Des and I are blessed. We are blessed with wonderful families. With great children. With an awesome community. With understanding and supportive friends. With jobs and service that we can only dream of having. With a God who sees into our hearts and gives us what we need.
We applied to be delegates to the 10th International Youth Forum a few weeks ago. The IYF is held every 3 years. Before, it was connected to the celebration of the World Youth Day, so they would have the IYF first, and then have it lead into the WYD. But lately, they separated it to give it more focus and attention. It is done every three years in Rome, and it is a few days long, leading up to Palm Sunday – when, if not a WYD year, there is a WYD Celebration in St. Peter’s Square with the Pope.
We got interviewed by a panel, who asked us about our marriage, our family, our community, our message to the IYF (if chosen) and a host of other topics. I didn’t expect it to be so exhaustive, but it was good to further purify our intentions in going.
Des and I were approved to go to the IYF in Rome at the end of March! And it just dawned on us, how big a responsibility that will be. The Pontifical Council for the Laity – Youth Division organized it, and this year they wanted a young couple from the Philippines to attend. We will be actually representing the Philippines, and might even have the opportunity to speak to the whole Forum. That, to me, is amazing and unbelievable. What if the Pope happens to pass by while we are speaking? I might just faint.
For the days leading up to the IYF, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth will be helping us prepare – not only logistically, but pastorally as well – and it will capped off by a send-off Mass in one of the Parishes (either March 21 or 22). Please come! Just thinking of going to that Mass, being sent off by the Church, going to Rome, brings tears to my eyes. This really is awesome.
We even have the opportunity to go to Lyon, France after the IYF for Holy Week. To attend the Taize Holy Week activity there. Though we are praying hard about this, because that would mean being separated from our kids for about 2 weeks, instead of just a few days.
Des and I are blessed to be chosen to go to this event. I would never have imagined this would happen. And I am excited about what God will say to us there. What He would have us do, when we come back to the Philippines. What message He would want us to bring to the youth here. And how else He would like to use us for the furtherance of His Kingdom here on Earth.
Please continue to pray for us.