My Youth For Christ Retreat Experience

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Nineteen Couples For Christ (CFC) Youth For Christ participants went on a Lenten recollection on April 1-2 at the Mongmong Retreat House of Nuestra Senora de las Aguas Catholic Church. Bro. Ron Pangan, seminarian of St. John Paul the Great Seminary in Malojloj, led the retreat supported by other family ministries under Couples For Christ. (Photo provided by CFC Youth For Christ.)

For the Umatuna Si Yu’os

My name is Zerah Leon Guerrero, and I am 14 years old. I attended a retreat with my brothers and sisters in Couples For Christ (CFC), Youth For Christ (YFC) on April 1-2. This was my second time attending a YFC retreat, and I had an unforgettable experience.

This retreat opened my heart. It made me feel something that I haven’t felt in a long time. It made me feel this joy and that Christ is real in my life. It made me also think about the wrongs that I did in life, and how I treated other people. Now, I wish that I hadn’t treated them like that.

I’m that one person in the family who has a very hard time believing in things like this. Like, what if this is just a story? What if this is just a dream that someone had and decided to write it down?

At first I only wanted to come to see my friends, but as the retreat went on and it was time to go home, I was glad that I came to this retreat.

There was this activity that the retreat master, Bro. Ron Pangan, made us do. It was called “stars and dots.” The dots represented all the wrongs that you did and the things people didn’t like about you. The stars represented all the good that you did, and the things people liked about you. While we did this activity I was afraid of getting dots. In the end, I ended up with one star. I was so proud of myself – yes, I should have gotten a dot, but I got a star.

This activity mattered to me because I base myself off from what people say or think about me. Like if I’m wearing something and they comment something bad, I wouldn’t wear it again. “Stars and dots” taught me that it doesn’t matter what others have to say about you. The only thing that matters is you and Jesus, and what he thinks.

After that activity they had us sit in a room and they turned off all the lights. The only thing in front of you was a plate, a candle, cups, and bread. We reenacted the Last Supper, where Jesus and his disciples gathered together and shared Jesus’ blood and body.

In the end of the activity they handed us letters that our parents wrote to us. I already had a feeling that I was going to cry, because before I left home to go on the retreat, my mom and I were on bad terms, and we were arguing. I opened my letter and the first sentence said, “I know you may think that I pick on you or that I’m mean to you… but you’re wrong.”

I immediately went into tears, I started to think about all the bad things I did to my mom and all the bad things I said about her in my head. I couldn’t stop crying as I read the letter. I looked up and saw half of the people in the room in tears. I realized that we were all guilty of something and we had nothing to be ashamed of.

The next morning we went to Mass at the parish in Mongmong, where we had our retreat. After Mass, I hugged my mom. I didn’t want to let go. I was so happy that I went on this retreat. It made me realize that I am never alone even though I think it or feel it, because there is always going to be that one person with me… Jesus!