Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Continuing Journey with the Young People of Mukah, Sarawak

Facilitators and participants, together with Fr. Michael Lee, Youth Chaplain of Sibu Diocese.

Sts. Peter and Paul, Mukah – Once again, the graduates of the Institute of Formation Fondacio Asia came together to facilitate the follow-up Youth Leadership Camp Program at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Mukah, Sarawak.

Previously, on the 26th to 28thApril 2013, IFFA graduates Mag Chin (Batch 1), Nina Chan (Batch 3), Cecilia Ong (Batch 4) and Anna Teresa (Batch 5), together with Annie Yap, Country Coordinator of Fondacio Malaysia, and Br. Joseph Lim of the Congregation of The Disciples of the Lord (CDD) animated a Youth Leadership Camp in Mukah. With the theme ‘Servant Leadership in Me’, 34 youth from 5 parishes (Mukah, Dalat, Julau, Kapit and Selangau) gathered to experience God’s love through the Camp.

Held from 15th to 16th June 2013, the follow-up Camp was meant to integrate and recollect the experiences of the youth leaders from the 5 parishes, especially their one-month experience after the Camp in April. At the same time, these two days gave them the opportunity to equip themselves with leadership skills that can help them in their ministry. This follow-up program was conducted by Ezekiel Raj (Batch 2), Nina Chan (Batch 3), Cecilia Ong and Roselinah Francis (Batch 4). Nineteen youth leaders (Mukah - 10, Julau - 2, Kapit - 2, and Selangau - 5) participated in this Camp.

Integration of the previous Youth Leadership Camp, by Nina Chan.

Day 1 started in the afternoon of 15th June. The participants were led by Nina Chan to look back at their experiences after the Camp in April. Through the questions on ‘The changes in me’ and ‘The changes of my other youth leader friends’, the youth were invited to realize and to see the graces that God gave to them and to see the growth in their friends. They were also able to see their own limitations and take steps towards improving themselves.

The Dialogue on Youth Ministry was facilitated by Nina. It gave the Youth Leaders the opportunity to understand the meaning of Youth Ministry and to see the situation of the youth in their own parishes. The presence of Fr. Michael Lee, Youth Chaplain of Sibu Diocese, Ezekiel Raj, Pastoral Assistant, Campus Ministry Office and Penang Diocesan Youth Network 2008-2010, Roselinah Francis, Youth Coordinator of Keningau Diocese, and Cecilia Ong, Youth Coordinator of Mukah Parish, as panelists during the dialogue opened their minds to see the reality experienced in youth ministry. Using SWOT analysis, they learned to analyze the situation happening in the parishes.

Dialogue on Youth Ministry.

Ezekiel Raj started the evening by inviting the leaders to see that doing a program of activities for the young people require skills. Without skills, they will not be able attract the young people. The participants were then challenged to plan and facilitate games through the session on Facilitation, which was facilitated by Roselinah Francis. It was meant to equip them with skills and prepare them for their mission on the ground. They prepared Structured Learning Experiences and facilitated these themselves.

Finish the Line! - Participants encouraging teammates to reach the finish line.

Day 2 started with a recap of the previous day from Nina Chan and followed by the session ‘Introduction to Youth Clubs, a Fondacio Pedagogy’ by Cecilia Ong. In this session, she emphasized that a Club is a place where young people experience life and a place where they can feel a sense of belonging. She tackled the four principles in creating and implementing a club: Fun, Food, Sharing Time (Input) and Spiritual Time.

Group Discussion - Each group was asked to conduct a game.

The participants were then divided into four groups and assigned to plan and implement the club to the whole group. This was really a learning process so that they could actually apply the facilitation skills that they learnt the day before. With the theme “The Power of Hand” the participants worked as one community in planning and facilitating a club. It was a remarkable experience for all the young leaders to work as a team and to accept feedback from each other.

Learning to animate in small groups.

Finally, the Camp ended with a commissioning Mass by Fr. Michael Lee. In his homily, he invites each one to follow the example of the Sinful Woman, being humble before the Lord.

A message from Fr. Michael Lee, Youth Chaplain of Sibu Diocese
“Go down from the mountain to reach out…
We need to understand who we are…
We need to become the Salt and Light of the Church.
How can you serve the youth if you are not confident with yourself?
We are God-given youth. Be one.
Show to others that we are different from the world because of our Faith.
Sometimes we underestimate our life.
Go, bring joy to others. You can do it wherever you are.
But if we don’t have God’s love, we can do nothing.

L-R: IFFAsia graduates Ezekiel Raj, Cecilia Ong, Roselinah Francis, and Nina Chan

Roselinah Francis belongs to Batch 4 of the Basic Formation Program at IFFAsia. She is currently the Youth Coordinator of Keningau Diocese.

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