Youth in Focus

Drawing near to God

May 2012    

“DRAW NEAR TO GOD and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) is is the verse that best summarises my experience in Trackers. As I committed these three months to God, He showed Himself to me in a powerful and personal way.

The diverse lecture topics, which ranged from church history to social justice and even what the Bible says about contemporary issues like Boy-Girl Relationships (BGR) engaged me on many levels. My misconceptions of a performance-based Christianity were cleared up, my righteous standing in Christ was confirmed and my interest in the Bible was nurtured.

The sessions that exposed us to hearing God’s voice also aided me in seeking God’s Will for my life. I was convicted of my calling in the environmental field through a vision in a session on “Power and Presence” that exposed me to the charismatic elements of Methodism.

The mission trip phase gave me the opportunity to apply in practice the lessons I learnt hitherto. My team, which consisted of seven other youth and two mentors, collaborated with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) staff in Manila and helped in mercy work through their tuberculosis and day-care ministries as well as a feeding programme for the children living in the slums.

We also collaborated with Oikos Helping Hand to organise a three-day programme for the unschooled children from the slums.

Although I understood poverty as a concept, I could not internalise it as a situation. Witnessing poverty first-hand certainly changed that. e houses I saw at Smokey Mountains were made from corrugated tin and were demarcated simply by uncoiled bed springs. e roads appeared to be made of tar but on closer look, were actually black sediments of decomposed waste accumulated over the years.

I was humbled by the tenacity and contentment of the Filipinos which breathed life into the verses from 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.”

Having the opportunity to intern at my church for the internship phase further prodded me on in my spiritual walk beyond the spiritual high of a mission trip. As I was exposed to the daily realities of ministry back home in Singapore, my spiritual eyes gradually opened to the needs of society and compassion was stirred up within me to meet those needs.

These three months in Trackers were life-changing. I have never been so vulnerable before God, have never cried so much or experienced such joy in my life. My relationship with God has undoubtedly deepened and will only continue to do so with the foundation set by this spiritually enriching programme.

Trackers is a three-month discipleship course for youth in transition, and is held from January to March each year. For more information about Trackers 2013, please contact Truthmin at 6769-5415.

TehYiYing attends Paya Lebar Methodist Church and as part of the Trackers 2012 cohort.

SCHOOLS

First Asian Composers Forum

THE CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF CHRISTIANITY IN ASIA (CSCA) and the Methodist School of Music (MSM) will jointly organise an Asian Composers Forum (ACF) at Trinity eological College (TTC) from May 28 to June 1 this year.

The ACF is a follow-up of the successful Conference on Church Music in South East Asia, organised last June by CSCA. The participants saw a need for Christian composers in Asia to develop a sustained forum for longer-term tasks, and to use such a forum to nurture the next generation of musicians for the churches in Asia.

Professor Loh I-to (CSCA Honorary Fellow) and Ms Judith Mosomos (Lecturer in Church Music, MSM) will co-chair this event. Fifteen composers from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, ailand, Taiwan and Australia will attend this first ACF. ey will be joined by budding composers from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Prof Loh will give a public lecture entitled “Can’t Something Good come out of Asia?” on May 31 at 8 pm in the TTC Multi-purpose Hall. A hymn festival entitled “Come and See” will take place in the TTC Chapel on June 1 at 7.30 pm. All are welcome to these two public events.

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