Faith and Light International Youth Gathering

This past summer, Faith and Light St. Louis members Tyler Wright and Dan Brueggen, along with Bruce Barnstable from Faith and Light in Colorado, attended the Faith and Light International Meeting of Young Friends as the sole representatives of the United States. The three young men traveled from St. Louis to Guardamar del Segura, Alicante, Spain for a week of faith sharing, international communion, and leadership formation. The theme of the gathering was “Come and See!”, the response of Jesus to the two disciples of John the Baptist who wished to know Jesus. Each day, young people with and without disabilities gathered to pray, share, and draw closer together through shared experience and values.

Faith and Light International’s January newsletter featured an excerpt written by Tyler about the trip:

“I enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many passionate young people with mutual respect. As the week went on, I lived beautiful exchanges with people whom I could not have conversation with. Making faces, winks, smiles and laughter became the essential means of expression for understanding each other. We had two full group formations and two prayer times each day. Through these we were able to have functional, as well as spiritual development and insight. I was happy to find that many of the lessons being shared to us by the staff reflected all that I have learned in my Jean Vanier and Henri Nouwen readings, as well as my time living in L’Arche. Mid-week I had the clarity to look around the room I was in and realize that I was surrounded by over one hundred people who love someone with a disability. What a truly sacred space. God was present in each and every person there. In my small group, we were three Americans, two Hungarians, two Romanians, two Ukrainians, and a Czech woman. This smaller setting allowed us to talk more intimately about our experiences in Faith and Light. I’m thankful for the opportunity to live this experience.” Tyler Wright, USA  (p.65, “Up Sails”, January 2018)

To read the rest of the newsletter about the gathering check out “Up Sails”, January 2018 from Faith and Light International. Tyler’s photos from the gathering can be found here, and be sure to check out a special video from the trip made by Bruce below.

Growing in community

Who notices us individually? Where do we belong? Who cares for us? In what community do we feel loved? These questions have been answered for me in Faith and Light. We are a community which cherishes people with developmental disabilities at the heart and center. We gather around families whose members have developmental disabilities and we share prayers, fellowship and the wear and tear and pain in our daily lives. We love, and we are loved in return.