Persons are Gifts at CIC 2016

For most youngsters today, the idea of attending a church camp may not crown the list of things to do during the mid-year holidays. However, after the camp, many agreed that the CIC PAG Camp 2016 was the highlight of their semester break. The camp held in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Johor Bahru, was attended by 28 participants from the 3rd till 5th of June. The camp speakers Henry Tan and Matthew Wee were helped by a wonderful outreach team made up of participants from the previous year’s camp.

Initially, most of the campers were rather shy, and reluctant to share and partake in group discussions. But as the camp progressed, they warmed up and began to share ideas and stories of their own. During the camp, participants were asked thought provoking questions in relation to their “outer wrappings” in contrast to their “inner gifts”. Eventually, campers began to realize and learn more on their self-worth without basing it on material items and how people perceive them to be. Participants also discussed the differences between their self-image and their self-esteem, and what they meant to each individual.

The praise and worship sessions, led by Johnny Fung, were engaging and helped participants loosen up and break the ice. By God’s grace, many discovered God and His abundant love through the meaningful songs selected and rejoiced in it during the upbeat, action ones. The participants’ love for Christ deepened as they spent some quiet time during the adoration session and made an oath to change their lifestyle for Christ and to be a beacon of light to others by showing love and mercy. This was especially meaningful, seeing as it was in conjunction with the “Year of Mercy”.

The sessions were not only rich in content, but filled with powerful messages which helped the youngsters understand themselves as well as deepened their faith in God. Campers then began to make the leap of faith by opening up their life stories and shared their joys and sorrows with everyone in the room. This was made possible by the “safe space” of sharing created by everyone. It was a process of healing for many as they poured out everything to the listening ears of others. They learned to forgive and let go, and move on with life with the strength of God.

Another highlight of CIC’s PAG Camp 2016 was the talent night. The teenagers took on the challenge of performing on stage in front of parents and friends. As “Persons Are Gifts”, it was only fitting that participants showcased their gifts and talents blessed by the Father to spread the message of God in different forms. The hall was filled with laughter and joy, and parents even shed tears of joy as they saw their child up on stage. Seeing their eyes filled with so much pride and happiness touched me.

At the end of the camp, many were sad to leave. Affirmation notes, contacts and hugs were exchanged. Everyone brought back new-found friendships, support to carry on with life, new hope and joy to live for Christ.