By FFWPU Europe, David Hanna: We just held a “25+ Matching and Blessing Preparation Workshop” in Neumühle, Camberg, from April 14-17 April.
Organized specifically for this older age group and their parents, this was a new style of workshop that we intend to hold twice a year. We had several sessions where we met all together and two sessions where parents and young people met separately. There were also some additional, optional activities and plenty of time for important conversations to take place.
Camberg is such an ideal environment for such events now – with great food from Setsuko and her team, and with some local hotels being used to provide a bed for everyone.
The Blessed Family Department has been developing a network of ‘Matching Supporters’ under Jane Toresen’s co- ordination. They provided a valuable presence, talking with matching candidates and with parents; we are trying to find more ways to help older blessed children, in particular, to find successful matches. In total there we were a hundred people, including fifteen BFD and ESGD staff members. We had fifty-two written responses from participants at the end, all very appreciative and some with helpful suggestions that we can use to improve on this promising start – here are a couple of them, from a young person and from a parent:
“My overall experience was really good.
At the beginning, I did not know what to expect and was afraid the experience might turn out awkward. However, the staff created an easy-going and atmosphere and soon I realized that the other BC’s were just as nervous and uncertain about what was going to happen as I was. Somehow this helped me to calm down, to break the ice and to actually have a great time with the other BCs. It felt really good to talk to other people who are 25 or older and still not matched or Blessed. I feel less weird or helpless about it now, because I see that other people, who are really amazing, are in a similar situation. So the most impacting for me was to see how many cool people are still not matched (one is not necessarily socially awkward if one is not matched yet) Talking to others helped a lot.”
“I needed new direction from God – I found it – including a prospect for my son. Lectures were great – so different from 3 years ago and much more interactive. Very helpful suggestions, support and inspiration.”