(by Cathrine “Catze” Chalupka from Vienna, Austria)
So there we were: all the Servant Leaders of CFC SFL and YFL Europe gathered to come back to the one true source – the Lord, our God – and to freshen up to continue our Marathon to heaven. Though I just followed up on Saturday as I heard from others Friday was a successful day where the participants had the chance to warm up and get to know each other with several activities.
Saturday was the day where the sessions began. Every session helped us preparing our hearts for service and taught us about why we were chosen to serve the Lord and how we could prepare ourselves for service. Inbetween the sessions we also had workshops for each ministry and we also had the possibility to create our activity-schedule for next year. In the evening we had the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Even though the session were all inspiring and energizing the Exposition was a moment that I want to share about. I truly felt to be a witness of God’s Grace. I was responsible for the visuals this weekend and during the Exposition I had to stay in the background which wasn’t something I regret. I rather appreciated it because I got the chance to observe the participants and watch them getting inspired.
Tne of the participants who was sitting on the floor nearby where I was, got approached by another participant. They got to know each other on that weekend. She gave the other one a hug telling her that it was so great to have met a person like her and that she prayed that she would stay strong and continue serving the Lord. She hoped to meet her again at the Congress next year. The one who knelt just listened. Years ago she left the community to concentrate on her private life and recently decided to come back and fortunately had the chance to attend the LT. The last words of the other participant was the wish that she would never leave the community again. After that she went back to her place leaving the other participant totally surprised and touched. Listening to all those kind words I waited for the reaction of the person who got approached when I noticed that she was wiping away the tears that were running down her cheeks. At that moment I felt that she received a message from God telling her not to leave Him again and live the devoted life of a servant. I felt so blessed to have witnessed that particular moment and I myself had to fight the tears which started to fill my eyes and blurr my sight.
Another moment where I felt a true witness of God’s grace was during our Praisefest. We started this amazing worship and inbetween we all witnessed the Holy Spirit opening up and filling our hearts.
We were able to approach our brothers and sisters to pray for them as they prayed for us. I felt how love, love for each other, love for service and most especially how love for God filled the room. It was truly touching, it was inspiring and it was nourishing.
I believe we all needed this, we needed to remember what our call was, what it still is: we are called to “RUN OUR HEAVENLY RACE” and we are called to remind others that they also have to run this race.
The LT was truly successful.
And that’s what I love about serving. I love serving because that’s how I can witness people getting inspired and touched by God. I witness God working in each and everyone of them. I witness them growing. Service is not about giving yourself only in order to get a reward from God. Service is all about testifying God’s grace.
That’s probably the biggest reward of all: being a true witness of God’s grace.
Now being reminded of our call our MARATHON just began and we will run this heavenly race together!