BSC KUCHING: The Emmaus Youth Ministry of Blessed Sacrament Church (BSC) Kuching brought the story of the birth of Christ back into focus during the Advent Season by enacting and recounting the Nativity on Friday, 16 December 2022 at the BSC hall. The parishioners who attended the event were asked to reflect on the love of God and how the birth of Christ brought salvation to our world.

At the start of the evening, those who attended the event were treated to delectable finger food after the opening prayer, led by the Emmaus Adult Ministry leader, Pauline Lim. This was followed by a brief introduction and recap of the history of the Emmaus Youth Ministry which started as an extension of the Jesus’ Kids Ministry launched in 1996 at BSC.

Delectable food before the Play…

After the introduction, the parishioners were treated to a mixture of drama and songs as the youths and young adults in costumes enacted four scenes from the Nativity story. The darkened hall was lit by a spotlight that framed each scene. Each scene was also accompanied by a few verses of familiar carols that accentuated the deeper meaning of each act.

Angel Gabriel and Mary at the Annunciation Scene

The Three Magi with the Holy Family Scene

To conclude the evening, Cecelia Lai, the youth ministry’s leader, thanked the parish community for their ongoing support and prayers. The youths used to conduct annual Christmas Carolling during the Advent season. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, the group decided to celebrate Christmas by recounting the Nativity and holding a reunion of families and friends that evening instead.

Christina Eng, the mentor of the group, remarked that it is God’s grace that has kept the group going for the last twenty-odd years. The group has nurtured Catholic youths and church leaders over the last two decades. She is heartened to see some former members of the group, despite facing the challenges of work and family lives, coming back to serve and form the new youths. She thanked the support of the adult community of the parish and encouraged the younger youths to rise up and serve the ministry for the glory of God.

The Emmaus Youth Ministry is now part of the BSC Youth Ministry that consists of the English and Chinese Youth Ministries as well as the 11th Kuching Boys’ and Girls’ Brigades. The Emmaus Youths meet every Friday night at St Monica’s Room, Blessed Sacrament Church. Youths (13 to 18 years old) who are interested to join the group may contact Cecelia Lai at 016 8930633 or visit the Emmaus Youth Ministry on Facebook for more information.

A reflection by a member of the Emmaus Youth Ministry

I was not present during the first meeting and announcement for that event. I came on the third meeting though, and the group had already started practising the carols already. Since my siblings had taken part in some roles, I naturally had to tag along.

When I got wind of the upcoming event, I was already chosen to play as Saint/Archangel Gabriel. But then, the role was given to another actor and I think it suited her better. After more role changes, in the end, I complied with just being a member of the choir. Then, one of the facilitators of the event offered me the role of the emcee, so I accepted it though I had cold feet. Haha… What did I experience on the night of the event? Before I answer that question, I have to say that what I’m about to tell you is very real, but it could also be my imagination.

Basically, us, the youths, struggled very much in the weeks before the day, and even on the day before the real thing; our harmony, teamwork, and focus were all over the place. But that is what you get when working with young people who are full of energy and plus, it is the very first play we have ever done. Hence, so much disorientation was expected.

All I could do was to offer my prayers to the Lord and hoped for the best. Fast forward to the day itself, during the singing of carols; which we still did not have enough training in and our voices were weak, I could hear additional voices, as if the audience were singing along with us, which I was not sure of since it was very dark in the hall. The voices were singing powerfully. And the actors, not one of them, forgot their lines and all throughout the night, for me, it was perfect. All of the things I was so worried of were non-existent.

What I have learnt from this experience, is, whenever we are in trouble, or in need of help both physically and mentally, or even in good times, remember to give thanks to the Lord and lean on him. Sure, you can regret later, after the event, of some of the complications that had occurred but more importantly, remember to count your blessings and believe that every cloud has a silver liningLionel Jirin (Form 4)

By Lillian Law