The ESFORLIJ 3 formation session for Colegio La Salle Pereira this year took place from the 9th to the 18th of June, with 200 young people and 23 leaders who animated the programme involving work with the Community of Galicia in the town of Pereira.
During the session, we shared texts taken from summaries made by participants in the Communities of Faith and Fraternity about their lived experiences.
“We are not about to abandon our dreams, much less stop doing what we love doing”. Nevertheless, not everyone could say this and only about one hundred measured up to going through the experience of ESFORLIJ 3 Pereira 2017.
We arrived on June the 9th, anxious but not nervous, since we already had at least two previous experiences.
As usual, we split up into five groups, called ‘communities, following the five values of our Lasallian Star (Faith, Fraternity, Service, Justice and Commitment). The ‘communities’ spread themselves out, and gradually something special began to be visible in them, namely the light of Jesus, our great Leader.
As the days went by, the arduous techniques of adaptation employed by our Guides produced the magic effect of a feeling of fervour in every one of the participants which was evident in their faces bright with inspiration.
Gradually, each ‘community’ started doing its best to leave its mark in the style of our Holy Founder St John-Baptist de La Salle. We worked conscientiously and carefully to see to the needs of those who inspired us (the most disadvantaged in our society), and we gave it our best. At times our links with one another may have weakened, but we never gave up. Each of us kept trying to shine and to be salt of the earth and a light to the world. With blessings, tears and various promises, we said goodbye, hopefully only in a short while. Now it remains for us to go beyond that experience and translate it into our everyday reality by getting other voices to join with ours.
…. We are young people, men and women passionate to give Service, and we feel alive today and ready to show the world why the pastoral ministry of vocations and youth is our way of life. Every one of us is essentially a formator of leaders, and within each of us there is a missionary soul. We are not now the same as we were before. The experience has helped us become different and better persons, better Christians and better citizens. It has given us the tools to be builders of dreams, proclaimers of hope together in the love of God. We will go where He wants us to go, without fame, riches or power, but with open hands offering love and proclaiming to the world that humanity today needs to be something better.