Goa has been named India’s number one holiday destination. The small state that borders Maharashtra and Karnataka lies sleepily in the western coast of India and offers residents and tourists some of the best beaches: courtesy, the Arabian Sea.
In May 2017, 150 youth made their way to Bamboo Motels and Hotels in Verem, Panaji, Goa. Their three days in Goa were going to be exciting ones – A Divine Service, meetings, picnics, and a workshop were organised for them.
As soon as the participants arrived, registrations were completed, rooms were allocated, and they were given some time to rest and refresh themselves. In the evening Bishop Fred Marihal opened with prayer and started the session. His message centred around this year’s motto, Glory Be to God, our Father. He reminded the participants how they needed to glorify God. The evening was spent praising, worshiping, and glorifying God. The participants were treated to group and individual songs, dances, and skits.
Learning Through Workshops
The next day the participants came ready to learn. They all took part and enjoyed the interactive workshops that were held. A few of the topics that were discussed were the importance of the Divine Service, prayer life and offerings. After a delicious lunch, the participants proceeded to the beach and did some sightseeing.
In the evening they all met for a rich time of praise and worship, and enjoyed the group performances.
Faith that Moves
On Sunday, everyone gathered to celebrate the Divine Service. Bishop Fred Marihal based his message on Luke 17:6, So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Bishop Marihal explained that a living faith made all things possible. Having faith like a mustard seed would enable them to do great things. He gave examples about various youth from the Bible who accomplished many impossible things because of their faith – David and Goliath, the servant girl who helped Naaman to get healed; and Mary, whose faith in God led her to become the mother of Jesus. He encouraged them to have faith in God, in Jesus’ mission and return, and with the same faith, spread the Gospel. Even though they were young, they could do great things for God. He endouraged them to use Divine Services to develop their faith.
A Heartfelt Desire Met
For the youth in the District Rector Areas Karnataka and Maharashtra, their dream was finally coming to pass. For many years they had wanted to have a youth event in Goa. The planning committee who made this event a reality shared that to find a venue that could accommodate 150 people in Goa was quite a challenge. But after combing through Goa, they had found the perfect place to comfortably host their large number. Once the youth heard that everything was finalised they couldn’t help but chant “Go Goa!”. Every time they met, this continued right till D-Day had arrived.
Bishop Marihal declares the event a success: “The coming together of 150 youth, of two different language groups, and from two District Rector Areas – Karnataka West (KAW) and Maharashtra South (MHS) – after two long years was so in line with the theme Glory be to God! It was a blessed event. We were very happy that we could do something for the youth and make them feel that they are part of the great work of God. Many youth were involved in making this event a success and assured of their continued support to the Lord’s work.”
Filled with life transforming spiritual discoveries, new friendships and memoires, the youth will cherish and remember this event for a long time. They suggested that similar events should be held in different parts of India and they were willing to bear their own travel costs. They have realised the importance of the Divine Service and hope that that their lives will always please God.