Our Chief Apostle conducted three Divine Services at different cities over the course of his visit to India. He also conducted a meeting for the Apostles, Bishops and their wives. Each of these events had their own highlights but common among them was the joy and fellowship shared with our dear Chief Apostle.
Day of the Youth
The first week of November was an eventful one for our young brothers and sisters in India as it not only marked the first visit of our newly ordained Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider but also was the largest gathering of New Apostolic Youth in India.
Hyderabad: The Location for the Event
The city of Hyderabad which is located in the state of Telangana was chosen to be the host city for this event. Not only is it a beautiful city with great works of architecture such as the Charminar but it is also centrally located and easily accessible from different parts of the country. The city is famous for its pearls and its rich cultural heritage, and was formerly ruled by the monarchy of the ‘Nizams’.
A Melting Pot of Cultures
The ‘Day Of The Youth’ event started on 6th November 2013 and continued until the 9th. It was an international event that brought together youth not only form different parts of the country but also different parts of the world. New Apostolic Youth from Bangladesh, Canada, Congo, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, South Korea and Sri Lanka joined about 1200 youth from all over India for three days and nights of cultural exchange. They gathered at the Papyrus Port Resort in Hyderabad where various cultural and sports activities were held over the course of these three days.
On arrival each member was given a programme for the next three days and also put into a group. There were ten groups in total each with their own unique colour. Members of the groups would spend the next few days competing as a team in the various activities arranged. This helped youth from all over India and the world to get better acquainted with one another.
An Evening of Cultural Expression
On the evening of the 7th, the Chief Apostle and accompanying District Apostles were invited to the Papyrus Port to share in a cultural evening put up by the youth.
The programme was filled with different groups of youth showcasing the variety of cultural dances, songs and clothing that India has to offer. The cultural evening was fun for everyone and showed off the abundance of talent and enthusiasm that the youth have to offer. It was special and encouraging for the youth to be able to perform in front of the Chief Apostle and to receive appreciation from him and all their peers. The atmosphere was filled with joy, excitement and vibrancy and truly captured the spirit that the youth represent.
Divine Service with our Chief Apostle
The next day after a morning of activity and fun the youth came together to prepare for the Divine Service that evening. Our dear Chief Apostle conducted the Divine Service for the Youth and for many, this was the peak of the whole event. The choir who had been practising for months were joined by the youth from Canada and enriched the atmosphere of the service with their divine voices.
Our Chief Apostle based his sermon on the well-known Bible text from Luke 2, part of verse 49 and used the analogy of a business man to explain how we can all be more involved in “God’s business”. Here the Service was translated into Telugu, while those called to assist were translated into Kannada, Hindi and Marathi.
During the service, Pravin Gajbhiv was ordained as Apostle and Devadas Basappa, Prakash Laxman, Premkumar Marpu and Vijay Kumar Tukkaram as Bishops for India, while two more Bishops were ordained for neighbouring countries: Punuel Pahan for Bangladesh and Krishna B Shreshta for Nepal.
On the final day the youth gathered together to watch the last round of competition among the teams that had made it to the finals for their respective teams. After receiving their prizes and tokens of participation the youth reluctantly went off to pack their things and say their goodbyes. They enjoyed their last day of being together by taking many pictures of and with each other and exchanging numbers and contact information.
The three day event was something that the majority of the youth present had never experienced before. They enjoyed being together and sharing and exchanging their experiences with one another. For many it was the start of new friendships or the rekindling of old ones. The international youth who were present also gained a lot from the experience and took back with them many fond and unique memories. Overall the event provided the opportunity for youth from different backgrounds and walks of life to come together and share in a common experience.