Thursday, 6 December 2007

YAA Fest 07 - A state of grace - Part 2

A bit of prodding and the crowd assembled at the stage. Varkey took the mike and welcomed people and then Commonunion took to the stage. The lads in black gave it what they had - good grooves, good moves and a focus on the Lord in all they did.
Mixing in standards with their own tunes that they had written just for the YAA Fest 07, the lads gave it their best, something that the crowd appreciated

Good music can't be enjoyed sitting down.
The lads had us up on our feet pretty soon into their set.
Someone said that you need hard rock for hard hearts. Whatever the style - it is clear that music speaks the language of youth - and that the message of purity and faithfulness - with the help of God was well put forward by the Commonunion guys.

After the storm came the quiet. Relatively at least.

A very funny - but painfully true play called Lead the Change saw a mock cricket-style commentary following the lives of two handsome young men on their way to the women of their lives.
As the commentators discected their every move - we saw one gorge himself on everything available - and try to get his friend to do the same.
Be it gobbling "Chinese" food from a pavement stall - while on the way to a sumptous feast at the Taj Hotel - or taking in pornography on his mobile - and flirting with multiple women - on his way to meeting his 'beloved' - the man was willing to play the game.

His companion took a different line - and though he looked a bit glum at times - in the end the payback was huge. The hook - you never know when your past will catch up to you - and no matter how dowdy it may look at the time - faithfulness to our future spouse is money in the bank.
After this laugh-riot - with a sting in the tail - it was time to get serious. Very serious.
As the crowd quietend down, very special person called Shubhangi took to the stage.
Shubhangi told us it like it was. That she was HIV positive. That she had married against her parents wishes - and as a young woman had found herself caring for a dying husband with HIV - and how she herself found out that she was positive.

The crowd was rivetted as Shubhangi continued with her story.

Earlier this year she came within a hair's breadth of death.

Her own illness had taken root - and though she had hoped that prayer alone would make it go away she was so sick that it was clear she was dying. A local pastor would occasionally come to her home to pray for her - and when she told him about her condition he urged her to go the Jeevan Sahara Kendra.

Though she was asked to go to one of the large government hospitals for treatment, Shubhangi's mother insisted that JSK look after her semi-conscious daughter. Through those dark days medications and prayers and care flowed and at the end of it - Shubhangi was able to go home.
Today this young mother of two is able to work to support her family - and be a courageous voice (as she was earlier this year when she addressed a similar meeting in the picture seen right).
There were many a moist eye as she signed off urging young people to be careful in love - not to be afraid of relationships - but to include their parents in the picture - and to make sure to get an HIV test before marriage!

After another song from Commonunion it was seminar time.
A bounty of seminars were available for the participants with topics ranging from
HIV/AIDS Basics - to seminars on Relationships and Preparing for Marriage - as well as discussion talks on Choosing Careers, Living Life with a Purpose, and Pornography - a pair of seminars For Girls Only (focussing on issues young women face) and How to be a Friend to a person with HIV rounded off the offerings.

James D'Costa fields a question in the seminar on being a Friend to people with HIV in the picture on the right. The small discussion group ended up profoundly reinforcing Jesus' desire that we should be to others what we want others to be to us - Friends.
And all of this before 8 PM! More to follow....

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