Annual Church Camp
March 1, 2013
The church gathered together again at Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village for our annual camp on 1 March 2013. Like last year, the camp consisted of three activities a series of teachings by Pastor Gavin showing us what it means by “Life – Act on it”.
On the first day, after some ice-breaking games involving numbers and much brain action in the morning, we all eagerly anticipated the first activity after lunchtime. In the activity, we had to complete a series of tasks involving much teamwork, and each member of the group would have one disability (limp, mute or blind). At one checkpoint, each group had to blow up balloons to gear up for a balloon stepping game with another group. Those members who could not move their hands needed help from other teammates to hold and tie up the balloons they have blown up, and those members who were limp needed protection from other teammates against attacks from the other group! After the activity, we shared among our care groups and we all appreciated how we need to humble ourselves and support each other in our ministry and in our care group, as we all have our own weaknesses and strengths.
In the second activity on Day 2, there was even more action as we reached out to the community! We were split into large and small groups with brothers and sisters whom we may not know well. Each group was assigned one of three tasks to complete outside the campsite. One was to modify the lyrics of a song to praise “Chan Tai Man”, a fictional character who is apparently worthy to be praised, and to sing this to strangers. Another was to promote a carton of Vitasoy to strangers and persuade them that it is worth $500. The last one was to explain and play the “paper gospel” with strangers in order to share the good news with them. Praise God, the “paper gospel” teams brought 5 new souls to Christ! It was entirely out of our expectation and God really works in amazing ways! This all inspired us of how God would use us when we are willing to step out of our comfort zone for Him. The “Chan Tai Man” teams successfully brought much smile and laughter to the people in Ma On Shan, and the “Vitasoy” teams also did very well in promoting the $500 carton drink! It was amazing to see brothers and sisters overcome their fears in talking to strangers and joyfully did their best in what seemed to be an impossible or silly task at first. Surely we could do the same in spreading the gospel and bringing joy to those around us!
After dinner, it was time for the third activity. It was a quiet and touching time. We first watched a video about how a group of kids in a poor village in Thailand overcame circumstances and acted on their dream of playing football. Then, we were split up into groups with brothers and sisters from different sub-districts for a time of heart-to-heart sharing. As each of us shared the work God has done in our lives and what we want to do for Him, we recalled the first love we felt for God. It was a touching time as tears welled up in the eyes of some of our brothers and sisters. As the light in the hall dimmed, we were told to prepare our hearts for Jesus to speak to us through the words as written in the Bible. The voice of Jesus echoed through the hall and in our hearts as we heard His promises, His words of love, His commands and His will. After the special moment, a video of the last supper was played and we watched Jesus break the bread and raise the cup as He explained the meaning of communion and commanded us to follow His steps. Then, in our care groups, we broke a piece of bread without yeast and partook in communion together. Praise God for all He has done for us out of His perfect love. Looking at the eyes of our brothers and sisters, we could see that God has moved in each of our hearts in this special night.
After the activities, Pastor Arlene and Pastor Gavin encouraged all of us with more of God’s words, and then we had the 7 rounds of Jericho Walk around the hall. As God has promised us, we are meant to do greater things for Him as a church! If we have faith in Him, everything will be possible.
In the teachings and the sermon during the Mission Sunday Service, Pastor Gavin explained to us what it means by “Life – Act on it”.
In fact, everything starts by right believing. In order for us to do the right actions, we must first be rooted in the right belief – that Jesus died for us so that God would see us as righteous sons and daughters despite our sins, and that we are more than conquerors because of Him. A follower of Christ must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This comes from a renewal in the spirit – separate from our body and minds.
As mentioned in the Bible, there are many occasions where people were set free, healed and did what they did not think they could do by simply believing in the power of Jesus. Once we truly believe in that, the Holy Spirit will lead us in becoming effective, disciplined and fruitful, as obedience comes from faith. When we focus on God’s grace, actions will come naturally. We will also speak of positive things, and claiming the things that God promised us regardless of our circumstances.
Pastor Gavin reminded us that we must also continue to guard and keep our faith in Jesus, as men are forgetful. As Jesus is with us always, we will be able to reign in life, just as He is. We will also be able to walk in humility as we become fully occupied with the Lord.
To guard our faith, most importantly, we must first choose to guard our thoughts as we walk. The arena is in our minds, we should choose to focus on Christ and fill our minds with good things and not to entertain the devil. We must “[bring] every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5b) – this is not about what we do to obey Christ, but what Jesus has done in obedience to God. Praise the Lord for His perfect love for us.
At the alter call in the Mission Sunday Service, brothers and sisters also responded to God in the call for mission pledge. Praise God that we have the opportunity and privilege to spread His gospel and share His love to those in need.
After successfully taking the annual group photo of nearly 400 of us, care groups gathered together to encourage each other and share about what they had experienced and learnt in the camp. The 3-day camp ended joyfully as we enjoyed our fellowship with one another.
Praise God for His presence throughout the camp. As we continue to stand firm in the right belief and practicing His presence in our lives, may God lead us to act on His perfect Will!