Young Adults Gathering Testimony #5
My name is Tom Jantscher and I am a member of the Emmanuel Community in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA, where the Young Adult Gathering was held. Although it was held in my hometown, I was not able to attend the entire gathering because my wife, daughter, and I were returning from out of town, and I arrived to the YAG partway on the second or third day.
I could tell when I arrived that the Holy Spirit was alive and working through those present because I immediately felt the sense of community, even with those from around the US and internationally whom I had never met before. I had been somewhat reluctant to attend some or any of the YAG because of the time commitment amid the usual busyness of life, but that changed as I spent more time there. I sensed a Community that lovingly pushes you outside your comfort zone and into a more full experience of praise, prayer, sharing, fraternal time, etc. I heard joyful testimonies from my local brothers and sisters about how the YAG and it helped me realize the gift that the Community has been in my life (and that of my wife and our daughter), and my desire for Community life increased.
A highlight for me was on the evening of praying for an outpouring of charisms of the Holy Spirit, when everyone stopped to look at each other and recognize that we are Emmanuel. Later, I was able to concretely enter into Community life by making my Step of Welcome and Discernment during the midnight adoration on New Year’s Eve. It was a special experience to have so many Community members present and praying over me, and there were many affirming words and hugs shared. My YAG experience helped inspire us to plan a trip to France this summer to attend an International Session now! There, I hope we can more fully experience Community life and meet other joyful Community members. Thank you for all your prayers for the YAG and for the Community here in the US!
This reflection on the North American Young Adult Gathering was written by Tom Jantscher, a member of the Emmanuel community who lives in Minnesota with his wife Katy and daughter, Lucia.