Families Serving Together
On February 24-26, 2017, St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church in Weston, opened their church for a Family Ministry Christian Life Program. CFC leaders from both Parejas Para Christo and the Broward area conducted the CFC CLP, while the CFC Youth Leaders of Broward and Miami headed the Youth and Kids camp.
The gift of family was showcased this past weekend—CFC Weston’s Household Heads and CFCY Broward Couple Coordinators, Justo and Soett Estrada, led the CFC CLP; their eldest and middle children, Paola and Diego, led the Youth, while their youngest, Lucas, was a participant in the Kids camp. Other families like the Ascuntars, Lopez, Andersons, Reyes and Felipes also served together that weekend.
For some of the CFC, this was a long awaited prayer that was finally answered. St. Katherine Drexel took some time to open its door for CFC, but when they did, the people came flooding. Most of the attendees were parishioners of St. Katherine Drexel. One of the parish’s own, Deacon Thomas Dawson along with his wife Brenda Dawson, was able to join and participate in the CLP weekend.
“Our desire and plan was not that easy to accomplish. We had many obstacles and challenges, even to the point where we considered to leave our parish. Little did we know that this was God's way of preparing us. The more we insisted and tried to bring this to our parish, the more resistance we got. We finally started to think that perhaps this was not God's plan. Then we just changed our focus on serving in other ways within our parish. But somehow, the calling never went away. In fact, our hearts would burn more. I recall many nights speaking to my husband on how great it would be to bring CFC to St. Katherine Drexel. We would come out of Sunday mass, and I remember saying to my husband, ‘How I wish I can bring CFC to Weston.’ Then our frustration became less, and we started to realize that it was not in our time, but in God's time. Even though we knew that this would become a reality one day, we just could not see how it would play out. This journey to bring CFC to our parish took 2 years, and with the prayers of many people and God's grace, our dream came to be. I now realize that our initial thoughts that grew into a deep burning desire was God's Promise and confirmation that this was HIS plan.”
- Justo and Soett Estrada
As for the youth, the Holy Spirit was working on them as well. They coined a name for the youth camp, “Camp Genesis.” Although they were confined in a small room behind the church, it did not stop them from getting the full camp experience. Since the main building was being used for the CFC, the youth had to adapt with both the schedules of the CLP and the church activities that were simultaneously occurring that weekend. They were always on the move and had to improvise where they were going to be located next. The Kids camp that took place on Saturday only even had priority over them. However, with the grace of God and a well-seasoned service team, there were barely any conflicts that interrupted the sessions. The participants were engaged and did not have any trouble participating in the activities. The youth were united and built lasting relationships that weekend. No matter one’s role that weekend—leader or participant—the Holy Spirit was working within them.
“Leading up to the camp was a very stressful journey. Working with such a helpful service team was amazing. Of course, we had a few problems here and there, but we were always able to fix it. When the camp finally came, I was pretty scared. I realized that all we trained for is finally here. The thrill and power of God had truly worked through me. The participants were amazing and so extroverted. They loved singing and they loved communicating with each other. It was a great blessing that I was given this chance to lead my very first camp with people I love. I think that if God is calling you, you have to go. Don’t be worried if you think it’s going to be boring or it’s too hard because God gave you this task for a reason. So don’t ask yourself, ‘Should I do this,’ but ask yourself, ‘How should I make this the best experience with God?’”
“Being a camp leader allowed me to understand others and share more of God’s love. Serving and being at ‘Camp Genesis’ with the participants helped me to grow closer to God and build a strong relationship with Him. Praise and worshiping with my new brothers and sisters gave me new hope and strengthened my faith with God.”
Graduating from this weekend were 7 CFC couples, 6 CFC-Youth members, 5 KFC members, 5 Handmaids and 2 Servants. Out of all, the CFC Broward community welcomed 4 whole families into the ministry.
Lord we thank You
for the gift of family and the gift of service.
We thank You for giving us our new brothers and sisters.
We ask that You continue to light the fire in our hearts,
To love and serve one another.
Protect the sanctity of marriage
And families all around the world.
We pray for the community
That we may continue to evangelize families each and every day.
February 24-26, 2017
CFC | CFCY | KFC
Broward Family Ministry CLP
Weston, FL St. Katherine Drexel