The confirmation camp started on Friday 7th June and ended on 9th June 2019. It was a 3 days and 2 night’s camp, which was held in APC (Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre) at St Anthony’s church. This is my second church camp with the total numbers of 28 confirmands with the facilitators and youth members. I was in total excitement about the camp which I was looking forward to.
When we arrived, we gathered at the hall for a short briefing about the camp and were told to be disciplined and punctual for all activities. Right after the briefing we had a small fun activity by the youths. All of us there enjoyed every moment of it. I felt very overwhelmed about the first fun activity and was looking forward to more spiritual sessions and activities.
The theme for this year camp is about “Journey”. We started off with a small session with one of the facilitators regarding our expectations for this camp and how we can contribute to it. It was a personal testimony and it really touched me all thru during camp. The session was very relatable and personal to me.
Later after our dinner, we were urged to the chapel for silent prayer and meditation. While I was in silent prayer, I felt the calmness within me and I felt peace and joy. I felt something new right after the prayer. Later then we all adjourned to the hall to watch a movie about St. Paul. All of us had a great evening of the first day of camp.
Next morning, we all gathered at the hall for Morning Prayer. The youths conducted praise and worship session then followed by morning fun activity and we all had a fun time. Then we started our 1st session by Teacher Richard. He gave us an opportunity to share our own personal problems which we could talk it out to our friends. The session was all about finding a partner who we can share our hard moments with them as well as the opposite partner. We all then gathered two by two and took a 5 minutes’ to walk around the church compound. Along the way, I shared my hard moments with my best friend and she comforted me with a thoughtful advice. My friend too then shared her tough moments with me. We both had each other’s back and I know that every hardships will one day came to an end. We all then gathered at the church to pray and reflect. The session thought me a great lesson in life and really changed my mind set and perspectives towards life. I begin to appreciate and value my life more deeply.
The next session was held by our own catechism teachers about the Theology of the Body (TOB). Since the TOB camp was not conducted this year, our catechism teachers decided to teach and share about the theological and what was it all about with us. We gathered in groups to share our own opinions and discussed questions with each other. All of us were eager to learn more about the theology and wanted to have more sessions about it in order to understand and value our own body.
Later in the evening after dinner, we had a silent reflection. All of us had a chance to reflect of our own life. It was this time when I realized of all the things that had taken place in my life. The depressions, pains, struggles, and loneliness I have felt. There was a sudden sadness in me and I started crying out the pains in my heart. I felt I was releasing my burdens to God. Here is where I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit within me. I was overwhelmed with joy and peace. The touch of the Holy Spirit was in me and I felt I was born again. Then Teacher Richard and Teacher Pushpa laid their hands on me and prayed over me. I felt the love and peace of Jesus Christ within me. At the same time the teachers gave out the letter written by our parents. There were no words to explain how I felt after reading my mom’s letter to me. I felt so loved and blessed to have a wonderful mom. We were also given a chance to write a letter to our parents as well.
Right after the wonderful pray over session, we also had a chance to pen down small notes to our friends, teachers and the youths. It is our own small appreciation letter to our friends. We all took our time to write down what we felt about each other and had it shared among ourselves.
Then came Sunday, which was our last day of camp. After breakfast we adjourned to the hall for praise and worship, and we celebrated mass with Fr. George at the chapel. The last session of the camp was about my take away from camp. This was about my experience of what I have learned and my future commitment to the church. I have gain an interest in joining the youths as it will help me to grow, and to strive better in faith life.
We ended our last talk with the facilitators whom shared their personal thoughts for the confirmands. We ended our camp with hearts filled with joy and gladness. I was so positive after this camp. There were many sessions which had thought me a great lesson in my life. I have begun to respect and love myself even more deeply. This camp was one in a million for me. I had really found peace within me. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me and my friends through the journey towards confirmation and for the rest of our lives.
Last but not least, I take this opportunity to thank each and every facilitator, my teachers, the youths, Teacher Pushpa and Fr. George for guiding us through this wonderful journey. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and protect each and every one of us. Amen.
By Anna Maria