#WYDKrakow by Michael Caiga

Don’t be afraid, just believe.

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My first World Youth Day experience is full of grace and mercy. It start on how God make a way in all of the preparation for the financial aspects and required documents. To the point that I personal want to hold back and not to join the World Youth Day2016 because of all of the requirements. But God is so faithful, that He provide everything that we need for WYD2016. I was given the privilege to be part of the final list of delegates from our community. God reminded me “Don’t be afraid, just believe”.

On the day of our flight every delegates are excited. We can see it on the smile on our faces. It was almost 18 hours of travel going to Warsaw for our DID – Days in Diocese. On the airport of Warsaw almost everyone has their own luggage except me and some of my friends. It was reported that our luggage didn’t arrive with us, it’s still at Dubai airport. Oh snap! How about that? How can I change my clothes all my staff is at my luggage? Many of question pop up into my head. But I was reminded on how God make everything and every small details for me to be on that WYD2016. “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” Okay Lord let’s go! We travel to our parish with no luggage but only my hand carry, but with different thoughts in my mind. I was reflecting that; yes, in follow Jesus we need not to carry everything but just carry the cross that God offer to us. It reminded me that even we don’t have every staff that we need but we have God in our lives we have everything and He can provide the things that we need. The only thing to do is to trust God and do not fear! 1 day after, my luggage arrived! And that feeling that you waited for something and it given to you. My heart filled with gratitude and joy and excited to change everything in me. I mean my clothes that I’m wearing. The first day of my WYD2016 experience teaches me a lot. But it is just the start.

I feel like I’m home even I’m thousand miles away from Philippines. The warm welcome of our parish, the family that treated us like a family to the point that we call them “Papa and Mama”, the people you greet on the street “Dzien Dobry – good morning”, the different country all over the world that are shouting and doing their chant and singing their own native songs, and the mass with different language. We may have different language, we may have different nationality, but one thing common is we have on faith; that we are one holy catholic and apostolic church and it unite us, it unite millions of young people all of over the world. I can say this is home! Home far away from home.

From the day that I decide join and pray for this WYD2016 and now that I’ve already experience it, God reminded me thru Pope Francis: “Have courage and teach the world how to build bridges, to connect to people, to connect to everyone. Ask them to walk the paths of eternity. Make the human handshake, this is the most basic bridge. There is risk to extend, but he who does not risk does not win.” Jesus risked His life for us, for our sin and He won us, He won our hearts. May we always have the courage to extend, and take the risk for our faith!  The whole experience of WYD2016 is full of greatness, mercy, and love of God. “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” –Mark 5:36

Michael Caiga, Batangas Young Ministries Full time worker