November 2011 - Vol. 54

.What Happened at Adelante
by Betty Banks

This August, men and women from Kairos groups in 22 countries headed to Spain. Their destination was not the beach, but a military base in the Basque region where a long-awaited conference – Adelante – was being held. It started with Prep10, ten days of practical service and training to equip over 100 people for responsibilities both at Adelante and in their home outreaches. 

Adelante itself was five awe-inspiring days in which 400 students and young adults came together to share what it means to be part of a growing international network of young people who share a common vision of Christ-centred, ecumenical, missional community. I was one of them.

We slept in barracks and ate military food. We played capture the flag and still have the scratches to prove it. We connected with friends from all over the world and built new relationships. We worshipped and praised the Lord together, and met him. We received teaching on the stories of Daniel, Joshua and Esther and attended a range of workshops – mission, bio-ethics, the single life, Christian courtship, goal setting and writing worship songs were just some of them.

“Adelante!” is Spanish for “go forward!” and the theme of the conference was doing just that – with boldness and courage. As individuals and as a people we were equipped, envisioned and emboldened to take steps for Christ in our lives and our worlds. 

After Adelante, 250 people headed to Madrid for World Youth Day and to serve young Christians from all over the world at the Kairos Soul Food Cafe

[Betty Banks is a Masters student in Russian Literature and member of Koinonia, the Kairos-affiliated university outreach in London, England.]


Special Kairos Report on Adelante Conference August 2011


prayer meeting at the Soul Food Cafe

World Youth Day and the Soul Food Cafe

by Marie-Claire Flynn

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The Soul Food Cafe was a series of events hosted by Kairos in a large outdoor tent during the World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid. WYD is a worldwide gathering of over a million young Catholics which takes place in a different country every three years. The week-long fiesta led by the Pope offered pilgrims the chance to grow closer to Christ whilst celebrating their faith with many other young Christians. Over 250 Adelante participants, representing a number of different Christian traditions, helped make Kairos’ input at WYD a success. 

The Soul Food Cafe was an opportunity both for people from all over the world to experience Kairos and for Kairos to forge links to other groups with an interest in our kind of student outreach. We tried to build a rapport with all those that visited the tent by engaging them in conversation and inviting people over to our world map where they could mark their home country with a pin. Jamie Treadwell, who was helping lead the event, encouraged us to make people feel as though they belonged, part of our prayer, our songs and, of course, our Kairos chant (“...1, ...2, ...3, ...EN CRISTO!”).

And so, for two days Kairos welcomed individuals and groups of young people to join a program of music, discussion sessions, testimonies, art displays, a charismatic prayer meeting, line dancing... and selling some much-needed cold drinks. Split into different teams, everyone had a chance to serve one of these aspects of the Soul Food Cafe. This, I felt, was unique as it was the first time that I had experienced my brothers and sisters from many different Kairos outreaches serving as one team. This resulted in a fantastic showcase of Kairos talent: people singing and playing the guitar, people speaking a different language every few minutes as they welcomed guests, as well as people that organised the logistics of keeping hundreds of coke cans ice-cold in the +40 C heat.

...An amazing worship time in a tent full of people that we had invited where we sange in English, Polish, Arabic, and Spanish ...that signified to our guests Kairos' unique international scope.

The Soul Food Cafe culminated with the prayer meeting on the Tuesday evening. Despite the fact that many of us were tired, we had an amazing worship time in a tent full of people that we had invited where we sang in English, Polish, Arabic and Spanish. And our huge flag pole carrying over ten different national flags, signified to our guests Kairos’s unique international scope amongst many other groups there in Madrid. We also prayed over people for the gifts of the Spirit and for some, physical healing.

The Soul Food Cafe was a chance for us to witness to others about the Lord and Kairos’ work for him.

[Marie-Claire Flynn is a member of UCO, the Kairos-affiliated university outreach in Glasgow, Scotland.]

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