YFC Camp-09 – A New Experience and a New Direction in My Life

I was busy managing my website and signing up for some new offers on the Internet, when I suddenly came across an email message in my in-box sent to me by my dear friend Kelvin Castelino, who happens to be my senior in college (We always try to make things online 🙂 even he is a BCA [Bachelor of Computer Applications] student, So we make the maximum use of Web tools to spread information). The invitation was about a YFC camp supposed to be held in St. Aloysius High School, Urva on 22nd of May. To be frank I had never heard about this group called YFC (Youth For Christ) before. So I googled it, the results were overwhelming. Then I came across the Jamaican YFC community on NING. That really inspired me to attend the camp. So then I hurried up and submitted the online registration form for the camp; Which I later came to know was never checked until the end of the camp. (Kelvin was already running out of his Internet usage 😦 change your web usage plan man :P) I had to re-register later in the venue.

The information published online was not clear enough! (sorry Kelvin; don’t whack me in the college 🙂 ) So I called up Petula Dias, my relative (she is a YFC service team member) to reconfirm about the things required for the camp.

Its my usual habit that I am never prepared until the last minute, the same thing happened on 22nd. My mother and my lil’ sister (Rhea who is in 7th now) were not at home from the past 2 days, so you know I had to manage the house 🙂 at-least some food to survive! Don’t worry everything was prepared by my mother. So I had to just heat it, before I could have it.. 🙂 (to ensure that all the germs were dead.. lol) Preparing tea was not a problem, because I had learnt to prepare tea and cook food recently during my exams. So now I am a cook 🙂 (So what do you want me to prepare for you today?) Coming back to where I left you, It was already 2:45 P.M. and I had not packed my bag for the camp. I was still blogging on Word-Press, until I realised that I was late! I rushed up ironed all the clothes and then had a bath (its summer I need to have a bath, otherwise no one can sit next to me, I sweat a lot, even in an Air Conditioned room 🙂 ). Everything was ready and I rushed to the bus stand. It was already 3:00 P.M., Well, usually it takes us around 30 – 40 minutes to reach Mangalore on an Express Bus from Surathkal, but surprisingly I reached on time 🙂 I had to go out to meet a friend in JyothI so I registered and left on an auto. But I was back at 4:07 P.M., I missed starting part I guess.

At first I realised that there were a little people of my age and others were younger. I didn’t know whether I could mix with them during the camp. (I like children, but I don’t know whether they like me… I like spending time talking to them…) But they were smart enough and enthusiastic, to change my opinion at the end of the day. The Ice Breaking session was confusing (My weakest point is that I keep forgetting names 🙂 ) The music kept me alive, I like singing (i can sing 🙂 not like Byron, Kenneth and Andria, you all rock) All the hymns were good. Then there was a small sharing by Roshni about God’s Plan and his Love for us. Then Some other service team members came up with their sharing about their own life.

We were split up in groups. Our group leader was Kelvin Castelino 🙂 We had a cool group, the senior most group in the camp 😎 We had Melrick[2d B.Sc], Shelton[2nd PU], Edmond[forgot :)], Lionel[1st PU, Wilbur[forgot :)] in our group (even I was there 😛 ) We all were IPL fans, so you know we missed the semi-finals. We prayed for DDD (Delhi) to win so that RCB (Bangalore) would find it easy to win in the finals, but unfortunately DC (Hyderabad) won the fist semi finals against DDD, so the next semi-finals was between CSK (Chennai) and RCB, we were sure that RCB was going to win. That was God’s plan 🙂 Then our group discussion continued. (Sorry if you are looking here for our group discussion, Kelvin, our group leader told us not to share it anyone 😛 )

After some hymns we had another sharing by Amulya who told us ‘Who is Jesus’. Then we had some more life sharing from the service team members. Then after a good dinner, we were back together again. We had the games session. We were split into 4 groups. I was asked to be the team leader to guide our team. We named the group Silver-Light (SL) (Its based on the Microsoft’s Framework, If you have tried watching IPL online you know about it, you need to download it to enable online interaction with the experts). We had 16 members altogether in our team (At the end of the camp we could truly say that each one of us was a silver light, all of us who attended the camp were shining by the grace of the Holy Spirit) Other teams were Shiba’s Dead Men (SDM), Crazy 16 (C-16) and Sultan Batteries (SBs). The session was a complete entertainment.

