2014 has been a great year, and shortly before the New Year came, I participated in this camp called ANNTIC, which stands for Annual Teach-In Bible camp. It was a camp that was devoted to Bible study, fellowship and deep understanding of the Word. We retreated to a remote part of Malacca for 6 days, and with little Wifi and the wilderness, we dwelled deep into the Bible.
Camp was quite intense. We began the day in the morning (7am) and ended around midnight (12am). There was Quiet Time in the morning, Inductive Bible Study after breakfast, then in the afternoon there were workshops/mass games and then at night there was worship, message reflection and Supper. It’s not surprising we ended at midnight every day. We only had meal times and a 1-hour break to rest. It was a mentally challenging camp, where I learned a lot about the Bible like I have never did before. It was how to study the Bible in depth, and things about Jesus that I never really considered about.
We had themes. See, Grieve, Hope and Be for the 6 days. It brought us through the process of seeing who jesus was, to grieve about the world’s and our brokenness, to hope for a change and the light of things being anew, and be. Being the people that God wants us to be.
This camp really made me reflect on what it really means to be a Christian. Whether we are just too cowardly and comfortable in our own ‘holy huddles’ to actually do the work that God wants us to do, which is to spread the word and be salt and light to people around us. It made me feel ashamed, convicted and also humble… Sometimes we do lose sight of the work that God wants us to accomplish. My Bible knowledge is also not that great, so my New Year Resolution would be to read the Bible and understand His Word. I’m really eager to take this challenge up with my Group mates, and I’m going to start today in fact. 🙂
It also made me see how interesting the Bible can be if we put it into context and try and understand the motive of the Author in writing a passage a certain way. We have to read it in not only our lenses, but the lenses of the authors that lived in a different era and time. It was mentally draining, but nevertheless meaningful. I helped out in worship on the 4th day of camp, and I felt so joyful when I was there. I helped out do Backup singing, and I felt so peaceful singing the songs. Everyone was singing in one voice, and it was just a moment of unity. It was wonderful.
We also did a lot of reflections, where some of us did a 30 day challenge, and writing about problems that burden us, be it in the micro context or macro (world issues). Sharing was very meaningful with my group members.
My group were a really lovely lot. I enjoyed the camp greatly with them. They often looked out for me since I was the youngest, offering to help me carry bags, or ask me if I was alright. Encouraging me when I was doing worship for the first time. Everyone helped each other, and it is so heartwarming to be able to see God’s love shining all around in the camp, from group to group or between Faculties. We had multiple HTHT sessions for 2 nights (latest being at 5am), and everyone shared something really personal. Being courageous is to be vulnerable, and I decided to share about past hurts that I went through. It felt better to share about my issues, especially the theme on low self esteem. It really helps to share with people, and have them be concerned, or simply not judge you for it. Having people give their undivided attention to you made all the difference. I do hope to be able to keep in touch with them despite being in different faculties. 🙂
I came back home with a lot of thoughts in mind, and a refreshed soul. Mentally I am still very very tired, and weak. But then I feel joyful on having gone for this camp. To God be the Glory.