TAWAU – Three hundred and sixty youths from Sandakan Diocese attended Kem Rakan Belia (KRB) 23-27 Nov 2015 held in Holy Trinity parish. The five-day programme was intended to prepare them spiritually as volunteers, or known as Rakan Belia for Sabah Youth Day-4 (SYD-4) which will be held in June 2016.
Why Rakan Belia? It is an inspiration born out of the 10th Diocesan Youth Day held in 1998 in Sandakan. Rakan Belia is aimed at encouraging the organising teams to work in unity; comprising the main organising team and local organising teams. Together they create a sense of belonging amongst the participants of SYD-4. Thus the activities outlined during this camp were designed to bring the youths to go through a process of formation.
For this KRB, they adopted two themes: the main theme was “Taken, Bless, Broken, Shared – Let Me Journey with You to SYD-4”. The theme chosen was for the participants to fathom Jesus’ characteristics – “He was TAKEN (Day 1) when He heard God’s call; He was BLESSED (Day 2) in baptism at the Jordan River; He was BROKEN (Day 3) on the cross and His life has been SHARED (Day 4) with humanity since 2000 years ago”.
The second theme was taken from 2 Cor 3:2-3 “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” Both themes encouraged Rakan Belia to be present and to give their service to others.
Bishop Julius Gitom exhorted the participants to use this opportunity to be open to the Holy Spirit in order to be God’s good instruments. He also urged them to give their full attention to the camp’s activities during the opening Mass, presided by himself and concelebrated with Msgr Nicholas Ong and Fr Johnny Raju.
Various sessions suitable for Rakan Belia formation were organised, among them were daily Masses, Welcoming Night, talks, Time of Life, Taize prayer, personal reflection, SYD-4 Walk, holy hour and surrender of commitment.