It Hurts: Summer Outreach in Mexico
An interview with Malaquías
García and Angel Santiago
A team of seven Servants
of the Word brothers from Monterrey,
Mexico, spent three weeks last July in
Xalapa for a series of very intense summer
events. It included two tracks, one for
university-age and one for high-school age
youth and it drew a total of 620 people
from Mexico and the Caribbean. Our brother
Malaquías García oversaw the university
side of the program, our brother Ángel
Santiago the high school part. Here are
some of their reflections on this very
busy three weeks:
Give us a feel for what the events
M: It all started with a ten day leadership
training course for the people who were then
going to staff the conferences and camps for
high-schoolers and university students. There
they would learn to give their testimonies, lead
small groups, be an example in
daily life. Then those people split up into two
groups: the university track, which had a
conference for participants of a number of
university outreaches across the country and
even beyond, and a youth track.
A: The Youth track included a conference called
Tu Momento (This is your chance!) and two camps,
one for boys and one for girls.
This sounds like a lot to squeeze
into such a short period of time.
A: Most of these young people don’t get a lot of
opportunity to be together, so when we have such
a summer program, we want to make it count. But
yes, it was very stressful to accommodate so
many participants and organize multiple parallel
events. Suffice it to say, we did not sleep very
M: Most of us brotherhood men have been used to
working together for a long time, so even under
pressure we function well as a team. But for the
participants it can become a challenge to live
in such an intense environment. You have to make
sure you look after them well.
Apart from the intensity of the
time, what would you consider the biggest
A: The battle for the souls of the young is
becoming ever more intense. We encounter ever
more serious pastoral challenges, be it
addictions, the force of social media,
psychological problems. We constantly need to
find new ways to counter those influences. And
we rely on God’s power to bring freedom and
healing during these times apart.
Were there any particular
highlights during the time?
M: The quality of the young people participating
impressed me greatly. They display a genuine
readiness to learn and a willingness to serve
which are very inspiring. God honors that and in
turn speaks powerfully to them.
A: During the high school conference we had a
four-hour prayer meeting where the Lord brought
a lot of things to the light and stirred genuine
repentance in many of the participants. The
testimonies were beautiful.
Which part did you enjoy the most?
A: The boys camp was called “Desert Storm” and
involved a lot of outdoor activities for the
men. It was very satisfying to see them enjoying
themselves and growing as men.
article is excerpted from The
Servants of the Word Autumn Newsletter
2017. Used with permission. If you would like
to their Newsletter which is published three
times a year, you can signup
Tu Momento Kairos Youth Conference in Xalapa
for young men and women from the region
2nd photo: Outdoor activity for the young