A unique family writing activity was organised on the 15th December 2018 in Bethlehem Għajnsielem, Gozo by the National Literacy Agency of the Ministry for Education and Employment in collaboration with Prayer Spaces in Schools-Malta and sponsored by Merlin Publishers. This was a unique opportunity for parents/caregivers to participate in an educational experience related to creative reflection and hands-on prayer with their children.
As we walked around the life-size crib constructed on 20,000 square metre of fields in a stretch of land known as Ta’ Passi, two writing tutors led groups of participants to reflect and write prayers on a prepared booklet with reflective instructions in both English and Maltese versions.
|The atmosphere was simply unique in this open air Nativity Village! We rejoiced and wrote thank you prayers near the animals such as chickens, cows, sheep, horses and a cute 3 week foal as they all roamed in enclosed spaces. (Route 19)|
|We wrote sorry prayers for the unkind things we do and say as we looked at baby Jesus in the manger in the Grotto with Mary and Joseph (Route 20).|
|We prayed for people in the world as we stopped at the Fishermen’s Port (Route 8) near the boat in a structure with fresh water flowing around it through a small river.|
Then we asked for guidance about something in our lives in the Shepherds inhabited Caves (Route 6) surrounded by the sound of bleating sheep.
As we walked along the path (H), we reminded ourselves that life is a bit like a long journey with lots of experiences along the way. We stopped for a while and left our footprints in the stony ground rubble as we thought of important moments good or bad that happened to us in 2018.
Then we took a few steps forward as a sign that we are going to leave them behind as we begin our journey into the New Year. We continued our prayers as we sat down on the wooden benches at the Open Market (Route 13) and wrote our fears and worries on angels as we held a battery operated glowing angel in our hand.
The one and a half hour reflective writing session came to end as participants wrote about their favourite prayer walk-through activity and some were willing to share their prayers too.
Some feedback from participants
- A different method of how I can pray with my children unlike the way we usually pray.
- A feel good experience. It makes adults and children aware that they can pray everywhere
- It was fun praying outside and doing this as a group
- A different experience of Prayer Spaces. I found time to think and enjoy moments of stillness.
- I simply liked looking at the animals and enjoyed the shepherds cave.
- I liked it cos I shared my thoughts and prayers with my friends
- I will remember this moment because it’s such a nice village and also because I have a really nice group leader
- I liked the geese, turkey and the horses
- Out in the opening I got more inspiration on what to write
- I liked the worries and fears because I am scared of the dark and I managed to express my feelings
- I will never forget this experience as we prayed and reflected together and for each other
- Oh, these are prayer spaces. I love doing prayer spaces!
- I will forever remember this place in Gozo and will treasure this experience in my heart. Thanks for this lovely experience
- I liked it when we entered the shepherd’s cave and prayed for guidance.
- Can I write more prayers on the sticky notes?
- It was a very nice experience! Very well organised and interesting. Thank you!
- Can we come again?
- For more photos please click on https://goo.gl/pkzLvz
- For information about the place http://ghajnsielem.com/bethlehem/)
These pictures were taken from here