What does it mean to go deeper with God and walk with others in their journey? How do we facilitate spaces for youth leaders to come together for training and encouragement? How do we continue to minister to the youth in our communities?
These are some of the questions that the Association of Covenant Youth in Colombia has been asking. They have seen the need to minister to and equip youth leaders. And they have invited us to join them in this process. Over the years I, Katie, have put together curriculum and facilitated groups where the focus has been Christian formation and ministry to youth. I have been invited to help create a curriculum for this process of formation with the youth leaders, which will be carried out on a regional level. This past weekend key leaders from the different regions met to participate in a facilitators training and walk through the material and process together.The time shared with these leaders was a pure gift. Some of them had never met before, but to see the community that was formed as the weekend went on was a beautiful reminder of God’s Spirit at work.
Together we talked about the themes of identity, self-concept, self-esteem, and who we are in Christ. It was a time for us to share openly about our own journey and experiences. Together we meditated on Scripture, prayed, laughed over meals, shared our gifts and talents, and shared in mutual learning.
One morning we went to a nearby park/nature reserve and found a little kiosk near a stream where we set up prayer stations and had a time of solitude and retreat. We saw monkeys jumping in the trees, wandered trails observing beautiful flowers, and enjoyed the sound of running water. Many expressed how God met them in that morning.
Each contributed to the process and gave valuable input about the project before us. The highlight for me was watching them facilitate the group through different activities and dialogues and seeing the creativity flow. The final morning we were invited to respond artistically to different Scripture passages. One group created an acrostic, another used modeling clay, and another created a trova (a cultural style of music). And in conclusion we were given the opportunity to create a collage representing who we are in Christ.
Please pray for this formational process, for the facilitators in each region, for the participants, and for Katie as I continue to work on the material.