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summer 2023: world youth day in lisbon!

Who said 9-5 working girlies can’t have a bit of summer? Growing up our dad would have us write mini reports about what we did that summer. This is the first summer report of adulthood and it’s pretty special because I’ll be sharing about my travels to Europe for World Youth Day! I will break it into multiple parts to spare you from having to read a super long blog post. Life hasn't slowed down since our return and it has taken a while to unpack all that I experienced. I'm so excited to share all about it and for this journal/travel blog to remain for me to look back on. More photos and videos can be found on my Instagram (@_mirandareece)

Picture this. A stadium full of thousands of people waving flags from different countries, excitement courses through the entire place, electricity in the air. No, this isn’t the Olympics. Because if you listen, they’re all singing "Amen" at the top of their lungs, eyes closed and arms lifted up in praise for the One who saves them, all gathered in the name of Jesus. It’s World Youth Day!

World Youth Day was started by Pope John Paul II in 1985 as he saw the need for young people to feel accompanied and seen by the Church. The gathering has been held every 3 or 4 years since then, in different countries around the world. It has been in Poland, Panama, Colorado, Canada, and this past year it took place in Portugal!

I’m so glad I said yes to going, not knowing exactly what I was getting into but having so much excitement for the chance to go to Europe and be surrounded by young people who shared my faith. There was a beauty in not knowing and I learned to trust that God always has me right where I’m meant to be.

In the next post, I'll go into our itinerary and stories from our daily adventures. For now, I'll leave you with some overall truths I was reminded of throughout the trip:

  • We are made for relationship with God and with one another!

  • The saints are real people and want to be our friends and intercede for us!

  • There is so much hope in today’s youth, they just need guidance and strength and to be brought to these places. The fire is burning in our hearts, every young person I met and all those present desires Jesus to be the center of their lives and share in this abundant life in special ways.

  • We are made for heaven and to be everyday saints <3

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