There is much expectation now that we are only a few hours away from the Genfest. This year will be the tenth edition of the gathering which was begun from an intuition of Chiara Lubich (1920-2008) while she was on a visit to Loppiano, Italy in 1973. Right from the start Chiara Lubich shared her dream with the young people present: “I’ve always had so much trust in the young,” she said, “they are the world’s future! They are made for the great ideals and are able to follow them with radicalness. The discovery of a Gospel that comes to life and brings about what it promises is precisely what draws them the most. It is the ideal of a united world that fascinates them.”
The young people of the Focolare have been working for more than a year, together with adults from the Movement, in a communion of ideas and professional experiences. Three-thousand volunteers are involved in the event and six hundred actors and technical staff from around the world. We introduce you to a few of them.
Ark from the Philippines: “I’m a nurse and I don’t’ have much experience organizing grand events like this one, but trying to live the Gospel helps me to see each moment – both the positive ones and the negative ones – as an opportunity to love and build relationships of fraternity with the people around me.”
Luca says: “I work in the general production commission, but I studied optometry. Being able to forgive when necessary keeps the needle of the compass always pointed toward the “North” (Upward). It’s extraordinary.”
Zsolt is a Hungarian economist, who will be in charge of one of the lodgings where the young guests will be staying. He can’t hold back his enthusiasm: “I can’t wait to help out at the buffet during the general practice!”
Then there is Lisa who comes from Austria and will be singing one of the twelve songs, composed by the youths of the Focolare from different areas of the world, which won the Genfest music contest. Twenty-seven year old Rafael is a publicist who left his job in Brazil to dedicate himself to the preparation of this event in which he will be co-responsible for the communications sector.
Marua from Argentina confides: “Doing this work” (she is taking care of the Genfest’s Spanish language Facebook page) “I discovered that the united world will not only be happening at the Genfest in Budapest, but we’re already beginning to live it in the preparations, with this team of workers.”Adelard from Burundy will be playing music with sixteen other youths, and Pelusa from Argentings is one of four members of the band “Anima Uno” (One Soul).
Fabricio is a civil engineer from Peru who truly expressed the experience of all: “We have it strong in our hearts that universal brotherhood is not a utopian dream. It’s a lifestyle we’ve chosen and we want to bring it ahead through small concrete actions leading up to the big event. We are aware that we’re young and we don’t have resources on our own, but we’re putting everything we have into it. The journey has already begun!”
There are many fans (between the ages of 18 and 24) following the official channels of the event on social network, in several languages. Every week 76,000 people are being reached.
To follow the event on Twitter, the hashtag is: #genfest.