2015 Initial Youth Retreat in Nigeria

Retreat’s Theme: Community and Dependability

By Christopher Obilor

Ghana ATY youth retreat poster

The just concluded 2015 Afra’s Teens and Youth (ATY) retreat in Lagos, Nigeria has come and gone with its fun and, of course, spiritual enlightenment. It was indeed a moment of exhilarating experiences which left most of us having that feeling to do more as soon as we can and whenever we can.

It all commenced as planned on Friday 7th August, 2015 as Afra’s court was opened for accommodation as well as for other early preparations that needed one or two final touches. Ascension service followed as usual as well as a briefing on the events. Some fun and excitement among our teenagers began as we held a brief introductory interactive session among participants, especially the new invitees. The movie The Life and times of Confucius was played which focuses on the need for the culture of sacrifices and surrender among our young ones.

decorating Afra's court
Decorating Afra’s court for the retreat.

The Friday short vigil was followed by a Child’s Rosary. To cut loose so many teenagers and families to make it to the retreat, we gave some light decrees and calls to Mighty Astrea and we ended at 12 midnight in order to wake up early.

Early morning exercise took place before general cleanup of the premises and breakfast followed later.

ATY youth retreat cleanup

We had both indoor and outdoor exercise, then early morning devotions took off with the 14th Rosary. We had another rundown of activities and then a games section, which was more creative and exciting for both the young ones and adults in our midst.

We had a fiery decree session after decorations and presentations were done. This was followed by a session on the Life and Times of Gautama Buddha, which taught the way of selflessness, sacrifice, surrender and service as seen in his teachings of The Four Noble truths and the Eightfold path.

Later that Saturday evening, we had another interesting movie on Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Her life and times were really inspiring as it equally encouraged and set the tone of the culture of giving, especially to the needy and orphans. It was really touching and inspiring to see the way and manner Mother Teresa exemplified the path of true mysticism as embodied in the teachings. The video really caught the attention of Catholic youths that were invited as well.

Ghana retreat at the orphanage

Above is an overview of gifts and food items taken to the orphanage home under the guidance and direction of our grand Patroness Mummy Orege as Mrs. Fabgenro presented a thank you Certificate of Appreciation while the teens and youths gather for a group pix. Photos of orphans were prohibited during the visitation.

Later that evening there was a Quiz competition. Brother Francis, the group’s young dynamic leader, coordinated the proceeding – testing the teens and youths on their in-depth knowledge and understanding of the teachings.

The high point of all our activities was the visitation to the Compassionate Orphanage Home where most of us had our first-hand experience with orphans. It was really touching and heart-filling as gifts items, ranging from food, clothes, and toys that the youths had gathered, were presented to the officials of the Compassionate Orphanage center after seeing the children in their various categories.

Ghana puzzle activity
Giant puzzle designed by Rev Sammy T. Aryee

Back at the retreat, a giant-size puzzle designed by Rev Sammy T. Aryee, which himself and Rev Janet Osuji used for instructive activities for the communities, were humorously involved with finding the missing puzzles or piece which was painstakingly and joyously placed together after a stretch of two hours. Phew!!! It was really all fun and excitement all through as fellow teens and youths learned how to develop that strong sense of community by being dependable – as enshrined in the theme of the retreat itself.

ATY coordinator Rev Sammy
Rev Sammy T. Aryee at the youth retreat

We had about 31 teens and youths in attendance with three new invitees, plus the adults who partook and later assisted at different points in time. We give God and the entire Host of Light thanks for such wonderful experience and victory as our teens and youths here were really awesome, especially with the way and manner they all contributed, no matter how small, as those tiny drops of seed they gathered later accumulated to a mighty oceans and oceans of gift for the orphans. Wow!!! Alchemy in action!!!

Special thanks to all Keepers of the Flame members worldwide with shout out!!

We want to appreciate the entire host of light as well as our brothers and sisters across the globe for their kind prayers and support as we had a wonderful 2015 Afra’s Teens and Youth Retreat at Afra’s court here at Iba town area of Lagos, Nigeria.

May you all pass every test and Always Victory!!!

One Response to 2015 Initial Youth Retreat in Nigeria

  1. Congratulations on your wonderful work for our youth! It sounds like it was so much fun as well as enlightening. Keep up this great work! You will be in my prayers.

    Always love and victory to the sons and daughters of Afra,


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