On ‘Last Things First’, church camp’17

bus

(I wrote a thank you email to the pastor, because one of his two dogs just passed away, so I figured he would be a bit encouraged by that fact that his work matters. Actually no one really thanked the organizers. Apart from clapping and some general ‘thank yous’. Haha sometimes I’m very extra lol.)

Dear Pastor C,

I attended the church camp last week, and I just wanted to say that it has made a difference in how I trust in God and also in my comfort levels of fellowshipping with my DG mates. I started attending ARPC in February this year, and since then I have always felt rather alienated from the rest of the church goers- partially because I am very new, but also partially because my DG is quite big, and people in church are generally not super welcoming (but I know they are good people). Through camp, I got to know a lot more people- the BSLs, the cute kids in CC, the BASIC girls on my coach, my own DG mates etc. 

Before the camp I only had ‘head’ knowledge of God, and frankly my heart did not fully believe in God’s grace. For a few weeks I entertained the possibility of me being ‘unsuitable’ for ARPC (because of the socio-economic demographic at Adam) and giving up on Christianity for the 2nd time in my life. After all, none of my friends think church is necessary and books can’t do much if one does not feel the presence of God in her life. 

The camp made it possible for me to live for five days in an environment where people were unashamedly meditating and living out God’s word, praying wholeheartedly before meals and during talks and bible study groups. I felt the energy of everyone around me as they devoted their time and energy to run the events, and it reminded me of Galatians 5:13, “through love serve one another”. From the smooth running of the children’s church program to praying for each other during talks, I could see that everyone was putting God first, and no one was relying on the effort of man alone. (I also prayed for better food and less cockroaches in my room, but anyway I don’t need to be too comfortable.) Through these experiences, I finally understood what does it mean to trust in God with all my heart, and to not worry about how things will play out. 

I just wanted to thank the church committee for their efforts- everything was done well, the execution of coaches and rooms were flawless! If possible, please squeeze in separate workshop time slots next year, I really enjoyed the workshop. Special thanks to Fook Ngian and Thomas for running BS Group 13, Priscilla and Mitchell from BASIC who took care of everyone on Coach 13, Fang Yi, Edward and Zi Yang from Pine Grove DG, Sin Ee and Ying from the Taiwan workshop, and Jasmine, Ian, and Desmond from P1 Children’s Church. And everyone else who worked behind the scenes- thank you all for providing me with the opportunity to appreciate the grace of God 🙂 

tagkidschurchtwo

I learned that the tag is for the kids to identify you, but also for the parents to identify you as “the person to ask things like when will the talk be over/where is my kid/can I take her out earlier”.

kidschurch

 

I lack faith on most days. Although 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says “the one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it”, I mostly feel that I am fighting a kind of protracted battle on my own. To be better at things, to try out new experiences, to not drown in social awkwardness and to treat other humans like humans. I still don’t know how to do that, and I have dinner with my new BASIC/DG friends later. At least I tried out variations of breaststroke today- four kicks, one pull. I realised that I can hold my breath for much longer if there is no one in my immediate surrounding (i.e., the whole pool).

skyjuice
A “luxury hotel” which serves sky juice.

Queen Elizabeth I had a parting line- “all my possessions for a moment of time.” I don’t want to go to death like that. It is beautiful, because it means that she finally felt the intensity of being alive. But it is also terrifying because my religion teaches that there is a life after death, and those who do not repent etc will go into purgatory/hell/depends on the unique teachings of the church you go to. I would like to go to death without fear.

My choices are never perfect, but it reflects the kind of life I want to have. I like creating things, including terribly ugly dinosaurs, and what I create matter to me more than the profits I can make in my day job. And the profits go to clients anyway, what am I saying.