KOTA KINABALU – Forty young women experienced being pursued by love and captured by grace at Gaya Centre Hotel here on 29 Oct 2016.
The participants came from various youth ministries in Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu. The event – Elysian – was coordinated by Debbie Deborah Douglas of LifeLine.
The guest speaker was Carmelita Xavier-Arokiadass, the coordinator of Shalom Working Youth Fellowship Penang.
She said, ““Being a Speaker at the Elysian – Young Women’s Conference was an experience I will never forget. It was a time for women coming together to be empowered to go back to their marketplace and to do what they have been called to do. Being among these lovely women who were yearning for the Lord’s touch and wanting to hear what He has to say to them, is something which I can relate to very well. God knows the heart of the women.”
The participants were given the opportunity to share their reflections in their groups which were named Strong, Gentle, Beautiful, Fearless, Faithful and Creative – characteristics to be embraced by all the young women. All were able to relate deeply to Carmelita’s sharings about her own life with their own current life situations. Her vulnerability and dignity set the atmosphere and inspired everyone to naturally share with love and openness in their groups.
After enjoying from an array of Western and Asian lunch buffet, participants were given a choice to choose from four different workshops. In the Origami Making workshop, participants learned to make a 3D rose; the Bracelet Making workshop was a reflective one where participants carefully chose their beads and charms to portray a story in their life. The Painting workshop led participants to paint and reflect on the scripture verse for Elysian. The Zumba Dance workshop got everyone active and moving.
As a preparation for the evening celebration, Tatiana led the participants into an activity of making a hand corsage. The hand corsage represented God’s pursuit of humanity.
The celebration peaked with the ladies gathered looking stunning in their evening wear, holding their self-made hand corsages, for an evening of honouring. After a scrumptious buffet dinner, each stood before the Crucifix, declaring her identity. It was a very powerful moment as they witnessed each other’s declaration of who they were and their mission.
Elysian – Young Women’s Conference – was jointly organised by the youth ministries of Sacred Heart; Efata, Lifeline, Sacred Heart Chinese Youth and the Young Adults Prayer Group. Elysian is a Greek word which means beautiful. The first Elysian was held at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre in 2015. – Debbie Deborah Douglas