The Soil is Good.... 2008 December 25th night was so special for me. During the midnight Holy Mass there was an inspiration in my heart to go to Africa. Any how I started praying for Africa very specially. In the month of January 2009 the Mother General of the Bethany Congregation spoke about their mission station in Ethiopia. I was deeply moved by what I heard from her. The need to reach out among children was specially felt. I was sharing about this need to my friends. But as we went ahead with all the plans to go there, by July 2009 we got a negative reply from the concerned authorities. Any way we continued our prayer for the continent of Africa.
When I went to South Korea for a Conference by mid 2009, I happened to meet a priest named Fr. Emmanuel Tusiime from Uganda (named as 'the Pearl of Africa'). He came to know about ‘Christeen‘ and invited us to Uganga. That’s how Jesus allowed us to reach out to the African Continent. When we decided to go to Uganda , Fr. Emmanuel told us that they have no money to spend for our airtickets. Trusting Jesus whole heartedly and loving the children in Uganda before we could see them. We approached few people with our need. Jesus moved their hearts and they promised what they could do. Thus three of us could go there in the month of January 2010.
After landing in Entebbe airport we had to travel more than six hours to reach Mbarara, where most of our programmes were co-ordinated. After a day's prepration, we began the “Christeen Animators Training Programme”. It was attended by 14 seniors and 35 students of all age groups. In the beginning I hesitated to keep the nursery children in this training group. But I remembered what Jesus said “Let the children come to me , do not stop them”. Jesus stood with us and we could see how gracefully these kids participated with their little knowledge of English language. The kids were so attentive, never playful, answering my questions always, and asking questions if they didn’t understood.
The Ungandan people are so good in music and dance. The children came up with their excellent programmes and we could work together for the 'New Dawn Conference 2010' workshop for children. There were more than 2000 children attending the conference. During the special workshop, some of them were sitting under the tress and some under the burning sun. Their eagerness was so great, that they all sat listening and doing what the leaders asked. We could feel love flowing out of our hearts and reaching to the ones who were in need.
Ugandan children were the best disciplined children, whom I have met during my past 30 years of mission works, among the teens and kids around the world. The limitation of language was broken with a mighty outpouring of Gods love into their hearts through all the sharing and exercises we did for them. I have travelled to more than 18 countries during my last two decades, proclaiming Jesus to children . I felt the hearts of African children are the best soil to sow the word of God.The beauty of their innocence and simplicity still shines on their faces even though they are poor in many ways.
We would like to continue our mission to Africa and hence are eager to hear from you, whose hearts are prompted by Jesus for this wonderful mission. If you would like to talk to us for this purpose, please contact us through the following:
Christeen conducted a four day program for the school going children of Bahrain Diocese which started from 26th June and ended on 29th June. We were astonished to see the number of participants that came for the retreat. 872 children from age 7-20 came and attended this retreat.
The participants were divided in three groups so that the sessions could be taken accordingly, and the kids were divided in Sub Juniors, Juniors and Seniors category. Along with team, the parishioners were very supportive and helpful. They had arranged the things required and all the equipment a day before the program had to commence.
On the first day, the retreat began with Praise and Worship session followed by celebrating the Holy Mass. After the mass children were sent to their respective groups to attend the scheduled sessions.
Day one, mostly focused on God’s love and God’s existence: Does He really exist and if He exists, does He even love us? Many participants who believed in the theory of Big Bang (how earth was created) started to believe that even if big bang happened, it was God’s plan. Also day 01 focused on Jesus our saviour and salvation plan of God through Jesus Christ.
Day two, was only focused on Sin, its consequences and repentance. How sin came into the world and how we were separated by God’s love. They were taughtabout forgiveness as well. How to forgive oneself and others as well.
Day three, was an important day because participants made confession. They were asked to prepare themselves on the second day and later on third day they were asked to confess. Also session on media was taken; how media has impact on the children and are actually drifting them away from God, family and friends. During adoration, inner healing prayers were done for the healing of participants who are carrying the burden of previous scars.
Day four, the concluding day; was a very powerful day as all the participants were boosted because they had experienced God throughout the three days and today was the final boost they were about to receive: Baptism in the the Holy Spirit. FIve priest laid their hands on all the 872 participants and blessed them. Many felt the touch of the Lord during the time of adoration.
The Australian Christeen Mission retreat programs for this year were held from 3rd to 30th July 2017 at various parts of Australia. The retreat brought about an opportunity to children and their parents to experience the God – given grace and renewal in their own personal lives. The Brisbane retreat was held from July 7th to 9th and 11th to 13th in Bendigo.
The family retreat in Melbourne was conducted at foot-hill resort in which almost fifty families and five hundred and ten children participated. This was a new experience for many families as they sat together with their children for praying, singing and sharing the word of God.
As it was in the previous years, a retreat was conducted at St.Peter’s primary school, Clayton on 20th &21st July. Their God experience in the retreat was published in the school newsletter showed us their appreciation for our retreat programms. The retreat in Waga Waga was held from 20th to 23rd and 29th to 30th in Sydney. The Austrlian Mission outreach programs for this year fame to an end with the retreat in Sydney which became a venue for hundred and fifty children to come together to experience the showers of blessings from God.
The retreat programs in Australia were led by P.V. Marykutty, the director of Christeen Retreat Centre. Rev. Fr. Justus Paul, Br. Santhosh .T and Br. Sasi Immanuel were the other preachers and resource persons who handled various sessions in the retreats. The prayerful support from Melbourne Syro- Malabar diocese made us to feel at home and is praiseworthy. We also remember the families who accommodated and looked after us with great love.