The Gospel of John’s story of the women at the well was the theme for today’s young adult retreat. Through skits, music, testimonies and games we tried to bring home the overall theme that St. Augustine so beautifully explains: our hearts are restless until they rest in God.
We arrived at our sister parish, Sagrado Corazon de Jesus to an impressive display of fireworks, ringing bells and cultural dances. They even laid out a bed of pine needles for us to walk on; something they do for very honored guests. We were all so touched at this beautiful and thoughtful welcome.
Nearly 200 young adults gathered for mass and the retreat. It was the biggest group we’ve ever seen and we were definitely a little intimidated! Our nervousness quickly gave way to excitement and laughter as we started singing and dancing. The day was filled with praise and worship, powerful testimonies and small group sharing. I asked two of our missionaries that gave their testimonies today to share a little with you about their experience…
MONSE: This is my second time on mission, and even though I may have already been here once before I was nervous out of my mind. You see, I was asked to give testimony today during our mini-retreat we did with the youth at Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. I was not sure if what I would say would resonate with anyone or if I was even worthy of going up there to speak to the youth. But I got up there with the little courage I had left in me and I started to speak. Even though I had pre-written what I wanted to say, I just went for it. I spoke with what came from my heart and in that moment all I could feel was peace. That peace that I felt is indescribable and unexpected. I hope that the retreatants were able to feel the peace I felt. Today has been so special, and I am so thankful for this mission and all of my mission family who have done so much for me. Thank you.
RICARDO: La experiencia de ser misionero es única.
Mi nombre es Ricardo Navarro y yo vengo por primera vez de mision. En este segundo día de misión, la pasamos con la gente de la comunidad del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, nuestra parroquia hermana. Tuvimos un día de mini-retiro con los jóvenes. Cuando llegamos todos a la iglesia, vaya bienvenida que nos dieron! Personalmente me hicieron sentir muchas cosas bonitas. Hicieron que mi piel se me enchinara –flores, caminos hechos con ramas de pino, bailables tradicionales, y más de 150 jóvenes esperando por nosotros. Todo el grupo de misioneros estábamos fascinados, y a la hora que empezó nuestro ministerio, nos invadió el Espíritu de Dios porque todos—con mucho amor y entusiasmo—compartimos varias horas con ellos. Pasar el tiempo con los jóvenes llenos de esperanza me dice que este día va ser inolvidable y por diferentes razones. Les compartiré dos de ellas: estoy de misionero junto con mi hija y con el mejor equipo de misioneros que puede existir. Amen!
Being a missionary is one of the most unique experiences.
My name is Ricardo Navarro and this is my first time on mission. We spent the day with our fellow parishioners of our sister parish, Sagrado Corazon de Jesus. The day consisted of a mini-retreat with the Young adults. When we all arrived to the church—wow, what a welcoming!! Personally they made me feel many warm things. They gave me goose bumps –the flowers, the pine needle path, traditional dances, and more than 150 young adults waiting for us. All of the missionaries were fascinated, and at the moment our ministry began, the Holy Spirit invaded the place because all the missionaries—with much love and enthusiasm—spent hours with them. Spending time with hope-filled Young adults tells me that this day will be unforgettable for many reasons. I will share two of them with you: I am on mission with my daughter and with the best missionary team that has ever existed. Amen!
Finally for tonight, we feel protected in grace and we know that is due to each of your prayers. Tomorrow we go to our first aldea – please keep the prayers coming! We’re all extremely exhausted but we trust God will provide for a new day.
God be praised!