top ten ways i will remember PIERCE.
I actually ought to be shot for only posting my reflections on Pierce now – especially when I encouraged all the campers to blog, facebook and tweet about Pierce – and I’m the last to be on the task which I set. Shame on me and thank you all for being merciful (I’m sure you’re more merciful than those who threw the water bombs with such glee!)
When I began the day, I knew that I’d write about Pierce tonight and I’m glad I met up with JH tonight; and as I shared with Him what God had done in Pierce, it helped me to consolidate my thoughts into bite-sized chunks. (I actually wrote a really long reflection on my mobile, but I think I’ll just can that for this instead.)
In no order of importance or significance, more like a what-comes-to-mind-first:
I. The difference between this awesome youth camp and the last awesome youth camp (Dream-makers) in R-AGE was the God-factor; what sets Pierce apart from the other events that I’ve been a part of over the last decade (and trust me, I’ve been part of a lot) is that God visited us in a progressively tangible manner with each passing hour. It is in the presence of God that our lives are changed and the presence of God was so strong in this camp that it was un-mistakable and un-manufacturable.
II. The youths rose to take ownership of the youth group. I smiled the widest during two particular moments; firstly, when I saw cell kids approaching cell mentors at the altar call to take turns to pray for them – forget about hierarchy or maturity, they just wanted to minister to their brothers and sisters! Next, when JN, TT, SY and LW approached me for a five-minute interval to teach the campers an R-AGE cheer which they had created themselves – that to me was “youths leading youths”. To these two items I’d say, “Outstanding and well done, R-AGE, keep it up!”
III. For me, there were two events that really galvanised the ministry. Even though we had already expected the youths to gang up on the committee during the war game, I felt that there was a spiritual significance behind that epic rallying of all the campers – I’d say this carelessly, but I think there’s something prophetic about that act of coming together for the same common purpose (of mercilessly destroying us). The other activity that, hopefully, would stick in the campers’ head for a long time to come would no doubt be the Midnight Workout and how they earned their camp t-shirt – it taught them about sticking together, no matter what, whatever it takes. I’m confident these two programmes brought our unity and togetherness to new heights. May it drive commitment to the youth group into their hearts.
IV. When you are surrounded by an outstanding team of Generals and Knights, you can’t help but to rejoice with them when you see them rise up to take the mantle of leadership and exhibit the qualities of excellence, passion, initiative, dedication and commitment. On paper, I already knew that my committee would make an amazing team and when execution took place, it confirmed their ability to deliver. I deliberately gave them autonomy and they reveled in it. Well done!
V. I had never in my wildest dreams expected Be a Barney to take off like that. When we printed about 400 cards, we thought it’d be just about right, and that we’d actually have a few leftovers for ourselves to bring home as keepsakes. I think it was just after dinner on the second day that EL reported the crisis to me, “Joey! We have no more Barney cards!” I smiled and thanked the Lord for how the campers really caught the Barnabas’ spirit of encouragement! They’re still at it now, I believe!
VI. Here’s some trivia for you – Plug & Play was actually an idea which I had wanted to implement in R-AGE way back in 2005 (I still have the meeting minutes!). It remained dormant for years until I identified the hidden potential in NC to “take over” it and take it forward. She took a good six months to say “Yes” to my invitation and it was my personal delight to see her execute the inaugural Plug & Play on the first evening. I was convinced there and then that there was no one except her who could pull it off in that manner and magnitude. She far exceeded my expectations and everything I had hoped Plug & Play would turn out to be; she basically took it and made it her own, and I’m sure she’d soar with it now.
VII. With every camp or retreat, and yes, I do mean every, there will always be hype at the end of it – there is no exception for Pierce. However, while it’s only been two weeks since Pierce concluded, I’ve already seen noticeable changes in R-AGE @ GII’s culture, both in and out of services and cells. It’s as if the youths finally realised that they could actually have so much fun, actually enjoy worshipping God, actually engage with sermons, actually pray for one another in such a manner and actually relate with one another with such kinship. Pierce somehow became a point of activation for the youths to actualise what they’ve always had. I remember telling JH that it’s not as if we went “higher from being already high”, but that we went from “zero into one”. Something just clicked and we never had that!
