One heart, One spirit for God

Five hundred youths attended the first Melaka-Johor Youth Day held Dec 3-6.

Dec 22, 2015

By Matt Wee
Five hundred youths attended the first Melaka-Johor Youth Day held Dec 3-6. Organised by the Youth Ministry of the Diocese, the camp was held at Majodi Centre. The youths, from the Bahasa, English, Mandarin and Tamil Apostolates came from 20 parishes in Melaka and Johor. The camp was both a preparation for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, as well as the next World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow.

The camp began with a Mass in Bahasa, celebrated by Fr Valentine Dompok OFM Cap. After Mass, the apostolates went into their own language groups for introductions and icebreakers. In the first session, the participants learned about God’s love. After dinner, the second session shared about our forgotten enemy, the devil and sin. The first day ended with praise and worship as the night prayer.

The next morning began with Selah Prayer, where the participants spent silent time reflecting on passages from the Bible. After breakfast, the participants were broken up into groups to share on the passages they had just read. The third session introduced the participants to St Faustina and the devotion to the Divine Mercy. On the second day, Mass was celebrated by Fr Ryan Inas Muthu in Tamil. The sacrament of reconciliation was given in the afternoon, with outdoor games held later in the day. Before bed, a praying over  session was held.

Day 3 began with Selah Prayer, Bible sharing with praise and worship. However, there was a surprise for the participants, as the religious from various orders in Melaka and Johor had arrived to put up booths to ‘sell’ their congregations. They were able to share about their religious orders, answer questions from the participants and spend time with the young people who, we pray, will answer God’s call.

The session in the morning taught the participants about the  importance of personal prayer. After the third day Mass celebrated by Fr Joseph Heng in Mandarin, the participants prayed over the religious with seminarians and postulants. Those discerning holy orders were also invited. The whole camp, including the religious, then prayed over them. After lunch, the final session of the camp, Radical Discipleship, shared the need for us all to bring Christ to others. The final event for the night was Performance night. Christopher Luke Felix and his team started the night off with praise and worship  before groups from the different parishes and language apostolates performed skits, songs and dances which had the whole hall rocking.

The final day again began with Selah Prayer, bible sharing and praise and worship. After evaluation and testimonies, Bishop Emeritus Paul Tan celebrated the closing mass. After Mass, the pilgrims for World Youth Day 2016, who were part of the organising team, were invited to be prayed over. As the Mass would probably be the last mass Bishop Paul Tan would celebrate with the Youth  Ministry, he was presented with a collection of notes written by the participants of the camp.

After five years since the last huge camp in Melaka-Johor Diocese, it was fantastic to see our youth, though speaking different languages, all united with one heart and spirit in our love for God. Darryl David said, “This camp changed my way of praying to Jesus and gave me lots of confidence to do things that are right.” Ethan James Tan added, “The camp renewed my love and faith for Christ.”

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