Hello, I just came back yesterday from d' Encounter 08 camp (17 – 20 December) at Santubong Resort. I hereby declare with all my heart and soul that I don't regret missing the No Limits camp at Banting, because the EmBaCY [Emmanuel Baptist Youth] camp was so awesome and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!!
This camp is very different from other camps. It's not just about fun and games, although I'm sure we had enough of it. It's much more than making new friends although I had my fair share. It was more than good food though the food we got was superb! It was quite a bit more than just learning more about The Word of God but meeting The God of The Word!
It had been so long, too long, that I really poured my heart out to God. The tangible presence of God was amazing. I felt so free, like the extra baggage and stress of the whole year lifted off my shoulders. During the third morning, I prayed for people for the first time, together with the other leaders in the youth!! Words were like coming out of my mouth from nowhere, it was amazing! Then came the third night where the fire of God just fell mightily. All music just had to stop.
I feel that this camp is different for me than for the younger kids who were experiencing God in a new way, because I am at this point in life where I have to make a decision. I just finished SPM, obviously, so I do not know where I’ll go or what I’ll do with my life. During the third night, Pastor Daniel Chua from Singapore preached about Elisha giving everything up and following Elijah. I decided that yes, I will give everything to God. Besides I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life, so why not give to God because only He knows my future and He has a perfect plan and call upon my life, so is there any better thing to do than to let Him guide me and lead me through? But there is a demand, a price to pay – what was once common becomes sacred. I am willing.
Pastor Daniel Chua from Cornerstone is such a lively and exuberant pastor! He reminded me a bit of Ryner without the pimples. He looks so young I might have thought he was younger than I if he didn’t tell us he was 32 years old and have 3 children with another one more on the way. But the way he preached was so enjoyable, so interactive that the excitement is contagious! Everything he said seemed to hit me in a new way.
One super cool thing was that my cousin Kiun Teck (we call him Xiao Jing) joined the camp too! He had lots of fun, made friends and saw for himself what God was like! After the camp he told his mother he wanted to be a Christian! That is amazing. Praise the Lord!! But I have to continue to pray for him and his family because his father is very much against Xiao Jing being a Christian.
I also made many new friends and got to know some others better, like Benjamin Chia and Darren Wong (who was my roommate together with my cousin and Nick Ho). I had fun organizing the games together with several others, and watching the campers make a fool of themselves! Although it was raining most of the time, it didn’t dampen our spirits! (pun not intended) I feel it was a sign of God’s rain pouring upon us! It was also great serving as a pianist, especially because there was Mark Song who is improving so much! I have marked Mark (again, no pun intended) as my successor!
Of course no camp is without new knowledge and understanding. I have learnt a lot of things throughout the camp especially about the things of God. Some of important things I must remember is:
- Your focus determines your reality. How you feel is not determined by your circumstances but by your focus.
-You are either a complainer or a worshiper. Some people complain and find the worst in the best of situations; some people are grateful and find the best in the worst of situations!
- We ALL have a personal call and purpose, whether in ministry or in the marketplace. When you have a vision and purpose, life takes on a different meaning.
- To be called has its demands. What was once common is now sacred. To be called by God is dangerous. What was once a broad way is now a narrow way.
- Matthew 6:33 – Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.
- The touch of God demands total surrender.
- Whether you run after God or earthly things, you still get earthly things! Because delight in the Lord and He will grant you the desires of your heart!
- The Christian faith is not difficult. But we must be reduced to one thing: to love God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your might!!
19th December 08 – I crossed the line of no return. I killed the oxen – things in my life that can hold me back. I am running after God with all my life. Even things like writing and music – I give it all up to serve the One who made me, loved me and gave His life for me!!
Here are some pictures from the camp. I was rather lazy to take pictures, so here goes...
During one of the games, "Murderer" at Santubong.
My sister, Hosanna, in the middle, enthusiastically leading her group.
Benjamin Chia, as "Chef Wan"!
Priscilla Tan, as "Mrs. X", my wife in the game... (I was Dr. X the evil scientist! Muahahaha...)
Jason Tan, as "Jesse McTan"...