"There is NO fear in Love, But Perfect LOVE casts out fear! 1 John 4:18
About a month ago 20 of us from Divine Mercy parish and 3 teens from Miami, FL (including my younger cousin) attended Covecrest, the Life Teen camp in Tiger, GA. This was a special trip for me because 5 years ago I worked as a summer missionary there. I lived at this incredible place for 5 weeks and in those five weeks the Lord completely transformed my heart and my life! It was at this camp that I had my conversion. I grew up extremely Catholic but had strayed away a bit and the Lord was calling me back to him. After this Camp I decided I want to be a youth minister and study Theology/ psychology at Franciscan University and one day bring my own teens to this camp, and well here we are =). Covecrest is a week long retreat filled with awesome activities like rock climbing, zip lining, white water rafting, etc. but we also celebrate Mass outside everyday, have Adoration, Confession and talks each day to help us dive into our faith. This year the theme was FEARLESS!
We arrived after a 14 hour Bus ride, upon arriving we changed into our messy clothes and did a very challenging, and muddy obstacle course. The week was then followed by multiple opportunities to push us, to go deeper into our faith and challenge ourselves to do things we never thought we could.
Throughout our week at Covecrest, I saw hearts be transformed, I saw teens who were once fearful of believing in the Lord raise their hands and open their hearts and finally let the Lord in. I saw teens who when they first heard we were having an entire night of silence were so scared they could hardly breath. Yet they ended up embracing that silence and allowing the Lord to really speak to their hearts. I saw women and men embracing their call of masculinity and femininity. I saw He who is Truth break open our hearts. Covecrest was an incredible experience for each one of us and we want to bring our experience to you. So we challenge you to Be... FEARLESS!!!
You see unfortunately each one of us have fears, some silly fears like fears of Cats or Wasps and other deep rooted fears. The fear of failure, of not being good enough, of being alone, of letting others down and the list goes on and on. We live in a world that tells us to put a mask on and pretend to be happy by going shopping or trying to find your happiness in another person. In reality to be Fearless is to do the will of the Lord. This may seem silly to some and a bit confusing, but let's think about this. At the root of every fear is a lie, so we need to take our fears to he who is TRUTH. We need to go to the Lord and first pray about what our fear is, then ask the Holy Spirit to come into our lives in a deeper way and show us the root of that fear. Then we need to surrender our fears to the Lord and pray for truth and peace to fill our hearts. We are often scarred of the unknown, but our Lord has the perfect plan for our lives all we need to do is Trust in Him. Throughout my week at Covecrest I realized that there are a lot of fears i still need to face but at the root of my fears was lack of trust in the Lord. But when we stop and think about it, if we truly surrender ourselves and trust, then there is nothing to be fearful of because our lives will be in the hands of our creator. It won't be an easy journey but it will be the best one ever, for our Lord will lead you to do things beyond your imagination. It's time to step up, to take that leap of faith, it's time to jump off the cliff, to not be slaves of our fears but to be FREE, to go deeper with the Lord and to be transformed. Let's allow His Perfect LOVE to cast out all fears for if God is with us who can be against us? (Romans 8:28)... NO ONE!
We are praying for you!
Ryan began using his gifts for the church shortly after high school starting with music ministry at his parish and then on to campus ministry at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has since also served as a parish youth minister and Coordinator of Adolescent Formation. Ryan shares the good news of the gospel hoping to compassionately inspire a response to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him and "become fishers of men." Ryan currently serves as full time Youth Minister here at Divine Mercy Parish.