An event very special in the hearts of the members of our Faith Family happened last August 1-3. It was the 63rd Luke 18 Weekend.The Luke weekend is a retreat for 11-15 year olds who want to meet new friends and find a new home in the church. We, the Lukers, have one important goal in mind and that is to spread God’s love.
Alexa Tordesillas – Last May, I remember receiving a message from Tita Yenyen Chan asking me to team for the 63rd Luke 18 Weekend in August. At first, I wasn’t so sure because I still had school to manage. But looking back at it today, I am glad to say that I took that chance because teaming for the weekend proved to be one of the best experiences of my life. Although it was my second time to team (the last time being the 59th weekend) and I already knew how the process and preparations went, it was still much different because this time, I was a team leader along with Franco Celiz. All of us 14 teamers seemed very different from each other at first but as the months went by, we were able to develop a special bond that helped us manage the weekend and make it a great and worthwhile experience for the candidates. After 2 months of learning how to sing in the right tune, memorizing lyrics and writing talks, the weekend we were all waiting for finally came.
Before we welcomed candidates into the room, we, including the Adult Leaders and Bridge Builders said prayers to guide us throughout the whole weekend. Those 3 days had gone by so fast. Before I knew it, we were standing up after the mass and jamming to all the songs we knew by heart, and are now stuck in the heads of the new Lukers. All the new people that I met have changed my life in one way or another. Seeing everyone there just made me so happy. One thing’s for sure, I’ll be at the meeting this week, bonding with everyone and spreading God’s love.
Henry Tordesillas Harrison – During this past weekend, I had the time of my life. Even though it only lasts 3 days, team had to meet every Friday and Saturday for two months to prepare for the weekend. Our preparations included: work-shopping talks, practicing for share-groups, singing the Luke songs (over and over again)and, most importantly,praying. Getting to know the 13 other people on team during the meetings was some of the best time spent in my life. After the first meeting, it was like I had already made 13 new friends who I could talk to whenever I wanted without thinking about whether they thought I was weird or too quiet. Everyone on team was so accepting of each other and we all grew to love one another as if we were all brothers and sisters.
When the weekend finally came, I was equally excited as I was nervous. I was nervous about singing, nervous about meeting the candidates. “Will the candidates like me?” “Will they listen to my talk?” questions like these were running through my head on Friday night, while waiting for everyone to arrive. When everything was finally underway and all the lessons we learned in Team meetings started to make sense, I realized that everything was alright and that my previous worries were useless. The candidates were all so nice. They shared their experiences with us, laughed with us, cried with us and, for the most part, sang with us. The 25 candidates I met and talked with over the weekend are some of the most warm-hearted, loving and wise people I have met since joining Luke. Although I didn’t have much time to talk with all of them, I will hopefully be getting to know each and every one of them in the upcoming meetings.
After everything was done and we had all returned to our normal lives, I couldn’t help but miss the weekend. I missed the candidates, I missed the SS and I missed my fellow teamers. Not seeing them every Friday and Saturday is going to take some getting used to, but I pray that we will all stay as close as we were before and during the weekend. This weekend and the time spent preparing for it helped develop me not only as a Catholic but as an individual. I learned so many things that I previously didn’t know about myself. I came out of my shell and started to interact with everyone more than ever before. Without the 63rd weekend and all the people involved, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.
For those interested to join the next Luke 18 weekend, pls. contact Rocky Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org). There will be one, tentatively, set for November this year. Applications will be available closer to the event.