Malaysian pilgrims at WYD

Sharings from our Malaysian World Youth Day pilgrims.

Feb 12, 2019

Below are sharings from our Malaysian World Youth Day pilgrims.

“World Youth Day 2019 in Panama was my first World Youth Day. I feel so blessed and happy to be a pilgrim. I saw Papa Francisco very near, and the burdens in my heart were taken away. When I was in La Palma, Darien for Days in Diocese, I experienced so much love and great hospitality from the people. Nothing is impossible to God who gave me the grace to participate in this event.” -- Evelyn Moses, KL Archdiocese

“It has been one of my dreams to attend and experience World Youth Day. I was inspired by my sister’s sharings of her WYD experience in 2009. I am so blessed to be part of WYD 2019.

“First, the experience I had in Days in Diocese (DID) was totally challenging. Learning other peoples culture and beliefs were interesting. The first week in Colon - Kuna Yala, brought alot of changes in me. The environment was totally different from how I live back in Malaysia. But as the days passed, I learnt that there is more to life that you should see and learn. I’ve learnt to adjust and to be humble. The people of Colon inspired me alot, they are so kind and happy. They are not rich in money, but are rich in love and care. This helped me learn that we should always accept people the way they are without looking at their status.

“During the main event of WYD in Panama City, all of us coming from different cultures and peoples, we speak different languages and we wear different clothes. Each of us has a different history and lived through different situations. We are different in so many ways! But none of it stopped us from meeting and rejoicing in one another. The reason for this, we know, is that something unites us — the Unity that comes from God.

“I was really impressed looking at the millions of young people who have a deep faith in God. Besides all the fun moments, I see their involvement in Spiritual life. On the other hand, meeting the Pope in real life was my speechless moment. I literally teared. It was an amazing feeling. Words cannot explain how I felt. The message he gave to the youths was very clear and effective. It was all about Love and Unity that keeps us close to God. I personally feel so blessed and I thank God for this opportunity. I encourage every youth to experience this once at least to know how amazing God is.” -- Magdaline Rayapillai, Malacca Johore Diocese

“During WYD, I felt that God really was with us. God is full of surprises. Without any sign or warning, God touched me during His holy hour and in that instant, I cried, not because of sadness but because of joy. During WYD, we were able to interact with other pilgims and share the love of God although we spoke different languages. The best part of being pilgrims, the Panamanians treated us as if we were one of their family, especially our foster family.” -- Ashley Patrick, Malacca Johore Diocese

“I was very happy when I met my foster family Aunty Ana (first foster family) and Aunty Ivonne (second foster family). I had to use google translate because they could only understand Spanish but they were willing to learn or try to speak in English.

“I also learnt about their culture. They really treated me like part of their family. I am grateful to God because I know God always plans something good for me, and others too.

“In Panama City, I stayed with another foster family. They too treated me well.

“I could feel God with me all the days of WYD. It was a good experience. I believe I can enlighten others of my encounter with God and the experiences that I gained from WYD. Pope Francis said at the closing Mass, ‘make an effort to building tomorrow and today with together, tomorrow nobody can know your life, your life today is today. You are not the future but you are the present for the future.’” -- Lydia anak Majang, Malacca Johore Diocese

“To be honest, when I left Malaysia for the World Youth Day in Panama, I wasn’t excited at all. I was afraid and uncomfortable. This was because I was stepping out of my comfort zone into the unknown. I did not know where I would be staying, what food I would be eating. Would I be comfortable where I would be staying? All of the doubts were constantly going through my head.

“What gave me the courage and peace was the moment when we landed in Panama. I saw the statue of Mother Mary at the airport to greet us. Somehow I just felt as if Mother Mary was telling me that she would be with me. Knowing the presence of Mother Mary with me gave me peace and joy.

Even the theme for the WYD I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to Your word was beautiful. Mother Mary’s ‘Yes’ saved us all and she was ready to trust in the Lord. She risked everything for the Lord, including giving up her comfort. So she must have felt all that I was feeling and so I just knew that Mary knew exactly what I felt. I felt close to her. She was the one who gave me strength when I did not have any. I remember walking 14km and praying the Rosary. By the last 5km, when everyone was tired, I wasn’t tired at all. I know that my heavenly mum gave me the strength.

“This WYD was really a big conversion for me. It was amazing to see people lining up to confess their sins. They were jumping and laughing after their confession. It was so beautiful to see the peace on their faces.

“There was a talk by Bishop Edward Burns that I will always remember. He said, “Do not leave Jesus because of Judas.” This is to remind us to not leave the Church because of someone’s action. People are leaving the Church because they say that Catholics are hypocrites but the true focus should be on Jesus Christ. Bishop Edward Burns also said that our life is not for us but for God, through us and for us. The Lord uses us because He wants us to experience great joy. There were also many testimonials from sisters, bishops and others about how their ‘Yes’ to God turned into something that is far more amazing than they thought it would be. God does not promise that the journey will be a smooth one only that He’ll be there every step of the way and He’ll reward us for our loyalty.

“I really loved every single thing during WYD because it was indeed beautiful with Catholics from all around the globe gathering as one. Different colours, backgrounds, cultures and languages but all with the same faith in Jesus Christ. People were sharing and praying over each other. Pope Francis said “Build bridges, not walls.” Imagine people praying for others who are from different countries. Isn’t it just so wonderful that you are actually building bridges?

“WYD also helps us to make new friends who helped when I encountered any problems or wanted to share about my faith. We participated at different language Masses but that is the beauty of being a Catholic — because every Mass is the same.

“The Church is universal and I’m in love with it. I know it is hard but I’m giving my Yes to God and, like Mary, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to Your will.” -- Natalie Rachel, Malacca Johore Diocese

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