July/August 2010 - Vol. 41

.My Best Summer Ever.

Experiencing God with and through housemates
By Ceri Jane Talan

Every summer, Christ's Youth in Action (CYA) organizes households or opportunities for teenage and university-age students to live together for a set period while serving others. Services may include teaching underprivileged children, facilitating trainings for other young people or simply doing chores like cooking and cleaning for housemates. But whatever tasks one draws, housemates also experience growth in their prayer life as well as relationships with others.
What makes a good summer? On my list would be: a good trek to the mountains, caves, and falls; trips to churches and fairs; tasting mouthwatering delicacies; finding a new set of friends; touring magical places; participating in productive outreaches; heartwarming smiles and hugs from kids; fellowship; and a lot of first times. 

Last year, I enjoyed all these in a Christ's Youth in Action (CYA) Summer Training Household in lIagan, Isabela. On top of all these, I experienced God's great love through people and prayer. 

I had been to many CYA activities, but the summer household is where I truly got to know my sisters more. I spent quality time with them as we prayed, studied Scriptures and did household chores together. I saw ourselves outdoing one another in service and sharing each other's joys. 

We also gave tutorials and value formation programs to kids who hugged and kissed us when we bid them farewell. Joy overwhelmed us when they gave us small tokens bought from their meager allowance as a means of thanking us, their teachers. 

Best of all, I got to spend more silent moments with the Lord during the summer household. It was there that I got to really escape the busy world and talk to Him -about my fears and weaknesses and His offer of strength, about my mistakes and His forgiveness, about my shortcomings and His power, about my mediocrity and His perfection, about my need for Him and His love for me. 

Last year, I had the most heartwarming and productive summers ever. I hope I get to experience it once again.

[This article first appeared in True North Magazine, a publication of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon and its partners – Christ’s Youth in Action, Ang Lingkod no Panginoon, and the Institute for Pastoral Development. The article first appeared in True North, Volume 6, Number 1. Used with permission.]

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