by Maria-Venezia Sto.Tomas
YFL Vienna, Austria
“Amazing Race” is an activity, which aim to build up a good teamwork within a group and to bond people even more. The past times YFL Vienna has had this activity only within the community, but this time the core group thought of inviting people that are not yet in the community. In other words “Amazing Race” was this time a way to evangelize people.
The first step of planning this was to write down whom we want to invite. I was one of the three people that organised this upcoming occasion. Something that came up in my mind was a talk Kuya Cocoi Javier had at a YFL Congress in Slovenia in 2008. He mentioned that when he evangelise people, he’ll take out his phone and started calling “random” contacts on his phone. Well, that is what I got stuck in my head and so I thought of implementing that idea for “Amazing Race”. Instead of calling “random” contacts on our phone, we created an event on Facebook and started sending event invitations to several youths in Vienna, no matter if we knew them or not. It was not important to us whether we knew them or not, for the reason that everyone is welcome to join us in all our activities.
As soon as all the participants of this activity arrived at the meeting point some started introducing themselves to the ones they did not know. At one point the core group officially welcomed all the youths to the activity and opened it with an opening prayer, which was a way to show that you can thank God together as a group. After the opening prayer each group had another opening prayer to be spiritually ready for the “game”. After clearing things out all groups were ready to start the “Amazing Race”. I was able to watch the different groups do their job and all youths were patient and helped out each other in various obstacles.
Throughout the end all participants met again at a certain meeting point and there they all shared, talked and laughed about their experiences. After sharing, talking and laughing we started playing games as a refreshment after a tiring activity and then the chapter head went to the front and explained the purpose of the activity and called up two people to share their experience. By listening to those sharings I realized that this activity was a success, because everyone showed that they enjoyed it and were able to learn new things and were able to build up new friendships.
By the time the whole event ended we invited all youths that are not in the community to join our upcoming YFL Camp and the majority really considered going. Throughout the whole activity I realized that there are various ways of evangelising people and even a small activity can catch their attention and give them a reason to consider and even join the community. You do not have to automatically invite people to huge events such as a YFL camp or a YFL Congress, you can invite them to small events such as a General Assembly or small activities. It is a way to show the purpose of the community bit by bit. You do not have to start explaining the structure of a worship, but you can start with an opening prayer then continue with sharing and all those things that the “target group” can still relate to at the moment. If you start small, you’ll end up with great things!