By Fatima Quebral
CFC SFL Pasig
What better way to start this article than with a disclaimer from a non-writer. I never wrote an article in my entire life so please bear with me as I write my first.
What made me decide to write my first article is the desire to share my beautiful experience during the 2013 World Youth Day in Brazil.
HOW IT STARTED
A few of you know that my reason for joining this WYD is to mend my broken heart. 10 months ago, my boyfriend of five years left me for another woman. I was alone. I was hurt, angry and bitter. So my spiritual journey started when I accepted the invitation to join CFC Singles for Family and Life.
A few months into CFC SFL, I’ve heard from my friends in the community how life changing it is to attend the WYD. And so I made the decision to join, and luckily enough I was so blessed to be part of our SFL group to attend the WYD
Paying for this WYD still remains a miracle for me. God has His ways of showing us how he loves us and how he works in our lives. I don’t know what I did to deserve this wonderful experience but God knows how much I wanted to come and He provided me with the means so I can join.
Little did I know that my whole life was about to change. God knows our hearts’ desires and he will surely grant those wishes to make us happy.
SHOWER OF BLESSINGS
Every day of those three weeks, God gave me so many blessings. He blessed me with people who shared their blessings so I can have enough pocket money. He blessed me with a scenic view with a lot of beautiful people and handsome men to see. He answered my secret prayer to be seen on TV. Yes, I was on TV, and take note it was on global news. God also allowed me to drive in Brazil.
He blessed me with a patient and strong buddy to help me when I felt tired from walking, to help me with my laundry and so on, but most importantly to remind me that all the hardships we were going through is for God.
God blessed our group with good, selfless and amazing leaders like Giella, Arvin and Jill. He blessed me to be in a beautiful group who really tried to understand each other’s differences and more importantly, love each other. I was also blessed to spend this journey with my two best friends, Sab and Riza.
God blessed me with a group with people like Jermer, Rochele, Kuh and Kuya Jepoy who incessantly gave me hope that someday I can love again.
A LIFE OF DEVOTION
I used to be jealous with my friends from the community because they all have saints they are devoted to and that help them when they pray to God. I didn’t have any but at the same time I did not want to force it so my friend advised me to wait. I asked God to give me a saint. To my surprise St. Nicolas revealed himself to me. I am a firm believer of Santa Clause and to actually see his church is more than enough. What more that he revealed himself to me?
The parish we were assigned to was Sao Nicolas. I got to learn a lot of things about St. Nicolas, I appreciated how he lived his life. I got to know him more than the saint who gives Christmas gifts to good children. And, during our stay in the parish, there was a light feeling inside me.
We were able to kiss his relic and were given a pendant of his image. More than all of those, St. Nicolas revealed himself to me during one of my lowest moments in the WYD. On our way home after a tiring event at Itaipava, Petropolis, we found out that there was no bus because our host parish cannot afford to pay for it so we all had to walk home. I couldn’t complain because I know that all of us in the group had to endure the long painful walk.
On the way back, I was crying inside because my feet were hurting. I felt all my bones were broken from all the walking. I was silently complaining to God why we had to walk after a tiring day. I was disappointed that we had to experience this aching journey. But God never lets anyone down. A long way still ahead of our journey, an old man from the church we were staying in was driving by and saw our group walking. He stopped and turned his car and said he would gladly take us home, with no fee or anything in return. I didn’t know how we would all fit in his old van but somehow we did. On our way home, I saw how long and how hard our way home is because it was uphill. I looked at the old man and I saw how he looked like Santa Clause. I started crying. I was thanking this old man because of his good deed. It was also the first time that I saw Jesus Christ in someone. It was a very touching moment for me and I will never forget how at that exact moment, Saint Nicolas revealed himself to me.
God also blessed me with very beautiful foster families, not just one but three foster families. The foster families who took care of me never made me feel I was away from home. They took care of me like I was part of their families. I never felt different around them even if I didn’t understand what they were saying. It’s funny how even though they couldn’t understand English and we couldn’t understand Portuguese, we communicated and understood each other very well. I guess it all went smoothly because we were all speaking the Language of God despite the language barrier.
Finally, I also went to the WYD with a group that a few I only know but I went home with a lot of close friends.
God revealed so much to me during the World Youth Day. I was in awe after seeing how God works in our lives. I was amazed that all of us pilgrims got into host families where we all had our own connections, like my friend Sab who loves animals got into a foster family who owns a lot of animals. Another friend Riza, had a foster sister very similar to her, the only girl in the family and a mommy’s girl as well, and Jill who has the same character as her sister, both very organized and structured. And the list goes on! What I want to say is God planned everything that will happen in our journey. It was so beautifully planned and designed. I will forever be grateful to my foster family both in Rio and Suruí.
The whole process of this WYD is like a fairytale. There were a lot of struggles, pain and problems. But God was like my fairy God mother and He made a way for me to have a happy ending.
My life will never be the same again. I met Jesus Christ in this journey and I will never stop sharing this mountain top experience to everyone I meet. And, I will never stop seeking Jesus Christ in everyone. It is a difficult journey to take but isn’t God worth everything?
GOD IS WORTH IT
I am still the girl who got dumped by a guy who chose another woman but I know now that Jesus is carrying the cross with me wherever I go. Time will heal all wounds but God will not allow me to scar. Before the WYD, I would say that I hoped the next man that I’ll be with will be worth the heartaches I had but I realized that meeting God made all my heartaches worth it. I may never understand why I had to go through all those pain but one thing is for sure: God made it all worth it.
Knowing and serving God does not guarantee a perfect and problem-free life but it promises a life filled with hope that someday you will be with him in his Kingdom. And as for now, my mission is to serve and to go and make disciple of all nations.
Tags: catholic community, catholic community for singles, catholic group, catholic group for singles, cfc sfl, cfcsfl, committed servants weekend, God, jesus, jesus christ, jmj 2013, prolife, prolife singles, rio 2013, singles for family and life, world youth day 2013