The Words of the Rodrigues Family

Reflection of the 8th European Blessing Workshop

Ando Rodrigues
April 2003
Grävenswiesbach, Germany

From the 18th to the 21st of April I had the pleasure of accompanying my mother and participating in the 8th European Blessing workshop in Grävenwiesbach, Germany. Although this was my second Blessing Workshop, it was memorable because it was the first Blessing workshop with parents and children. Together we were about 200 participants.

I always hate first days. When I arrived, I felt a bit uncomfortable watching all those people walking around. Gladly, I could recognize some faces, especially, all those ETFers that Iíve been following with my heart since the very first day at the kick-off workshop.

I canít say that there was a lot of new content waiting for meÖ but I canít deny that I learned quite a few points here and there, especially heartistically.

I felt that I could better understand the parentís situation not just concerning the Blessing but also regarding the whole education of the 2nd Generation. I could feel from the 1st Generation a strong caring heart mixed with some sort of regret of not being able to do more. But in reality, when I thought about it in a deeper way, I realized that the 2nd Generation should appreciate their parents a lot more.

Instead of trying so hard to find things to be resentful about, we should try even harder to find out how much we love them. Sadly, sometimes only when someone special is lost, we realize that personís value. I was quite shocked with that idea when I thought of my case, but now I can say that I realized more just how much I love my parents.

I guess that another point that I could understand better was about how important the matching-list is and why we should respect it. And, I felt glad that this idea could be strongly transmitted to the parents as well.

I remember Gerosí telling me of how one of the European Blessing Department goals was also to educate parents on the matching process. I feel that they need as much guidance as we do, especially on this point, when this responsibility is still so new.

Especially now, that the workshop is over, I asked myself "Do I feel more prepared?" No doubt about it! This workshop was also a good opportunity to get closer to my mother. To reflect on the points I still need improve. Fortunately, I feel that there is still time to genuinely work on my faults.

Most intriguingly, I gained a stronger awareness that God has chosen someone for me even before I was born. Itís as if Iím matched already without anyone knowing who it is. Therefore, I donít feel rushed. What I do feel is somehow compromised. And I hope that I can be ready at the right time. Workshops such as this are not just valuable for Blessing preparation or counseling. Relationships are something that we will always need to work on. It would be nice to see in the future, workshops that can gather families and prepare them for whatever may come.

Finally, I just want to express some points about the workshop itself. I was quite moved with the testimonies, especially the one given by Astrid, and I could see that my mother was moved as well.

And, I also hope that the next Blessing Workshop can have smaller discussion groups. But still, Iím very thankful for the opportunity to openly share and listen to each other. To conclude this reflection, I just want to express my gratitude to the ESGD, to the Blessing Department and of course to our Heavenly Father, for this great opportunity.

Thank you very much!

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