Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ethiopia: Youth Encounter in Mendida

Participants in the youth encounter in Mendida.
On Friday, November 2, I traveled with the Brothers of St. John to the town of Mendida, about two and a half hours north of Addis Ababa. Our destination: Holy Savior Parish, for a Year of Faith youth encounter. Mendida is even cooler than Addis Ababa; the temperatures were fall-like, in US terms.

Fr. Herald giving the main talk: "Do Not Be Afraid! Open Wide the Doors to Christ!"
 There was a very friendly welcoming reception on Friday evening, with songs, skits and an Ethiopian coffee ceremony. But the encounter itself began the following day. I gave the main address in the morning on the theme of: "Do Not Be Afraid! Open Wide the Doors to Christ!" I spoke about faith as a door that opens both ways: to welcome Jesus into our hearts, but also to step out in faith to share Him with others. After the talk, there were small group discussions (below), followed by questions and answers.

Br. Michael Paul (from Colorado) of the Brothers of St. John
speaking about the Scriptures

In the afternoon, Br. Michael Paul of the Brothers of St. John gave an excellent talk on the importance of the Scriptures for our lives. Afterwards, each participant received a copy of the New Testament in Amharic.

Eucharistic Holy Hour with youth encounter participants.
We then headed to the parish church, where Fr. Athanasius of the Brothers of St. John gave an introduction to Eucharistic Adoration, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The day concluded with Benediction. Just after we took a group photo in front of the church.

Group photo in front of Holy Savior Church.

Participants with their Amharic New Testaments.

Other participants.

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