One of three young pilgrims from the Suriname delegation hopes that their contingent will be touched by the Holy Spirit during the course of World Youth Day (WYD) January 22–27.
Eighteen-year-old Jegisti Ravenberg said that she would like to learn “step-by-step” like Mary when she listened to the Word of God. She not only wants to hear God’s Word but to also live it and keep it in her heart.
“I want to be used as an instrument by God Himself. I cannot do it alone…. I ask the Lord to show my group and me about our future plans and that we will be touched by the Holy Spirit during the WYD,” Ravenberg said in a report to diocesan weekly OMHOOG.
Meanwhile, Nadirah Baldewsingh believes that participating in such a pilgrim activity shows to some extent the involvement that Jesus had with His servants.
She explained that the event is another opportunity to “realise” how to serve.
“I also learned from the stories during the catech[esis] lessons that my daily life consists more or less of vocations. I realise that giving yourself in service to whatever vocation gives satisfaction. Patiently waiting and trust are the factors that I want to maintain,” she said.
OMHOOG reported that during the ‘Days in the Diocese’ (pre-WYD), January 17–20, the Surinamese delegation joined the Dutch delegation in Panama and participated in various activities in the parish of San Isidro Labrador in Soná, Panama and the Santiago diocese. The delegation then moved to Panama City for the main programme.
Preparation to attend WYD began in October and was described as “short and hectic”. “The main goal is the spiritual and personal preparation of young people as individuals and as a group in particular, so that young people can develop a close relationship with each other,” said delegation leader Gerda Misidjang.
She said in terms of content, the preparation was focused on the different catechesis lessons of WYD, prayer, study of the theme and the patron saints as well as team-building games and social gathering to strengthen the mutual bond. Misidjang shared that at the end of the preparation period, a celebration and mission service was held.
Fundraising, she added, was also part of the preparation process to cover the high costs. “For example, the young people have organised sales mornings in parishes and organised other activities to get financial resources, but also benefactors who have a great interest in youth work have made a financial contribution,” she said.