Annual Church Camp
Mar 24-26, 2017
“Life – Abide in it!”
Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) During the camp, over 300 local and overseas brothers and sisters got together to look into what Jesus meant by abiding in Him.
On the first day, we started with a series of mini-games to break the ice. Brothers and sisters quickly warmed up and learned more about each other.
After having dinner and worshipping together, Pastor Gavin gave the first sermon titled “Abide with Rest and Trust”. In life, we often ask God for answers to our problems. However, Jesus’ promise was “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). When we abide in Him and receive His rest, our problems will no longer be burdensome to us. We can rest and trust in His promises. At the altar call, brothers and sisters were encouraged to be still in His presence and know that He is God, and He ministered into our hearts in very personal ways.
The next morning, we had our second sermon titled “Abide in His Word”. Abiding in the Word is the key to our lives, because through His Word, we can understand His purpose and plan in our lives, and this truth will set us free from the desires of this world. We were encouraged to keep hearing, knowing, believing, loving, delighting, enjoying and meditating on the Word of God, so that our spirit, heart and mind can be renewed and truly have an impact on our body.
In the afternoon, it was activity time. We were split into different teams for a challenging task. Each team was asked to set up dominoes in a specific shape, and each person wrote their name on a tile. Laughter filled the hall throughout the process as the dominoes kept toppling in every corner. After many attempts and much patience, each team completed their task and the words “Life Abide in Him” and the shape of a vine was formed in front of our eyes! Pastor Arlene then did the honours to topple the dominoes. It was such a satisfying picture as we see all the dominoes linking up together and leaning on each other. Everyone smiled and cheered at the wonderful picture!
Then, it was time for Hope Fun. Brothers and sisters danced a funny dance and giggled together to warm up. This year, we were split into our own groups. In the first part, each group had to yoke together arm in arm and run sideways like a chain of crabs, racing against each other. Although some groups had more people and some were less youthful, the most important thing is that we can run and complete the race together, abiding in Him and in each other. In the end, each group was able to complete the race! In the second part, the church had to work together to fill up a tub with water. Each group formed a chain from a water source to the tub, and water was passed from one person to another person so that the tub can be filled. It was a challenging task, but after much patience, cooperation and the grace of God, the tub overflowed just like how our lives overflow with blessings and fruits. Praise the Lord for the wonderful experience together as a church!
After dinner, we had a powerful session of praise and worship. Pastor Gavin then gave the third sermon titled “Abide by the Spirit”. God has given us a helper – the Holy Spirit – to dwell in us, teach us and guide us every day. We were encouraged to keep praying and abiding in the Spirit. At the altar call, brothers and sisters responded in submission. As we prayed in the Spirit together, the Spirit filled the hall, touched and healed many of our hearts.
On the third day, it was our Mission Sunday service. Pastor Gavin taught us to “Abide in His Love”. We are all God’s beloved sheep and He loves us unconditionally and immeasurably. His love will give us comfort and empower us to love others. At the altar call, brothers and sisters responded to His love by giving our mission pledge, allowing this love to overflow to others. Praise the Lord for His love!
After lunch, the whole church gathered to take our group photograph. In the afternoon, we continued to enjoy fellowship amongst care groups before leaving the campsite.
Praise the Lord for the rest and refreshment in the camp!
Let us continue to abide in Him together!