely and most importantly that we become His missionaries not only in Holy Trinity but in the world.'
Testimonies from participants
Lambertus shared his brief experience in ALPHA ~ 'Though I did not attend fully all the talks or sessions but I begin to see changes in my life and my family. ALPHA had helped me to grow in my understanding who Jesus is. There are many more treasures and richness in the Sacred Scripture. I need to stay close to my Saviour, listening to His word and talking to Him '
Jonas expressed his wonderful feeling by saying 'I thought that I knew Christ well as a seasoned Catholic. But there are alot more to learn and know about my Saviour. This can only be found in the deepest meaning of the Sacred Scripture that I slowly get it in ALPHA. All the talks in the program are like a light that attracts me to come to Him. To experience the Lord, I need to grow in faith, live it and to share it with others.'
Theresa has this to say, 'Attending ALPHA made me understand one most important point, that is when we encounter God in our life, it is very difficult to let it go. I want to know more about the gift of life that God has given me. The 'weekend away' touched me most. Spending time with the Lord has really set me free from the bond of unforgivenes. I praise the Lord for calling me to this ALPHA session.'
Julie Juliana, a participant from the Bahasa Malaysia community thanked and praised the Lord through her sharing. 'I have gone through 3 open chest operations before and I easily get tired. But attending ALPHA gives me the strength because the Word that I received is the food for my sickness. God saved me in the 3 operations. I want to serve Him by knowing Him more and to love Him, spending time with Him in this ALPHA program. The sessions conducted in Bahasa has opened the door for me to gain and grow in my faith.'
Sr. Liza shared her personal points of view which motivated others to continue their journey in ALPHA saying that, 'This program to me is a complete balance of growth. There are sessions for physical , emotional, social and spiritual growth. It enriches us in all aspects of lives. It leads us to know Christ through His Word. It gives meaning to life. It affirms my faith and lift up my spiritual belief. ALPHA is indeed good for all.'
The 'Graduation Night' ended with some games and songs.