To Evangelize is to LIVE the Gospel
Arise!” was the theme of the 2nd International YOUCAT Congress which happened in Iloilo City. My Bishop from Battambang, Cambodia sent me to this event. I was able to attend the event with Nikka Lanting (Fondacio Philippines Youth Leader) – with the help of Fondacio.
It was an opportunity for us to meet our co-missionaries of the Word from all over the globe. 1,600 young people coming from different countries attended this event. This Congress assists parishes in:
-creating and developing resources and materials for evangelization
-building networks and collaborations,
-and learn new tools and technologies.
It is beautiful to be welcomed and made feel that we are one family under God. It was like a gathering of a family coming from different places. We shared our stories as young Catechists and young missionaries. For this, I am grateful to have participated with these inspiring young people.
I was delighted when Bishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia reminded us that “our lives are our mission. We are a mission. You are a mission. To share our talents in the service of God and others”. After hearing this I discover so many things in my work with vulnerable and disabled people.
I used to think that I am far from God because my work is focused on social issues and not as a Catechist in my parish. I even apologized to my group for not being able to help people know the love of God through Catechism. While I was saying this, a bishop responded to me saying “I admire what you are doing in your country. You choose to be a young Catechist who is catechizing outside of the church, who is taking a risk to proclaim the word of God through your work, who is making the word of God alive in the realities and lives of the vulnerable people. Thank you for doing this amazing work”. Those words gave me a lot of strength to continue pushing for progress.
In doing God’s mission, we need a lot of support and encouragement. Because there will be challenges along the way. I am grateful for this opportunity. It allows me to meet so many inspiring young people and learn a lot from each one’s stories. Together, let us fill the world with God’s love through the Word and through our actions!
By Sarith Rik
IFFAsia Alumni (from Cambodia)