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Monday, October 10, 2016

FILIPINO PASTORAL COMMUNITY YOUTH CAMP AND RETREAT

By : Jessielyn Monton

Holy Trinity Church, Tawau - The Filipino Pastoral Community is one of the main groups that forms the parishioners of Holy Trinity Church Tawau. They journey together with three other communities, namely the Kadazan, Dusun and the Murut. Likewise, the Indonesian and the Chinese Community together contributed to the development of the faith and peaceful community.
Like other groups, the Filipino community is also looking into the formation of their future replacement, the Youth or the younger generation.

Under the leadership of Joel Monasque, the FPC  Youth Coordinator and Jeremy Martinez, the Youth Leader, this  first ever Filipino Youth Camp  and recollection was held on September 10th to 11th 2016 at the Balung Eco River Resort. It is about 200km from the main town. Some 30 youths have participated in this camp.

The objective of this camp and retreat were:
1. To build a sense of belonging in the Catholic Church by knowing each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord
2. To enhance relationship within the younger generation in the community for a better future
3. To develop self-confidence and self-esteem, especially in dealing with challenges in their lives.
In order to build a good friendship among participants, they were divided into a group of two persons for the purpose of deepening their understanding of “brothers and sisters in the Lord” relationship.
The items prepared during the program were:
1. Ice Breaking - to introduce themselves according to their talent and interest.
2. Setting Up Camp - as a team assignment
3. Team Talent Shows
4. Breaking the Word of God
5. Spiritual Input on Serving and Teamwork by Jessielyn Monton
6. Workshop – guided by lead questions
7. Free time - swimming
These 2 day camp-cum-retreat indeed, has provided a very good impact and cooperation from the participants and the organizer. 

Jessielyn in her presentation touched on “serving the church individually and also as a team” means serving not only within the community but also with other group or communities. “As we journey together in the church, we are called to be humble and obedient servant of God.  To manifest the fruits of the Holy Spirit and to allow  Christ to be our mentor in our serving.” she said. She pointed all to Mother Mary, our Mother, as our role model and our mentor throughout our life.
She continued “ we are to live with other communities of different ages and culture and not just within our own community. Teamwork, a very important aspect in building spirituality is a gift of the Holy Spirit. God loves to see all youths working together and submitting to His will. In FPC Youth, each one plays an important role.  Look inside the family, marriages, businesses, neighbourhoods and the church.  Usually youths are more initiative, creative and  energetic displaying a variety of gifts, ability and talents.  So as one body in Christ, all of us have different functions in contributing to the spiritual and social growth in this community as well as in this parish”  she said.
Suggestions gathered during the workshop with the lead question in 5 years planning for the good of the community.

1. Youth Mass by FPC Youth in-Charge
2. To call more youth through Prayer Meeting organized by FPC Youth
3. To give talks on Marriage so that the younger generation may be aware of the church’s
    teaching on relationship and marriage  thus, encouraging same faith marriages.
4. More on charity activity such as:
    -  Senior citizen visitation, outstation proposed this as a weekly activity
    - Blood donation campaign
    - Help those who are really in need especially the orphans
    -Cleaning the cemetery
4. To organize more projects: training for youths like
    -To set up a music band (commitment)
    -Leadership camp - train new leaders
5. Social activity -Weekly outdoor games to keep fit and healthy- badminton, volleyball,
      Games &
    - to know each other more closely.
    - to attract other youths to be involved in the church.)
    - Organize Youth Got Talent
6. Fellowship or annual dinner within youth Counselling Centre -to help youth with problems
 Music & Dance Studio- 
 Testimonies:

“Serve wholeheartedly and in reward God will always provide” from Joel, one of the youths.
 “When we receive more and give more, the blessing is abundant; new friends bring new experiences. Good friends are a blessing from God” from Jeremy Martinez

“A mother of two, Harlina Saraba (Jeremy’s wife) has been serving God since she was a teenager. And God always gives the best for her and felt blessed to be a Catholic. Although in her younger age, she had been exposed to other Christian denomination, she remained faithful to the Catholic Church.

All participants agreed that it takes commitment and teamwork to carry out the plans and suggestions. Program ended at 3.30 in the afternoon with joy and thanksgiving.

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