My Dear Friends in YCS

    The 3 Years in the IYCS Asian Team was like going to school all over again – helping me to learn lessons much more powerful & valuable than any formal school, university & institution could ever teach. It was a School of Life, In which I learnt to dream and received the courage to take actions to make those dreams a reality. It helped me to learn what to live for and how to live, though I did not get any degree or diploma.

In my three years in this school of life, all of you have been my fellow students, teachers, companions & friends. This is to offer heartfelt thanks for being part of my journey - for welcoming me into your lives, hearts, movement, homes & offices. Thank you for sharing with me your dreams, ideas, experiences, joys, struggles and lives. Thanks to all of you for making my life brighter, colorful & meaningful.

These three years has been like an exposure immersion program for me. I not only saw, but experienced the life of Asian People, especially Youth & Students- their sufferings & struggles as well as joys. It was an invitation and an opportunity for me to be part of their lives and recognize their huge potential. It was my privilege to meet and be inspired by students & youth, as well as adults, many of them Ex-YCS members, who are committedly working to promote Justice, Peace, Harmony & Human- Dignity and holistic development in Asia. Thank You so much.

The Three years has been a tremendous spiritual growth- it was a time that helped me link my faith to life realities around me in Asia and challenged me to express my faith through my response to these situations and the options I make in my life. Thanks to my experiences in these 3 Years, I will continue to be challenged by the God of Justice & Jesus Christ, friend and liberator of the oppressed.

Many were with my frustrations & disappointments in my encounters with the Church Hierarchy this is a sincere confession. But through these all, I’ve become convinced that the church is all people of God, and the very important role the laity, particularly the Youth have to play in Church initiated by Jesus Christ.

The unique experiences from No: 20 Avocado Road- my home for three years- undoubtedly forms a memorable part of my experience. It was a colorful community house- laughter , tears, conflicts, dialogue, tolerance, appreciation, support, care and concern flowed freely- most of all love!.

We did not always pray together, but we did cook together, eat together, clean together and struggled to live together in a foreign country, far away from our loved ones. These meant a lot to me. In this process, the lives, visions & actions of my community members and those we came into contact with were powerful & meaningful prayers of life for me. Living with Youth from different backgrounds, cultures, likes & dislikes was indeed a privilege. Thank YOU, my dear friends & pilgrims.

Words of Archbishop Oscar Romero, whose life inspired me during these 3 years, is appropriate to sum up my efforts, experiences & feelings in these 3 years; We Accomplish In Our Lifetime, Only A Tiny Fraction Of The Magnificent Enterprise That Is God’s Work, We Plant Seeds That One Day Will Grow, We Water Seed Already Planted, Knowing That They Hold Future Promise, We Lay Foundations That Will Need Further Development, We Provide Yeast That Produce Effects Beyond Our Capabilities.

What Now For Me?

    It’s time for me to move on to another phase in my life- I’ll take my time to internalize my experiences in these three years and Judge what I want to do in the future. One thing is for sure, in whatever I do, the influence of these 3 years will be felt very strongly. At the moment, I am taking up two- month course on Social leadership Development, in Mindanao, Southern Philippines.


    I thank God and all of you, for making me part of this unique global family called YCS, I discovered even more deeply, the opportunity and space the YCS Movement provides for young students, to be co creators with God, and continue the life giving & liberating mission of Jesus, especially amongst the oppressed and the marginalized.

    I firmly believe that the formation of YCS Movement provides through the Review of Life, and its spirituality will reap it’s rich harvest in the options YCS’er will make and the values that they will uphold in their lives.

It is my dream that YCS will always be a Movement:

•    OF, FOR and BY the Students
•    Faithful to its Orientation, Option & Mission and live up to its potential to bring about Personal & Social Change.
•    That will Date to Dream of a day that God’s Kingdom of Justice & Peace will become a reality here on earth – and that they will have the courage to take actions to make that dream come true.
•    Which will never be reduced to being a group that is only inward looking an focus only on devotions & prayers, fellowship and personal development.

Do not be afraid to dream, Great things happen when people have the courage to Dream. Dreams are that way God opens our eyes. To see the potential of what we could be & Do if we just had the courage.
    Therefore, we must Dream and Act. Create New Visions and Breathe life into them. I wish you all well and pray that Jesus Christ and all the great spiritual leaders will be our inspiration, friends & companions in our journey of life.

Ruki (Rukshan Fernando)
Former Asian Team Member


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