This week-start is arguably one of my favourites, at least on par with Farewell Weekend.
On Sunday morning, I had tuition with my J1 student before hosting Bryan at my place. We had an awesome time catching up while playing awesome brain games like chess, Battleship, and Blokus. I’m so grateful to have a spiritual brother who still to this day remains passionate for God and is someone I am thus able to have fellowship with. Plus, his photo-taking skills aren’t too bad either.
Afterward, I met up with Clement and together we went to Hillview to crash the Ablaze JC Camp titled ‘The Prize’. I deliberately bought a cup of extra-thick coffee so that I can use the night to catch up with my ex-unit mates and also to get to know new ones. The coffee was effective until about 7am, at which I crashed. I did manage to catch up with Cheryl, Xue Ni, as well as to get to know the J1s a little more, like Sujata, Olivia, Michelle, and Nicole. It was fun and enjoyable just to see them again, and to see the joy of the Lord in them radiating amazingly.
To end off The Prize, the Camp Committee decided to hold this activity: write down our misconceived prizes on a card, then discard it in exchange for the cross, the Prize of all prizes. We give up what we thought meant everything to us to discover the Prize who really means everything to us. If the perishable prizes were great, this Prize supersedes in greatness. God promises good to us, always, and all we need to do is let Him work it out for us. As we did this exercise, the music team played ‘Unending Love’ by Hillsong, and the very nature of letting go ourselves for grabbing hold of Christ, coupled with the line ‘One thing I know, I found all I need in Your unending love, in Your unending love’, the tangible presence of God just fell in the room. People started weeping and tearing upon realising how much God really loves them.
This was the first time I felt strongly the tangible presence of God in 13 months. While I’m always aware that God is here, I almost never feel His tangible presence (that’s why I take it by faith that He is here). The last time I encountered God in this way was in Life Concert 2015 when the team led us in Broken Vessels. The line ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me’ triggered the tangible presence of God. I asked the rest if they felt the same at that portion and they all agreed. After 13 months, I finally felt the tangible presence of God again.
Having seen campers’ passion for God die out after the first week after a church camp ends, I concluded that they are useless and that the Uni Camp in July would just be a waste of time. Yet, God used this to remind me of an important truth: camps are not useless. When His tangible presence fills us, it sort of confirms our faith and encourages us to keep the faith even when we don’t feel His tangible presence and are simply aware of His presence. Run the Christian race in such a way to obtain Jesus Christ, the Prize of prizes.
Oh, and photo-shoot as well. I used my ex-unit mates’ phones to snap their group pics, so I’m left with this photo with my new friend.
Going home to wash up and grab lunch, I boarded the MRT at Clementi and reached Pasir Ris in 10 minutes (well, I was too tired that I slept to the point it felt like 10 minutes). I reached Riverlife Church at 4.30pm, knowing that the first batch of Megalifers would return from Camp Kaio at approximately 5.30pm. True enough, that happened and I had an awesome catch-up with Charmaine, who felt this year’s camp was outstanding. We caught up and I started to find other people, like Ezzie, Tamara, and my homies Alvin, Samuel and Faith. Consensually everyone found Kaio to surpass many of the previous camps and I did catch the excitement as I could sense a similar joy from them as I did from the Ablaze campers.
In both environments, I felt the joy of the Lord, in spite of my skepticism of His presence expressed emotionally.
This camp truly was different from the others, as Charboo encouraged me a few days back when I expressed skepticism toward church camps.
I caught up with Alvin over dinner, and I was so glad that as he used the gifts that God has given him to bless Megalife, Megalife blessed him with affirmation and appreciation like never before. I could tell he was really positively impacted by this camp. He showed me his outstanding work, and just by watching the videos I caught even more of the spirit of the camp. What’s more is that as a somewhat old-time Megalifer, I felt a sense of belonging even though I didn’t attend the camp. I’m very thankful for my experience in Megalife, as well as in Ablaze, and hope that the campers in both congregations rely on God for a sustained passion for Him. I believe by His grace we can do amazing things, that our hearts will burn for His glory and His kingdom as we see Jesus in the Scriptures.
Today, God’s presence was incredibly tangible. Thank You Lord.
I hope to catch up with as many Megalifers and Ablazers as I can and to discuss the respective camps that have transpired since we last met.