A YES-perience of a lifetime

10 January 2018 was the first day of a three-week camp for 19 participants at Oasis, Kluang. This inaugural Youth Evangelization School (YES) was organised by the Malacca Johore Diocese.

Many of us were excited to be in a new environment; some were reluctant to attend but overall we were looking forward to three weeks away from home!

The day began with ice-breakers. As the 19 of us were from different churches, the ice-breakers helped ‘break’ our awkwardness and apprehensions to be at the camp. The first week was teemed with sessions on who we were as individuals and the encounter of our own images without our family’s shadow and influence. We also learned about the diverse and varied emotions that govern our thoughts and deeds. All these sessions were conducted by Sister Shanti. In addition to that, we discovered more on bible and the fascinating history of the Catholic Church. Sister Margerete imparted her vast and well-informed expertise on so many aspects of the Catholic Church and expanded our knowledge and understanding!

In the second week, we learned about different ways to evangelize and how to share Christ’s love and mercy by our everyday actions. We discovered the different levels of discipleship and where we were on the discipleship road map. This week also saw many of us divided into groups to start our mission work. One group stayed in Kluang and volunteered at Miriam Home for the aged and Damu’s Home for boys. Another group went to the Bekok Orang Asli Settlement. The third group went to Johor Bahru to visit Dignity Home, an HIV shelter and Villa Paulos Children’s Home.

During the mission week, we discovered that, while we are all humans, we don’t share the same life experience and that all of us live differently. Our main objective was to understand their plight and to serve them in whichever way we possibly could. We left the experience feeling blessed and thankful for our families. Most of all, we felt an immense sense of gratitude for being children of God.

In the final week, Mr Dave Cameron presented to us the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church. He touched on the many issues that are plaguing us in today’s society. He encouraged us to use our voice as youths to change our society. Even if it starts small, it’s still worth it!

We went away from this camp with many awe-inspiring lessons, countless memories and significant virtues. As we grew closer as a family, we also grew closer to Christ together. We learned many different ways to pray, how to be a good leader, how to socialize with others, what to do with our voices and most importantly, how to say YES to God and to open our hearts to Him.