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Youth Camp 2014: Reflections (Part 1)

Youth Camp is always the highlight of the year for the youth ministry. The theme of this year’s camp was The Hungry Games, based on the movie ‘The Hunger Games’. The aim was to explore heaven, hope and happiness, to give us a better understanding of the eternal weight of glory in Christ that awaits us in heaven and teach us how we should live in light of that future glory.

We stayed in the Girls Brigade Campsite which had excellent facilities and a cozy environment for the 5 days that we spent there. Our 52 campers were taken through a series of four messages – The Beauty of Heaven, Treasures in Heaven, Enduring Suffering and Enjoying God. We thank God for our camp speakers Yee Kiat, Samuel Beh and Pastor Ollie as well as Pastor Joshua Shoo from ACTS Baptist Church who delivered God’s Word and helped the youth grow in Christ. We are also very thankful for the many young adults who came down voluntarily to help us in our group discussions, from whom we also learnt a lot.

The four messages ended with what would definitely be the highlight of this camp. After Samuel Beh delivered His message of how enjoyable God is and how God Himself commands us to enjoy Him, many of us were overwhelmed as the Holy Spirit touched our hearts. While singing ‘There is a Higher Throne’ and ‘Rejoice’, we realised how far away we were from God, how sinful and helpless we were in His holy presence and how good God’s grace is. Many of us broke down and cried, overwhelmed by our guilt and sin. Indeed, we were very blessed that above all the speakers, above all the young adults, the Holy Spirit was our teacher and He moved to touch our hearts.

District 1 Camper Matthew Seah summarizes for us what God has taught him from the messages in youth camp in his dedication poem titled, "In Heaven". Read this dedication poem downwards then upwards to see what he says!

In Heaven
We are promised perfect joy and unimaginable rewards
In reality though,
I don’t have a shred of joy here
I don’t see God anywhere near me
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!”
But I ate and drank and I saw -
heartbreak; fear; guilt
I still cry and feel horrid pain -
Is it really worth it?
That is, to live my life for Christ
I say that my suffering here is worth it
But still I can’t even feel God around me
How can his promise of Heaven be true?
I certainly felt that God was never there
until I looked to the cross once more at this camp
(Inspired by Sean Chansy’s “Palindrome Poetry”)

District 2 Group Leader Agnes Ng also elaborates on her precious takeaways from this camp,

“I always had doubts about Christianity and the authenticity of Christ and it has been my prayer for God to show himself to me through signs and tangible actions, for me to have an ‘encounter’ with Him. One of the beauties of Christ is that He works in ways you can never foresee and God really did answer my prayer, albeit in a much unexpected manner. 1 King 19:12 sums this up beautifully: ‘and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.’ In the midst of loud booming noises and the search for prominent signs, I was blind and deaf to God’s still, small voice. Through youth camp and the people He sent to guide me, I was finally able to re-establish my faith and trust in the authenticity of the Lord. My greatest takeaway this camp is hope and this hope is built on the assurance that it will never falter, never fail and never disappoint.”

Besides the messages, this camp also had three different workshops, the first being delivered by an external speaker from the Singapore Youth for Christ organization who came down to share with us the different missions of their organization and how the youth could be more involved. Our second workshop was on sexuality and homosexuality which was fluently and extensively covered by our elder Phua Cheow Loon and his wife, Yoke Peng as well Aaron and his wife, Gemma. The third workshop was on idolatry and worldviews and was covered by two enthusiastic and spontaneous young adults, John Cheah and Nehemiah Chong. It was indeed encouraging to see how these workshops tackled living the Christ-centred/cross-centred life and dealt with issues that the youth faced. Camper Caleb Lee shares more with us,

“The idolatry workshop had a very unique way of teaching us through the use of mind maps about how we feel about idols. It helped us answer questions such as what are idols, why we have idols, what happens if our idols are taken away and what is God’s role in our lives.”

 

 

Youth Camp 2014 – Image 1 of 11

 

Post written by Nathan Tang