Discipleship Training Program (21st June, 2013 – 29th June, 2013)
“Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”” - Luke 5:26
The Discipleship Training Program (DTP) was blessing to both the participants and volunteers. The program was planned with an intention to enrich campus students of Bangalore to live a life driven in Christ.
Crossroads II had 12 participants from various colleges across Bangalore. Though the program was intended for students who had some basic formation, the participants who attended the program were mainly new to Christ. This though became a challenge to the team, was not a hindrance in giving Christ. The program team re-worked on the entire program and made it applicable to the crowd. Extra effort was taken to inform the resource about the participants and to prepare them to give their best to them.
The retreat happened on the first three days of DTP (22 July to 24 July). It was planned and handled by Alex Njavallil and the Bread of Life group. The key speakers during the retreat were Cherian Ramapuram, Sunsun Jose, Rinu Thomas, Liza, Zacharias Njavallil, Jude Francis, Mathew, Clifford Njavallil, Jose Antony and Sharu. Fr. Roy helped the participants and volunteers by hearing their confessions and supporting them with all the spiritual guidance that they required during the retreat. The retreat ended with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Rinu and Liza (from the retreat team) led the anointing adoration and were supported by three sisters from the St. Theresa’s Novitiate convent and Fr. Roy. We were blessed with the Presence of Alex Kuruvilla throughout the retreat and the Outreach, specially in guiding the Volunteers, to be stronger in Witnessing the Love that we have received, from Jesus Christ – our Lord and Saviour!
After the retreat there was a training program for the participants, to equip them to live a Christ centred life and to instil in them a desire to share Christ.
The training program kick started with an outreach to Swanthana; an institute run by Daughters of St. Camillus, which houses children with special needs – arising out of physical conditions that include being mentally and physically challenged. To equip them to live a true Christian life, we had sessions on Being Made in the Image and Likeness of God and Discipleship. This was facilitated by C.C. Joseph. These sessions were highly interactive with a lot of question and answer sessions in between. On the last day of the training, Jacob Jose handled the concept of living by faith, gifts and talents and Theology of the Body (relationships and how to keep our body holy).
The final day of the program was on introducing Jesus Youth – a missionary movement to the participants. Kevin from the National Campus Ministry spoke to the participants about JY and its six pillars. Sunitha from the Karnataka Campus Ministry spoke about the importance of prayer meetings and fellowship and introduced the various prayer meetings in Bangalore. Fr. Vinoy, pastor of the Bangalore JY Campus Ministry celebrated the final mass and commissioned the volunteers and participants.
The most anticipated (by participants and volunteers) part of the program would be the adoration that happened every day. Zacharias Njavallil, Shibu Mammen, Rinu and Liza, Alex, Pascal, Crispin and Sunsun led the adoration and made it a cherished moment for everyone present. Another much awaited event during DTP was celebrating the Holy Eucharist. Fr. Roy, Fr. John Chan, Fr. T.C. George and Fr. Vinoy celebrated Holy Mass for the participants. During the training, we had elders come and help the participants and volunteers in their journey with Christ. Jessy (from the retreat team), Jacob Jose and Sunsun were the elders who made themselves available, realizing the need of the people gathered for DTP. In the words of a participant who went for Personal Sharing with an Elder, “I feel light after Sharing with the Elder. I feel so light for having shared everything that I could fly. Thanks for arranging this Personal Sharing”.
Another main highlight of the program was the 24-hour intercession that happened at the venue. Thanks to the program intercession team who took various initiatives to have constant intercession. The intercession team took an initiative to keep a prayer request box in the chapel where both participants and volunteers dropped in their prayer requests. The sister’s of the convent also used this opportunity to share their prayer requests and the people sitting for intercession read every request and interceded for it. A few people even came forward and shared that their request had been answered. One participant had put in a request to pass her engineering exams. She got her results during the DTP and she shared that she had passed with very high marks.
The entire DTP was time for miracles and blessings for all the people who were attending the program as participants and volunteers. To list a few, there were a few volunteers who were searching for new jobs and during the program they received calls from various companies and one person even got the offer letter from the dream company. There was a participant who had been a drug addict for past three years. The participant was off drugs during the entire program and after the program too. There were a few volunteers who were experiencing difficulties at workplace. During the program the difficulties were sorted out after a very long time.
Indeed the entire DTP was a blessed experience to one and all present at the venue. This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the constant support of the Bangalore Service team, under the guidance of John Joseph and Shibu Mammen; and the support of the Karnataka Campus team, through the constant support from Jims and Sunitha. I would also like to thank Rajesh Raphail who helped us find priests to celebrate mass for everyone present at the venue and who made time to interact with the participants and share their experience with one and all present. Volunteers, the backbone of DTP – without them we wouldn’t have been able to conduct the program. I want to specially thank the volunteers who made it a point to come for intercession at night, after finishing a hectic day at work. They would intercede in the night and go back to work the next morning. Truly it was a blessed program where everything was controlled and executed by God. With the help of the Holy Spirit we were able to re-work on the entire program and tailor make it to meet the requirements. The Holy Spirit was a constant source of inspiration, support and guidance to all the volunteers who worked to make this program a grand success. I would take this opportunity to thank God for blessing us abundantly, all through the program.
With Love and Prayers in Christ Jesus,
Blesy Paul & Sherry Jess Francis
CrossRoads 2 - General Coordinators