July 26-30, 2011 was a truly a week when Divine Retreat Centre was filled with the Presence and Joy of Our Lord! It was Divine's International Family Renewal Week. POWER 2011 themed "MORE THAN CONQUERORS" (Romans 8:37) was a truly anointed and vibrant spiritual renewal for the 3000 Youths and Couples from all over India and across the globe who attended the 6th International Youth Conference and Couples Retreat here in Divine. There were also retreats for Children and Tiny Tots - every one present felt the transforming Power of the Holy Spirit.
Along with the YouTube pictorial memories of POWER 2011, please do read the touching personal testimonies of two Youths from Sandakan, Malaysia, who share the powerful Touch and transforming Love of Jesus that they experienced in their lives at POWER 2011.
Peace and all good!
To begin with, I would like to thank Mr. Joseph Roosevelt Pereira, Mr Henry Solibun and my anonymous sponsor for giving me the opportunity to experience and discover God’s real Presence and love in India. May God bless your good deeds!
It started off when I received a call from Mr. Henry Solibun, asking me if I can take 5 days working leave to attend the 6th Youth International Conference at the Divine Retreat Centre in Kerala, India. Imagining myself asking my strict and assertive Madam Principal, I thought it was impossible. Being a novice teacher, I was advised that it is not recommended for us (newbies) to demand or do something that might affect our confirmation status. I still remember my Principal once said that NOBODY can get 5 straight days leave except for those (teachers) who are getting married or someone close to you passed away. “With God all things are possible." - [Matthew 19:26] I thought to myself, I should give it a try! I sent her a text message asking permission to take the leave and within few minutes, she replied, "Yes, with copy of the calling letter." I was extremely surprised and excited at the same time! I believe in the saying that "If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it." And yes, He just did! :)
One of the highlights for me during the conference was when Fr. Michael gave each one of us the Communion Bread and asked us to put it on our palm and reflect upon it. At that time, the video of my life started playing in my mind. It flashed back all the things I have done that could have hurt His feelings and that moment was the most remorseful moment I ever had in my life! All this while, I have opened my hand and stretch out my palm to receive and welcome Jesus into my 'house' every week but i seldom 'clean' and 'tidy up' my house. From that moment on, I can never see the Host the same way again. Thank you Lord!
|Crispus (L) and Caroline (R) at Divine Hut for Infant Children|
God is so ever-loving that He showed Compassion and Love to me through the counselling session. I was fortunate to have Bro. Trevor as my counsellor. He reminded me that our God is a forgiving God! All we need to do is just to walk in the Light of the world! And I was very fortunate to have met Susan, a Malaysian volunteer, in the retreat centre. She brought us to several shelter homes under the care of Divine Charitable Trust which provides shelter to the poor, the abandoned woman, the orphaned children, the AIDS patients and the mentally ill people. What really struck my heart was this little girl, a HIV positive, who sang a song for us joyfully and purely innocent without really knowing what is going on with her right now. She is such a young little girl who should have a bright future ahead and yet she has shown me HOPE! God, bless these people and keep them close to You!
I will never regret attending the POWER 2011 as it leaves a big impact on me! Throughout the 6 days, I made a lot of new friends from many parts of India and the world. I consider myself lucky to have the chance to experience eating the real local Indian food on the first night. I also met a few amazing and outstanding lay and ordained preachers. But most importantly, I met God! His Presence was so real that I felt His Peace and Love overflowing within me until today! Thank you Jesus!
Pax Et Bonum,
Crispus Mosinoh,(Sandakan, Malaysia)
When the opportunity was offered to me to attend POWER 2011 International Youth Conference in Divine Retreat Centre, India, I had no clue at all what it would be all about. I was thinking, “What shall I do in this Divine International Youth Conference? What is going to be discussed for 6 days for this event?” Furthermore, India is a country which is in the bottom of the list of the places I want to visit in my life!
As such, I began with a very negative mindset – of not wanting to go for POWER 2011. Nevertheless, I decided to seek my godmother’s advice as I usually do. She wisely told me, “God chose you - so if it is granted, you should accept.” The next morning, she told me, “You should go.” Listening to her advice, and to respond to our Lord’s surprising and unexpected invite, I decided to take the opportunity to go to Divine in India.
While I arrived in Divine with a somewhat closed mind and heart, from the moment the POWER 2011 started, I began to experience and hunger more and more for Jesus in my life throughout the retreat. All the talks made a huge impact upon my life especially as I was deeply searching to find out what was God’s Will for me right now. I knew that Jesus is always with us and He is always waiting for us in the Mass and to share His Word and Love with us in the sermon and in the Holy Eucharist. But I never ever realized He is alive in the Eucharist!
