Youth Camp 2022

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Our youths had their annual camp from 18 to 21 December 2022. Theodore, one of our young adults, was one of many church members who went down to the camp to spend time with the youths. He shares his experience and reflections here.

"Identity" was the focus for the youths during the four days of camp this year. A big topic segmented into four sub-topics, namely "What is a Christian","What is a Man", "What is a Woman" and "What is Sex", together with a workshop on dating. Apart from the sharing sessions, there were activities and games planned out to create opportunities to bond the youths together, and to have meaningful conversations with the youth leaders and camp helpers.

Kickstarting camp with the sharing of "What is a Christian" was to me, very intentional. It allowed the youths to understand by what means one can identify himself or herself as a Christian. As most of us may know, the gospel is the foundation of what a Christian believes in, and I was glad at how clear and concise this message was being brought across to the youths at the beginning of camp. Through this sharing session, coupled with a group discussion that followed, I believe it helped youths know how sin came into the world, recognise how easy it can be for any of us to compromise, and then guide them to the understanding of the need for repentance. Acknowledging the fact that there were youths among us who do not yet accept the gospel, I hope this workshop helped in directing them to recognise the need for a Saviour.

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The sharing sessions on the second day included the biblical understanding of what a man and woman is, followed by a workshop on dating. Reading from Genesis 1-2, the youths were taught that man and woman were created in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27), enabled by Him to have dominion over everything that He created on earth—which He deemed them all good, and to fulfill the various roles while living in the Garden of Eden.

For man, the roles discussed were that they carry authority and responsibility—having Adam created first, and that God called out to the man for an answer first, upon their fall. Secondly, that they were created for work—work that was intended to be enjoyable before the fall. Thirdly, that they were created to protect (His creation), referencing Genesis 2:15, and fourthly, that man was created to teach, referencing from Genesis 1:15-17.

For woman, the roles discussed were that of helping the man, where the word "help" meant coming to someone’s aid, carrying the same meaning as that in Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”. Secondly, that woman would be "fit for him (man)", which brought up the concept of physical and spiritual complementarianism. An observation was made, that though God could create something out of nothing, He decided to make the woman from man, possibly so that Adam would find that the woman is close to him.

A further discussion of how a woman helps was that woman would help in nurturing life (Gen 3:16), be a spiritual encouragement (Prov 31:10-31) and join the work to build up the church (Titus 2).

For the workshop on dating, youths were brought to see marriage as a blessing from God, with the biblical comparison of marriage between man and woman with Christ and the Church, thereafter learn the applications in regard to dating.

Though these sessions may have come off as difficult for some youths to understand, and even more difficult for some to accept, I thank God that these sessions brought light to the youths how Christianity views gender, as compared to the world today, and how they can stand firm in the faith as issues such as this become more prevalent in their generation.

The final sharing session, titled "What is Sex" brought the youths to the understanding that sex in its given boundaries is good, and how media in today’s age has tainted the purpose of sex—a culture which Christians should not be condoning of. Truly, I am grateful for the church’s efforts to grow the youths, not just by telling them the dos and don’ts, but explaining to them the whys. To me, this form of teaching would encourage youths to get in the habit of finding answers from the Word and grow in maturity through the understanding of Scripture.

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It surely was a packed four-day camp, with many lessons being taught, and many activities to forge friendships with one another. Recognising the importance of biblical community—one that not only spends time together but grows together in the knowledge of Christ, is to me, so important in building the church up. I have been encouraged by the various teaching sessions, the workshop, and even the daily devotions which consisted of testimonies from members in our church. My prayer for the youths will be that they continue in their pursuit of knowledge of God, form firm convictions grounded on biblical truths and build strong relationships in the church, that they may stand strong together in the coming day.