Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | Jesus Encounter Growth Retreat 10 to 12 July

Jesus Encounter Growth Retreat 10 to 12 July

10th July, 2015
Jesus Encounter Growth Retreat 10 to 12 July Jesus Encounter Growth Retreat
(10- 12 July 2015)
My last retreat was a year back and my spiritual life had become dry.
Psalm 63:1
My whole being desires you;
like a dry, worn-out, and waterless land, my soul is thirsty for you.
I heard about the Jesus Encounter Growth Retreat at my parish prayer group. I was not well the week before and had tonsils and fever and was doubtful if I would be able to make it.
But I really was hoping I could make this retreat. I offered my throat pain to the Lord and I joined my suffering to His. I got alright and was able to attend the retreat not by chance but because it was God's choice and only because of his grace.
The first talk at the retreat was by Br. Trevor Lewis and it was on suffering and how we should be willing to suffer for the Lord! I said to myself I have enough suffering I do not want anymore. But he elaborated on the fruit of the Spirit.
John Ch. 15 ...He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit..... You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures.....If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first.
So by cutting, pruning and cleaning us, we are transformed. From not bearing fruit, we start bearing fruit and then we bear much fruit. We are asked to bear witness to the world and make disciples and be ready to suffer for Jesus.
Before coming for the retreat a challenge that I faced was attending they youth cell of my parish prayer group. It was dying and I was not enthusiastic about attending it. Why do we have to attend the youth cell? Can't we just attend the prayer meeting? And what do we do at the youth cell? It was a task every week to come up with something to do as I was a part of the core team.
I got the answers to my questions during one of the talks of Br. Victor Pereira at the retreat. He shared his inspiring testimony of how his youth group was his support system in a challenging time of his life. Also he explained that at the youth cell, there should be a short time of praise and worship, followed by discussion about what happened at the prayer meeting, followed by time of intercession for the needs of the youth. We are following this now at our youth cell meetings and we have grown closer by sharing our personal experiences with respect to the topic held at our parish prayer meetings and by interceding for each other needs.
Another question that I faced was about Mother Mary. I had read an article on Facebook questioning the various practices of the Catholic Church and my faith was a bit shaken. The article had questions like, why do we say the Rosary? It is a repetitive prayer and the Lord has said not use a lot of meaningless and repetitive words. And Jesus himself has given us the ' Our Father' then, why do we say the Hail Mary so many times and the Our Father just 5 times in the Rosary? and who gave the Rosary?
I got the answers to these questions during a talk by Thomas Teknath. He shared a few stories from his experience in the discernment ministry. One story was of a girl whose relatives wanted to kill her for property reasons and had taken the help of babas. But because of Our Lady's protection no evil could harm her and all plans made by the babas to kill the girl were futile. So much so that the baba himself admitted that he could not harm this girl because she used to wear the Rosary and recite it daily. This testimony strengthened my faith in Mother Mary and the power in reciting the Rosary.
There was confession, daily mass and infilling of the Holy Spirit. This really strengthened and empowered us.
There was good accommodation, just the required facilitates and we were one with nature and the Lord. He truly brings times of refreshing to our souls!
It was truly truly an enriching experience. May the Lord bless the organizers and their families.
Hope that the Jesus Encounter Growth Retreat is organized more often. Don't you want to have another encounter with Jesus?

Lynette Fernandes
St. Blaise Prayer Group Amboli Andher West 
Ms. Lynette Fernandes