Come and see. The invitation was simple, but struggle to accommodate. By the way, seventy young people from all over Italy, from Galilee, Greece, Cyprus and Albania said yes! In Fano, from July 30th to August 5th, they lived a week of formation full of moments of reflection, of mutual knowledge and fun. Among testimonies, desert occasions and white party on the beach, young people listened each other and listened to adults who came to them. They launched proposals and asked for trust. They urge the possibility of repeating similar occasions, completely dedicated to them and organized by their peers, but they have also understood that they are called to bring their freshness and their marvelous spontaneity in the communities. I am happy to have accompanied, with Carla, Nives, Rosita and Don Marco an exceptional team. We adults have brought home a thousand ideas, young people now have a whole future to build, which will give lightness and novelty to Faith and Light.
Here’s what the young people say…
We apprentices have had the opportunity to discover unknown aspects of ourselves. For me the strongest was the moment on the penultimate day when they asked me and other people with a disability to bless everyone else. I told myself that I would have to say only two sentences and that it would end there … then when I found myself in front of everyone I experienced a great, beautiful emotion. To each of them I said something that in my view represented them … an extra push, personalized, to say “let’s move on” … I then compared with others and we realized that we have to change the way we live and tell Faith and Light in a different way. As young guys, we should say something different. In Fano I was able to put myself on the line between peers (the few adult coordinators remained behind the curtain to intervene only when necessary). Some time ago a person asked me if Fano had changed me, he was referring to my way of seeing people as they are when they first approach disability. It does not matter if you speak a different language or if you are disabled: in the eyes of God you are His son and it doesn’t matter how you are outside but how you are inside. This is what the guys made me understand with their simplicity and the desire to know the disability: to help, not to judge.
Everything happens for a reason and has a purpose, and our purpose is to make each other happy. We achieved this with prayer , with games, with the organizers, with young people.. wonderful people with sincere feelings. Everyone had the opportunity to feel special : folk clothing, traditional food, songs and dances raised the enthusiasm, self-confidence and above all the joy. We learned that prayer helps us to keep going, we learned that night games aren’t scary but they enhance cooperation to be the winner and they make you smile. Above all we felt important and beloved, we realised that we can ingratiate everyone with our innocence. A “White Party” just like our hearts, left us unforgettable impressions. Sunrise, late conversations, madness, sleepless nights will always remain in our minds as the unconditional love will remain in our hearts. Thank you!
I wanted to say thank you, for everyone of you. You were so welcoming and kind.
I learned a lot of things from each one of you like to accept the other with all his flaws and to love myself. Also the most important to thank is God for everything that I have. And that’s it. Love you, bye.
We started from a wish: to share with young people the beauty and simplicity of the message of Faith and Light. This dream has translated into an intense, rich and happy week. We come up with projects, aspirations and the will to get involved.
When Arianna, Efrem, Concetta, Antonietta, Silvia and Edoardo have blessed us all, I don’t know how many time we spent, it seemed a moment and a lifetime at the same time, but I know that we all had a great need for live those moments so free to exist. Receiving the blessing from the boys who were with us was a gift that I will not easily forget. Each of them, someone with lips, someone with eyes and someone with a caress, told me what I needed to hear. Sharing this moment with others in fact moved me, it was like letting me pass in front of all the moments of my life, and not only the past ones, but especially those that I am called to build, those who will become the present that I desire, full of everything that I have learned and I’m learning from Faith and Light. Arianna gave me one of the most intense lessons, when she blessed her mother, Silvana. In their eyes I saw the purity of mutual gratitude that they made in silence, without weight, with tenderness. One of the themes of the schedule was the accompaniment, and never as in that embrace I felt the awareness that accompanying means being accompanied and viceversa.
We lived wonderful moments, we built friendships and we tackled important issues. The moment of the washing of the feet is always touching, we totally give ourselves to the other. We returned home with more baggage of friendships, of the spirit of Faith and Light and of ourselves.
It was a great experience, I learned how to communicate more with the others and understand them and I realize that my presence here will make them feel sense of belonging, The most important thing that you should know that Life doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger! So thanks for giving me a positive energy.
An intense week, in which frenzy, anxiety, trepidation and speed characterized all the moments, but the result was to find a great harmony, discovering the depth and sensitivity of people.
Our experience in Italy was one of the best memories! We were told that we had the opportunity to participate in a youth meeting in Fano with many young members of Faith and Light from countries such as Italy, Greece, Albania, Cyprus and Galilea. At the beginning we did not know what to expect because it was our first attempt to participate in such a meeting. We were really excited to meet all these people who have the same interests as we do, have the same concerns, care about making the world better and love and respect the people with disabilities. Victoria Kekkou, George Moussas, Maria Moussa, Maria Iosif and Letitsia Moussa were the team from Cyprus and the meeting lasted from 30th of July 2018 to 5th of August 2018. ‘’Vieni e vedi’’ or ‘’Come and See’’ was the name of the meeting and it has a strong meaning as we call everyone to Come and See what is Faith and Light, to see what is like to share all these memories and spread happiness and love. The organizing team was a group from Italy made of people who are really passionate, motivated and love what they do. They wanted everything to be organized and the result was really good as every single person participating was really amazed from the activities that we were doing. The program included things such as songs, hymns, testimonies, mimes, prayers. We learnt new things; we have seen new songs and new ideas that we wanted to show to our communities back home. As Faith and Light in Italy is known for their energetic songs and the movements they have, that is exactly what we have seen in Fano. Without any difficulty we made friends from all the countries and we shared our problems, our memories, our ideas. Spending a week in Fano was truly a unique experience that helped all of us in many ways. We danced together, ate together, prayed together, we spent a week doing everything together and the result was to build strong friendships. The Cypriot team wants to say a big thank you to the organizers because they gave as this special opportunity, taught us so many things, gave us food for thought and we will never forget this amazing week in Fano. This memory will remain in our hearts and will encourage us to support and love Faith and Light.
It was a very unique experience, experience of communion! The fundamentally joy was when we were close to each other like we were in place of revelation… This experience had taught me that there is a road to grow in love and openness… Religion yes its important to all about fundamental personhood, but in that road we need experience, interiority to listen and see that others have also something to teach us… There I felt sort of liberation, a liberation to be myself and to seek to find ways to recognize others… Then things have begun to change!
Young people asked for more space and more voice within the movement. In Faith and Light there are young people full of creative and organizational talents, very responsible and with interesting ideas. They can do great things to renew the movement, if accompanied by adults who help them not to deviate from the spirit of Faith and Light. The “brothers” of children with disabilities have asked for formation sessions to share problems and experiences and at the same time deepen their role. They told their effort to grow in the awareness of not being the focus of parents’ attention; they often have to surrender in their requests to leave room for those of the most fragile brother; they’re called to greater renunciation and responsibility than their peers and to find oneself in some moments of life to act as parents for their brothers or even for their mother or father. I saw fresh, genuine, smiling guys, capable of deep reflections. I have not noticed attitudes of arrogance or pedantry, nor ostentation with friends of griffed clothes or smartphones. If it is true that the guys in Faith and Light are not many, those “few” who choose to live this experience are “the best youth” on which the movement can count.