It was around 5pm on Friday, 4, when the gates of the Northeast Olympic Training Center, in Fortaleza – CE, opened to welcome the young pilgrims and missionaries from Brazil and from all over the world, gathered to participate in the Shalom Youth Congress.
Gradually, the lost and confused eyes were meeting with familiar faces and expressions full of affection, turning everything into a big party and generating a deep communion. Shortly thereafter the stadium arenas were overrun by over 9,000 people from various regions and countries. Single people,consecrated people, young people or families, everyone there could find their place.
Whether coming by bus, driving or taking an airplane, from far or near, from the cities where there’s a “diffusion of the work” or community members… everyone was extremely comfortable and energetic and willing to celebrate that unique moment with the party’s boss: the Risen Christ who passed through the cross.
Moment of memories
The opening ceremony was an opportunity for all the young people present there to recall the history of the Community and the “Youth for Jesus” Project (Projeto Juventude para Jesus -PJJ) through the artistic presentations. This moment brought songs that marked different generations in the Vocation and voices well known by the crowd, all lead by Delni Bezerra and Leandro Tavares, missionaries of the Life Community,.
After the welcoming from the Youth Advisor of the Community, Vitor Aragão, the founder of the community, Moysés Azevedo took over to welcome the thousands of young people present there. The audience made a huge noise to show the great affection and admiration they feel for Moysés, but in his first speech he tried to highlight the one who should be exalted and adored and who is responsible for this great party. He started saying: May our Lord Jesus Christ be Praised!
In his speech, Moysés stated that the CJS is a “sign that there’s no offering, no surrendering, made in the mystery of Jesus’s Passion, Death and Resurrection without bear fruit.”
The theme of the event’s 30th edition is “Radicalness” and is marked by many important details for the Shalom Charisma. In addition to the opening on the day of Saint Francis of Assisi, one of the saint’s pillar of the Vocation, the Divine Providence wanted, as the founder brought up, that “the event took place in front of the Castelão Arena, where in 1980 Saint John Paul II visited and where at “ Peter’s feet” the Shalom Vocation was born. Through the life of the founder, all those who are part of the Charism have also been able to offer their lives to evangelize others.
A great invitation for young people
Father Silvio Scopel presided the Holy Mass and spoke about the radicalness that inspired St. Francis of Assisi, “a young man who had everything to feel fulfilled in the world, yet moved by God, called by God, gave up worldly accomplishments to radically embrace the following our Lord Jesus Christ ”.
“The great invitation that Jesus has for each one of us at the beginning of the Congress is that every tired young man, fatigued by the weight of burdens, may go to meet the Master and thus allow him to be restored by Him. Jesus is the one who makes us experience rest. Rest that restores our lives, ”said the priest, referring to the Gospel of the day.
The night also featured “So pra God” band that kept the crowd excited and enthusiastic. The Shalom Youth Congress, 30-year-old PJJ special, has just begun and Saturday’s schedule continues until 9 pm, ending with the recording of the Shalom Missionary Band DVD.
Por Jéssica Maia