Then it was time for us to go to bed. As I said earlier about the IPL fanfare, we were continuously updated about the advancements through SMS. It was really sad to know that the DC won the semi-finals 😦 I spent some time talking to Leslie Uncle (Ria’s Dad) His talk to him really inspired me and I felt that even I had to do something for my Lord’s people. Then we had a good sleep. The next day we had to get up at 5:30 A.M. and attend the Holy Mass in the Urwa church at 6:15 A.M. Then we sung some hymns with a lot of actions and praised the Lord. After the breakfast we had to prepare ourselves for the confessions. Then we had a good confession, where we opened ourselves to the Lord. We came to know that unless we forgive others our sins will never be forgiven. We then had One-by-One 🙂 (Each person had to go and share his life, his problems or anything that he wanted to, with the group leader) The other sessions included writing personal letters to our parents. That helped me a lot to express my feelings with them. We then had a sharing by Kelvin Castelino about the ‘The gifts of the Holy Spirit’. We learnt about the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The evening session included Praise and Worship in front of the Sacrament in the church. Each one of us experienced the Holy Spirit in an unusual way. Its hard to explain it here. Each one had a different experience. Now we all know that we have the Holy Spirit is working within us. Our group leaders prayed for us during the sessions personally. It was one of the best experiences that I had ever experienced in my life. My faith increased terribly and now I am confident that no one can even tamper my faith. I even realised that I had another responsibility, spreading the word of God. And I am sure in the upcoming meetings of YFC I will be fit enough to do it by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then after dinner we had the games session. We couldn’t continue with a lot of games since we had already spent a lot of time in the church. It was time for us to go to bed. But as I told you earlier how could we go to bed without knowing what was happening in IPL. Grishin Sir (My PUC Maths Sir -Vacation batch) was on the line (phone) with his friend, he updated us with the last over happenings between the RCB and the CSK. It was really satisfying to know that RCB won the match, after all we had prayed a lot for them. The next day was going to be interesting, that is what we were said. So we went to bed.

The next day we had to get up at 7:00 A.M. After breakfast we had a sharing by Ria Locker on ‘How to live a life as a YFC brother/sister’. Then we had Messy-Games 😀 We had many games. We had a lot of fun. At last our group Silver Light were declared as the winners, Yippee! 🙂 After dinner we had some sharing and then it was time for us to read the letters that our parents had written for us. That was the finest part of the camp. I came to know a lot of things that I never knew about myself. But my Parents knew it all. It was so satisfying to know that they loved me so much. If my parents love me so much, can we even imagine God’s love? He loves us so much, from the time we never existed. Wow! That is so good. I would have never got this chance to know it all if I had not attended the camp. We were given some time to spend with our parents. It was a great experience to tell ‘I Love You’ to our parents that I think I never told them before, but I always had it in my heart. But I never got the chance before. We understood the true meaning of those 3 words.

Then we had the Holy Mass. We had special prayers for our parents. Even my lil’ sister had a camp elsewhere so my mother had to go there after meeting me. So I missed that chance. But Petula’s dad prayed for me on my parent’s behalf 🙂 Later we had to sing some action hymns and praise the Lord in the presence of our parents. We were also given a chance to tell our experience about the camp. I made up my mind and went forward, but I could speak the way I used to, I do not know why. My mind was blank, I was a bit nervous also. But soon you will see me sharing the Word of the Lord. Praise the Lord!

All together it was a whole new experience. I got a new family, new brothers and sisters. It was a great experience to see the CFC members, the service team members of YFC working for us. I got to know about my Jesus even more better. And I believe he is with me all the time. Right now he is making me write all this so that even if you had not attended the camp you will have to attend it soon. Its his call, you cannot ignore it. He has planned everything for you. Its for your own good. He loves you.

Well its time for my family prayers now. I will be back soon with another post on how we fooled Avinash and a lot more guys! Our new theory, that we formulated in the YFC camp, one night before going to bed. The cooling bucket theory 🙂

P.S.: I have left the YFC Camp 09 notes book that you gave me. If you find it give it to me in the next meeting 🙂 Please don’t read it 🙂

Yours in the Lord

Roydon D’Souza

Please send in your feedback about this post to roydon.dsouza@yahoo.in OR roydo.dsouza@gmail.com

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