“When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, my hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul, but souls do not even pay attention to me. They leave me to myself and busy themselves with other things…They treat me as a dead object” (St. Faustina, Diary, 1385
This is the most valuable treasure I obtained in POWER 2011! Now the Holy Mass is very important in my life – I have since started to attend daily Mass. I want to unite myself with Jesus with every piece of the Host He allows me to receive and I shall follow Him wherever He wants me to serve Him.
Day by day, this amazing POWER 2011 International Youth Conference made me so in love with Jesus through all of the retreat sessions especially the celebration of the Holy Mass each day.
When the first day began, we were surprised as men and women were seated separately - we do not practice this in my country, Malaysia. From there, I began to learn the beauty of sitting separately and to honour God in this way. And in the same day, the talk by a fellow Malaysian lay preacher Jude Antoine on the topic “Surrender” impacted me so much. I had been telling God all these while that I want to surrender everything to Him and follow Him BUT now I realized that I did not know how to and what the meaning of surrendering to Jesus really meant – that is until I heard this talk! We were all asked to burn a note on which we were asked to list all the things we wanted to surrender in our life.
My career has been my life and it is so important for me - my ambition is to achieve high recognition in the corporate world. I had worked as an expatriate overseas in 2004 and my goal was to be able to do so again – yet the reality was totally opposite. Even before I came to POWER 2011, I was still hoping my application to work in Hong Kong will be successful (I had applied in April, 2011). When we were asked to surrender whatever was blocking us to receive God’s Grace and Mercy, the first thing that I wrote on the paper to be burnt was to surrender my career ambition in the corporate world.
As we were asked to write it down, a realization struck me deeply in my heart. If God allows me to work for Him, I am already working in the most high-recognition company where not everyone will get employed easily. This company also guaranteed to give me all His Promises. And now, I surrender to God all of my undertakings. God is my everything - God is my boss!
After the talk, there was an Adoration service before the Holy Mass began. My name was the second name called out by the priest - “Carol, God is blessing you right now. Receive the blessing.” I felt the Mercy of God and the deep joy in my heart is unexplainable! I felt so blessed. I felt so incredible - out of the three thousand people gathered in the hall, my name had been called out aloud! I can never forget this special grace-filled moment of mine at POWER 2011!
During my Confession, I confessed to the priest my problem of unforgiveness. I thought there was no one I hated or could not forgive. I just had this one problem - I cannot look and talk with the people whom I dislike. I was so impressed with the priest’s discernment. He asked me if anyone in my home was not going to Church. In my heart, I really wondered, “How could Father know about it?” It is true as my brother had not been attending weekly mass for the past two years. We all wondered why. My parents and I were praying for his reunion with God. I had even purposely organized some prayer activities at home in the hope that he will join us but he just kept away. The priest advised me not to give up and not to be disappointed. As we pray, God will do His part. I never knew my problem with unforgiveness is due to this reason. After my Confession, I felt very assured that God is guiding me.
On the day of the Inner Healing service, I prayed for the mighty Presence of the Holy Spirit in me. Before the session began, I sent a message back home to my parents. I asked them to forgive me for everything that I had done where I had hurt them and disappointed them so much. I said to them, “I want total forgiveness from our Lord” and for the first time in my life, I said “I love you, Dad and Mom.” They replied to my message and this was what they said to me – “We totally forgive you and love you too and please forgive us also, After tonight, you will be a very beautiful lady - full of love, peace, happiness, joy, hope and a kind lady. God Bless you.” I could not help weeping when I received my parents’ message. My tears kept falling! That night, I received the deep inner peace I was always longing for. I could sense the Holy Spirit in me - the warm and cold sensation from inside/ out of my body and the Lord’s Comfort which I truly felt that night.
|Crispus (L) and Caroline (C) at Samaritan Home For Junior Girls|
On the final day of POWER 2011 which would end with the Anointing of Holy Spirit, the morning was very cold; it was raining throughout the night. Yet, I was so hot and perspiring profusely! Right from the moment the Praise and Worship began, I could not stop weeping - in fact I wept almost throughout every Mass during POWER 2011! I just felt so hot. When I had to pray for the person next to me, I received the gift of praying in tongues. I had been waiting for so long to receive the gift of tongues and God granted it to me at the end of this amazing retreat! Praise the Lord!
I still find it so amazing. The lyrics of the hymns “Jesus, I Worship You with All My Heart” and “How Great Is Our God” is still alive in my heart until today - this very moment!
This retreat is leading me to another stage of knowing Jesus, my Lord, in a deeper and more intimate way. All the incidents that I experienced during the retreat and during my entire stay at Divine Retreat Centre in Kerala, India are leading me to the direction of serving our Lord. I have the feeling and I may say it is a “calling” - to become a lay missionary in evangelization. But I am waiting to discern God’s Plan for me. I pray for God to reveal what is His Will for me. It is all I want to do - to serve God.
“Lord, May Your Kingdom Come, May You Will Be Done. Amen"
Caroline Tai (Sandakan, Malaysia)