VIII. I am seriously considering publishing the evaluation forms for they will be a great source of encouragement for anyone who reads it. What encouraged me most was how a great number of youths indicated their interests to serve in R-AGE – as CMs, emcees, ushers and just about anything – simply because they want to contribute to the ministry and be a part of its growth!
IX. At the close of the first day, I had an opportunity to catch up with DL and she, very excitedly, shared her Dream-makers experience with me – she still kept Angel & Mortal notes from that camp in her Bible and she still remembered all the different activities and lessons, especially the one where we tortured the leaders. There and then, the Spirit reminded me of the potential of Pierce and that its impact and effect would continue to be felt a decade later. It has been my prayer and desire that this camp creates a mark in R-AGE @ GII’s journey to fulfilling God’s destiny. I believe and I confidently declare that, by faith, we will achieve our destiny in God!
X. Last but not least, Pierce seriously affirmed my full-time calling 1) with youths, 2) at Grace Assembly, 3) in R-AGE. I am immensely grateful to God for His faithfulness in my life and it gives me great courage in the coming days!
All right, I know the past few entries have been really long and grandfather-ish, but please bear with me for I already know what I am going to write about tomorrow and for the next couple of days and they sure look like they’ll be lengthy entries too!
Posted on June 29, 2010, in A Walk To Remember, Affirming Faithfulness, Extraordinary Mundane, Forever Young, Heart Upon Sleeve, In Your Face, Leadership Lessons, Previews & Reviews, Quote & Unquote, Retrospective Reflections, Simple Pleasures, Spontaneous Conversations, Top Ten & Other Lists and tagged activation, actualisation, Barnabas, Be a Barney, camp t-shirt, cheer, Chia Jenn Hui, come together, commitment, committee, common purpose, culture, Dawn Lim, destiny, Dream-makers, encourage, encouragement cards, evaluation form, full-time calling, galvanise, God, God's faithfulness, God-factor, Grace Ass, Holy Spirit, Joshua Ng, Lucas Won, mantle of leadership, ministry, Natalina Chan, ownership, Pierce, Plug & Play, potential, praise and worship, pray, presence of God, R-AGE, R-AGE @ GII, relationship, Shavinn Yeo, sticking together, Tiffany Tay, youth group, youth ministry, youths leading youths. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
joey! thanks for your comment :) God has been teaching me so much throughout the past year & summer. i am trying my best to make the most of all of it. and yes if i go to singapore at anytime in the next few years (pretty likely actually. haha) i will definitely contact you and huiyi! two of the seniors in my college fellowship that just graduated (and that i reallyyy look up to) are actually returning to singapore to work! what church do you go to there? their names are karen tay and kenneth tay, it would be really cool if you guys ran into each other :D
also, THIS ENTRY IS SO INSPIRING AND ENCOURAGING. i’m excited for your youth group and i don’t even know them. God has given you such a huge gift for young people! we all felt it in shanghai and now it’s great to hear about how you’re serving with all your heart over in singapore :)
hey alice! it’s always good to hear from you. am delighted, really, that you’re exposing your mind and widening your lenses to view the world. may God use it for His glory! how are you? do you still serve in church over in princeton? yes, please contact huiyi and i if you do swing by singapore! i’d love to bring you to my youth group and introduce you to my leaders like how i introduced bock when he was here. (: i attend grace assembly of God and the name of my youth group is called R-AGE (redeeming a generation for eternity). hehe. i’m glad that my previous entry encouraged you! thanks for partaking in the victories of the youth camp! i’m pretty sure you’d have enjoyed Pierce too if you were there! (i still fondly recall how SOAR does O PRAISE HIM… and that piano intro!!! hahaha…) God is good indeed for giving me an opportunity to spill my heart both in shanghai and singapore! miss you alice! (: