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PETALING JAYA – The Youth of the Fellowship of the Malaysian Covenant Communities (FMCC) in collaboration with Archdiocesan Single Adult and Youth Office (ASAYO), organised a REST conference on 30 Apr 2017 at St Ignatius Church here, catered specifically towards single adults aged 18-39 in which nearly 250 single adults participated.
The inaugural REST conference challenged the youth of today to the greater calling of God, that is, to be still in His presence.
The theme of the conference “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you,” the famous quote of St Augustine of Hippo fleshed out the participants’ deep longing to Rely Entirely and Surrender Totally (R.E.S.T.) to the will of the heavenly Father.
Father Gregory Chan, director of ASAYO, illustrated the vehement need of man to fall in love with God. He expounded on the concerns of people with an attachment to worldly desires, specifically, man’s need to work long hours, making money the exclusive of their lives.
He further spoke about the ardent need of single adults today to redirect themselves from being “content with ourselves to being content with God” since he said, God is infinite goodness, therefore in Him one may find delight and rest.
Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur showed up at the REST conference during the Praise and Worship session, which was followed by the testimonies and skit.
Resting, effortless as it may sound, is indeed a journey. Jessica D’cruz and Rachel Gomez from the FMCC Youth committee touched on the restlessness of the mind, and highlighted the need to resonate the thoughts in our heads and the desires of our hearts to the will of the father. The speakers explained the steps of the Lectio Divina, as a means of walking with the Lord to our journey of rest.
The climax of this conference is the exhortation by Christopher Felix, based on the story of the road to Emmaus followed by the Eucharistic Adoration by Fr Greg and Aline Lim, which brought forth that deep desire and experience of resting with God before the Eucharist. The adoration was further accentuated by a REST skit which beckoned young adults to rest in God and His Word.
Monica William, a participant of the conference, openly shared, “For me, the REST stirred my heart in a few areas. The reminder of a Father’s love that is unchanging and eternal was something that I needed to hear. It was a reassurance that recharged my conviction in a God who is Love. It has been a trying year for me, and rediscovering the message of hope, gave me the strength that I needed.”
The REST conference was indeed an avenue where participants discover the holiness of resting with the Father. As Marishka, a participant at the conference, attested, “Having to juggle between so many things, this REST conference really made an impact in my life. The conference touched me in many ways because I managed to spend some quality time with Jesus and the sessions really made me learn more.”
Another participant, Sonia Anne, also expressed, “The REST conference was the first of its kind. It was encouraging for me to see my fellow youth so energised in praising God. It has encouraged me to be more active in praising God, and spreading His Word. All in all this conference made me feel like God is calling me to spread His Word.” – Michele Peter