More than 60 youth from parishes across Sydney and Melbourne have fellowshipped on Queensland’s sunny coast, as part of a weekend trip organised by the Youth Association of Sydney.
The trip, from 2-4 December, included over 50 youth members from Sydney and a dozen from Melbourne. The joint trip was organised following a previous road trip to Melbourne back in June, which allowed Sydney’s youth members to fellowship with Melbourne youth and develop friendships.
Arriving on Friday night, the group checked into Crown Plaza Hotel at Surfers Paradise, where fellowship with dinner was held in the hotel’s conference room.
The following morning, the group arrived at Warner Bros. Movie World, where most of the day was spent. The popular theme park was filled with young and energetic faces hopping from one ride to another.
“Our trip to Queensland was such a pleasurable and exciting experience,” said Sydney youth Chanel Ivanoff. “The smiles and laughter coming from everyone was constant from the moment we took off and landed back home. We were also blessed with the opportunity to connect once again with our brothers and sisters from Melbourne, expanding our beloved family. God’s blessings were overflowing these past few days, and I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing and inimitable youth.”
After returning to their accommodation, the group had dinner at Broadbeach where they enjoyed barbequed foods and fellowshipped amidst the waves of the ocean.
“The weekend was jam-packed with fun, laughter and sleep deprivation!” said Reema Khammo, from Sydney. “Both Sydney and Melbourne youth had a memorable time and I can guarantee that these moments will forever be cherished. Once again, I’d like to thank the youth committee for their constant hard work and determination.”
On the following and last day of the trip, everyone had an early wake up call as the agenda was to drive down to Petrie where the Holy Eucharist was offered by Reverend Narsai Youkhanis, youth chaplain.
The service took place for the faithful of the Assyrian Church of the East that reside in the state of Queensland, as well as the youth associations of Melbourne and Sydney.
“Seeing Rev. Narsai, along with the deacons, prepare and deliver an offering of Holy Eucharist (Qurbana) today was the most amazing experience. As I stood and looked around I was proud of my brothers and sisters who represent the true meaning of our faith,” said Rhonda Babanour, from Sydney.
At the conclusion of the offering of the Holy Eucharist, the Queensland parishioners organised a light brunch where all three bodies of Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland united as one church in fellowship.
The trip came to an end on Sunday night where everyone boarded the plane and landed back in their home towns of Sydney and Melbourne, carrying with them memories and stronger bonds.
Youth Chaplain Rev. Narsai reassured and encouraged the youth by reminding them of future planned fellowship between states, and even nations.
“We shall all cross paths once again at next year’s Youth Conference in Sydney, God willing,” said Rev. Narsai.
The Youth Conference 2012 will be held in Sydney, Australia on 5-8 July 2012 and will welcome faithful from the Assyrian Church of the East across the world. For more information, visit www.assyrianchurch.org.au[nggallery id=326]