The last ten days have passed shockingly fast, and so we woke up to the last day of our youth encounter this morning. After breakfast, we came together for morning devotion one last time, and it looked a little different today. Instead of a singing song or a hearing a verse we exchanged friendly messages or nice comments by writing them on a piece of paper stuck to everybody’s backs. It took a little while until all were finished, which shows already that we as a group have become quite close. Having read all the notes, we continued in our programme.
I think many of us enjoyed very much what followed now. Everybody received a mat and we all lay down and relax. While some calm music was playing, Nane took us on a journey of imagination and we were animated to think about how our life would look like in 2070. So we imagined how we would sit in front of our houses as old ladies and men, what we would have seen and experienced by then and also how we were going to be remembered after we would be gone. Especially imagining what we would like our life to have been like when we would look back one day, and by what values we would like to live made many of us very thoughtful.
Returning to the present, Nele had a creative task for us. We were supposed to present our vision of the world as we would like it to be in future in one connected drawing. What seemed like quite a challenge at first turned out to be very enjoyable and in the end we spent the rest of the morning and some of the afternoon completing our vision. We were very proud of it in the end! 🙂
After lunch we drew a little more and when we had finished cleaning up we finally presented the communities that should ensure a good life for all we had already crafted on Tuesday. Some of us had made a collage, some had made small houses out of paper and other materials. Our ideal communities often included shared common rooms, gardens or fields to grow our own food and good access to education. Afterwards some of us felt so exhausted that they needed a rest.
So they could relax until supper and Nele continued to work with those who still had enough energy.
And we really needed it for the following task. Together, we were supposed to formulate goals for a utopia in 2070 and draw up steps how we could reach them in the next decades. This task was everything but easy and, of course provoked many controversial discussions. Especially the threat of the climate crisis became even clearer to us and we realized again how urgent the need for action is. The more time we lose, the more drastic the measures have to become.
For me, it was overwhelming to learn again how fast we need to act and how profound the changes are, that have to be made. But on the other hand, it was also encouraging to see that there are in fact solutions, but we also have to make use of our possibilities.
Given the magnitude of this task, we were not even near being finished when we went down for dinner at six.
At half past seven we came together again and we were visited by Heike Jakobeit, the general secretary of Bremen Mission who came to say goodbye to us, pray with us and give us benediction for our journeys home.
To end the evening, we gave feedback about what we had experienced the past few days. We shared our thoughts and we were very thankful for our team that had organised the encounter so well. So: Thank you Nele, Nane and Emefa for this wonderful time!
After the official part, we exchanged contacts and said goodbye to those who were already leaving.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we leave feeling well-informed about the struggles we are facing but we also feel encouraged to use the knowledge we have and do everything in our power to make a positive change.
Thank you to all the people that organised or participated, you have made this time very special!