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Every year youth leader will organise different kinds of activities for the youth, one of the main activities is youth encounter. This year I had an opportunity to join the national Oblate youth encounter in Australia. Before joining this encounter, I hoped that I could make more new friends and know about the culture of another country. Also I would have a change to learn how to organise youth activities better. But the most important thing is to enjoy myself in the encounter.

This year, the main theme of the encounter is ‘Leave Nothing Undared’. Each day, there is a specific topic to help us know more about the main theme. All the daily topics helped me to know more about myself.

The topic for the first day is ‘Knowing who you are in the eyes of God’. From the topic and the activities of the day, I know more about myself. For example, sometimes I am doing things to meet others’ expectations instead of caring about myself. The talk of the day reminded me the most important thing. Everything I do should be to glorify Jesus but not for me. As everyone of us is unique, there isn’t any way to measure everyone in the same way. To know better who I am in the eyes of God, the best way is to spend some time with God, face to face. Therefore before the end of the day, we had adoration, which is the best way to pray and to face God.  Right in front of God, I know what I should do and who I am supposed to be.

The topic for the second day is ‘Through the eyes of Christ we see the world’. I never think of how Christ sees the world. Or do I really know how he sees the world? Before the trip, I have no idea at all, it seems that I would never know how Christ sees the world. Now, I understand that Jesus is in our heart so how I see the world is the way how Jesus sees the world. Therefore we should not only care about ourselves but to look around the people nearby and see what they need. Just like the 5 fingers prayer that Pope Francis teaches us, first we should think about the people who are close to you; then the other people; and later even the people we don't know; and the last will be ourselves.

The topic for the third day, which is also the last day of the encounter is ‘Leave Nothing Undared’. The important thing that I know is we should pass the wisdom on. Passing on the wisdom is very important, so that the youth group could carry on in the future. There are sharing for the Oblate Youth, telling us what they have been through and how the Oblate charism changes their life. When I take a look at my life, there were lots of changes since I have been an Oblate Youth. Being an Oblate Youth, I still have lots to grow.

By the time a candle of 2017 NOYE passed to us, we got the mission to bring back what we have learnt from the encounter and to share the message to the others who can’t join the encounter. The candle that we bring back is the one we decorated it in the encounter with the group mates. This candle will be lit up every time when we have activities as well as in our own encounter. National Oblate youth encounter gives me an opportunity to meet youths from the other countries. It is also a great time for me to reflect on myself and the relationship with God. Everyone from the encounter was so interested in the place where we came from, though some of them have visited Hong Kong before. In the community time, people were asking us about how to speak and write Chinese. This is an wonderful trip for me in many ways. I hope I will meet my friends again soon, maybe in another national youth encounter.


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