Young people and parents who attended the recent bible classes in an Archdiocese in Myanmar say their lives have changed for the better now.
Archdiocese of Mandalay organized bible class, retreat during Holy Week, and Water Festival at Saint Michael's Church, in Than Win quarter.
The three-day event took place from April 12 to 14, 2022.
Participants discussed and reflected on the Bible, and spent time in prayer.
The program was organized to help people to grow in spirituality and to be closer with God, Father Augustine Win Myint, the organizer, told RVA News.
“By attending the program, people would value to read and reflect the Word of God, receive Sacraments fervently and love the Catholic faith and practice it,” he added.
The priest said that he aimed for the youth to be closer to God and involve Him in their lives.
“Meeting other people in person amid the pandemic creates friendliness among people. The relationship between the youth and the adults improves. People get to know each other and it becomes easier to know and feel what's going on in another person's heart,” Angelo Aung Khaing Oo, a young person who participated in the Bible discussion, told RVA News.
“I gained a lot of benefits from attending this event,” he added.
Angelo also said that he became aware of his failures because of the pointers the priest and preachers shared during the program.
“I came to know more about God and long for Him more. The program gave him new directions for transformation,” he added.
“We are enlightened by others and the Word of God. We should be people who enlighten others. That’s why I attended this event and I gained the ability to have the attitude to become someone who can help other people,” Angelo said.
“I wish to follow the Word of God by using everything that I gained from attending this event,” he added.
The bible discussion gave strength to him and he was happy that he can follow the Word of God together with friends, brothers, sisters, and elders in this event.
Peter Zaw Linn Htet Naing, another participant, explained that earlier he used to be someone who has faulty thinking and views but now the views changed.
“Before this event, I was mad at God and I only asked what I want from Him. I did not listen to Him at all. But I did not ask God how He wants me to be,” he said.
After attending the events, he wants to serve and inspire others.
“I want to be someone who can enlighten other people in different places by passing the light of God around. I want to be someone who is used by God,” said Peter.
“I believe in the living God and pray to Him. There would indeed be hardships, disappointments, and stressful and frustrating things. If we focus more on our faith and religion, there would be blessings,” Peter told RVA News.
Another middle-aged participant named Daw Monica Htike Htike said that she was glad to attend the event amid the pandemic.
She shared her happiness over the activities.
"By attending this event, I gained not only spiritual strength but physical strength. All that I learned here, I share everything with my mother,” she said.
Despite her imperfections and limitations, she tries to find God in her work.
“Even in our work, I need to seek God in my workplace,” she added.
There is always hope during these difficult times because there is always God. “We have strength because God is always with us. I feel Him next to me,” Daw said.
She often thought only priests can pray for people and they can heal. “But I realized that we are powerful too,” she said.
“During the program, we realized that we should be able to utilize the power God has given us. Now, we have the habit of praying for the ill,” Daw said.
She also shared with the group about her life-changing experiences gained from joining this event.
There used to be youth programs, confessions, and bible discussions with Catholics every year.
However, because of Covid-19, it was canceled for two years.
“We are glad that now, church programs have started again,” she added.
Father Augustine Win Myint and Joseph led the program from 9 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon.
About 100 Catholics around the Mandalay region attended the spiritual event.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.