My journey with God seems to be a hike of a huge mountain, consisting of an endless series of false peaks. Yet, instead of dashing my hopes or inducing feelings of failure, as one would assume happens to mountaineers very frequently, my heart only grows fuller with love and excitement for the immensity of a God that knows me so deeply, a God that will never cease to run after me.
For reasons that did not make sense to me at the time, I found my experience of all of this increasingly empty and sometimes brutal. The joy I had for music ebbed further away every time we loaded into the back of our van. I felt like I was grasping for a bar of soap, knowing it would slip away every time my hands closed around it.
Last August, I went to Youth 2000’s summer festival in Walsingham for the first time. I’d been to their event ‘The Return’ at Craig Lodge in Scotland earlier in the year and after having such an uplifting experience, my friends encouraged me to come to the Summer Festival. It’s safe to say that I don’t have any regrets in deciding to go.
his year I have been a travelling missionary for the organisation NET Ministries and the Lord has been undoing a lot of my doings in my heart. One of those is complaining and my lack of gratitude for the everyday things that are in my life. I find myself in an uncomfortable host home, i’m eating pizza again for the 8907th day in a row, someone on my team is tapping the window of the van obnoxiously or my prayer is STILL dry - come on Jesus, I’m doing work for you don’t you see... and most of the time get caught in a whirlwind of frustration that things aren’t comfortable or quite the way I’d like them to be.
For months leading up to the Youth 2000 summer festival, I'd seen those kind of wild flyers exclaiming Conquerors probably hundreds of times. And, time and time again, I would read the line ‘Do not weep, see the lion of the tribe of Judah…has conquered’ (Rev 5:5). But, to be honest with you, I really struggled to connect with the image and with that piece of scripture; for me it was just a pretty Gryffindor-esque lion, and an epic name for a festival.
With the summer holidays fast approaching, we're now under seven weeks away from Walsingham 2018! That's right, it's time to get thinking festival again! Here's a quick run through of just a few of our favourite things.
So, the festival is over. Summer is behind us, our tent's are back in storage, and school/work/uni is starting up again. It all feels a little abrupt, and that buzz we felt in the Big Top is slowly wearing off. But fear not and take note! That high does not have to stay in a field in Walsingham! There are so many ways to keep the fire God sparked in you alive throughout the year, so don't let the Post-Walsingham Blues (PWB if you will) get you down, and listen to some Top Tips from our writers on how to maintain that Walsingham High!
Last summer was THE summer of faith. Along with around 3 million other young people from around the world, I attended World Youth Day. Meeting so many young Catholics from every corner of the earth was so inspiring and really gave my faith a much-needed boost. However, after being back home for a few days, these feelings started to wear off. I needed something to not only bring these feelings back, but to make them stay for longer!
Day 4 of The Mercy Tour and I was flagging. It turns out that man was not made to travel every day. Add to this, what I like to call World Youth Day flu (much like freshers flu, lots of sweaty young people in the same place: a serious bug’s dream scenario). Suffice to say I was not feeling at my best. The way we’re aiming to spend our days, is to turn up, set up in the new church, do some street mission, spreading the news about the night and talking with people, and then praising in the evening. However, this day, I was really not feeling the street.