November 25, 2022

FAITH MATTERS: Hear the voices of how to be light in the world

Last month the community gathered at St Pius X Adamstown to see the finalist in the Season of Creation film competition.

This year’s theme was Listen to the Voice of Creation and we had over 40 entries from across the Diocese. The winner of the contest was Pius X Adamstown 9th grade student Makayla Lawrence. The judges were impressed with Makayla’s poetic submission and use of local imagery. Makayla spoke of intentionally using a much younger voice than his own, as listening to the voice of creation must begin early in a child’s development.

To see Makayla’s entrance go to https://www.mn.catholic.org.au/church-mission/catholic-life/faith-formation/recent-events/

It emerged at the gathering that Makayla is a talented young woman who has a sense of words and images. Earlier this year, Makayla won the 2022 Young Voices Awards from Australian Catholics magazine and sponsored by Australian Catholic University.

Makayla has kindly allowed us to share her winning entry in Faith Matters.

light in the world

By Makayla Lawrence

To me, faith means using kind words and the voice God has given us to make a difference. I have faith that God has a purpose for me; if something unforeseen and disastrous happens, I know it’s part of God’s plan for me to grow, learn, and become a better person. As Pope Francis tells us: “The worst enemy of a fragile faith is fear. Don’t be afraid!” My faith in God helps me face challenges with confidence and determination.

On February 28, extreme weather caused unprecedented flooding in northern New South Wales and left thousands homeless. As I was beginning to research this topic, I was introduced to a man named Steve. He lives in a small NSW town located 300m from the River Tweed on the Queensland border. Steve was deeply affected by the devastating floods and kindly let me interview him about his experience and his faith.

Steve told me that when the water started to rise, he and his neighbors moved their cars to higher ground at 4 a.m. because they thought they would experience minor flooding. However, the water rose faster than expected and later that day Steve and his neighbors had to evacuate.

“My wife and I packed up for what we thought was 3 or 4 days before heading home. Then we waded through the water to our neighbour’s house,” he explained.

The water eventually reached extraordinary levels and the floods caused devastating damage to her newly renovated home. He swept through Steve’s possessions and damaged 90% of everything he owned. Steve told me that at the time he felt a great sense of loss; however, he felt a duty to fulfill in his community by caring for his elderly neighbors and being there for others to listen and be a friend.

When I asked Steve about his faith in God, he told me that “the Bible tells us to be a light in the world. Every day, I’m just the person I know Jesus would want me to be. I try to get to know others, take care of them and always believe that there are people worse off than me. I try to be a friend,” Steve told me.

Steve has a romantic relationship with his wife and family. He added that he found great strength in his relationship and connection with God, and he told me that his faith had helped him greatly through this difficult chapter in life.

“For me, it’s the confidence that God will be there to listen to you when you pray; and trust that by his power he will take care of you. I understand that my role in the world is to serve, and that led me to my charity work,” he added.

Steve’s story inspired me. “We have our lives and that’s what matters. We lost our material possessions and although we did not return to the house we had, we found ourselves. We are going to rebuild, which means new opportunities for me and my wife. I can’t wait to be together in our house, to go on vacation, to go out and meet new people, ”he exclaimed.

After this interview, I learned from Steve that everyone’s connection to your faith is different – yet it’s so important. Steve taught me that we don’t need a badge of honor or special attention to spread the Word of God – if we are connected to him in our hearts, we will be “the light in the world”. “.

Tweed.nsw.gov.au. 2022. Second recovery center opens as housing damage unfolds. [online] Available on : [Accessed 4 May 2022].

Vatican.va. 2013. Vigil of Pentecost with the ecclesial movements (May 18, 2013) | francis. [online] Available on : [Accessed 4 May 2022].

Image – Unsplash – Davide Cantelli

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