GBC Combined Church Camp 2014
Grace Baptist Church Camp took place in Desaru, Pulai Springs Resort from the 11-14 June 2014. The camp saw the two congregations - English and Chinese focusing on the theme of 'Set Apart for Christ'. Many members remarked that they had not seen a combined church camp for a very long time! Special thanks to the Camp Committee, led by Wong Ann Chai and Ngo Thian Chye for a truly blessed time together.
And what a turn out it was - with over 300+ attendees of all ages and backgrounds coming away from busy Singaporean life to be together.
Pastor Arnold reminded the English congregation of the importance of the 4 Rs - Rest, Relax, Reflect and Revive in order for the camp to have its full effect in our lives. And indeed, many did just that. From getting to know each other all over again and make friends with newer members, we were all able to spend much time in conversation.
The sermons, preached by our guest speaker Pastor Tony Wong, focused on the important topic of discipleship. In 5 talks from the gospel of Luke, Pastor Tony reminded us of:
- the call of Christ to be set apart
- the godly attitudes to adopt and dangerous attitudes to avoid in order to be set apart for Christ
- the call from Lk 9:23 to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him
- the importance of our devotion and service in relation to one another
- and the repeated commission to go and call others into the kingdom
After each of the talks, campers were divided into their discussion groups to think over what God had spoken to them through His word. The groups comprised of campers of different age groups and life stage, and many campers spoke positively of the healthy intergenerational interaction that points to the power of the gospel to draw different people together.
Agnes, one of the campers, shared that being listened to respectfully was an amazing act of humility on the part of the older members in her group, and she truly was blessed by the intergenerational fellowship.
The second day of camp also saw participants taking part in station games that tested feats of physical strength, quickness of mind, general knowledge as well as teamwork. From volleyball to reverse charades, from tug of war to passing peas using straws, campers had a wonderful time in the sun enjoying working together.
David Chang and Desmond Soh led campers in two afternoon workshops, one on parenting as discipleship and the other on our work as part of our witness for God. Both were well received for their practical teaching on how Christians live out our faith in various contexts, at home and at the workplace.
The children enjoyed their own special program, playing games, singing songs but most of all, learning about the story of God's redemption. Through selected stories in the book of Genesis, they were not just entertained, but educated in the story of God's salvation to sinners. Volunteers, led by Pastor Bobby, worked tirelessly to teach and instruct our children in engaging and meaningful ways.
During rest and recreation time, our campers also let down their hair, with some using the time to catch up on some sleep, and others venturing out into the nearby area in search of yummy food. Many found their way to the beautiful resort pool where an epic game of waterpolo ensued. The Chinese and English congregation both had a rich time fellowshipping together, enjoying the vacation and rest time.
But more important than all the fellowship and fun was the time taken to consecrate ourselves to God. The message of the camp was crystal clear for all to ponder - what kind of disciples are we? As the camp drew to a close, the question of our own devotion to the Lord, being set apart for Him as His people was a powerful one to ponder. Camp commandant Ngo Thian Chye gave a stirring sharing of his own struggle with idolatry, obedience and consecration to the Lord Jesus.
He urged us all to heed the words of Joshua 24:14-15, "“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
What will you choose? What will you do? Will you set yourself apart for Christ?