Young Leaders Development Program (YLDP) Testimonies

Testimony 1  (Wei Zheng) :
“Jit Pang!” “I will rearrange your face!” These were probably the lines being repeated the most throughout the whole of YLDP 2012 camp. But surely, these are not the only things campers brought home from the five days they spent in CheFoo, Cameron highlands.

I can’t say much about the first day of camp, simply because I wasn’t there!  My arrival at the campsite was delayed by a landslide which resulted in me arriving very late.  However, I would say that every subsequent day got better and better.

Every day, things started with a prayer meeting. This meeting was not compulsory but all campers were encouraged to attend. This was followed by breakfast and worship session. After that, campers were sent to their respective levels; namely (pre-level, level 1, level 2, and level 3); for their sessions. Then there was lunch, team-building activities, dinner and the plenary session by our camp speaker.

Every night, we would have a plenary session where the camp speaker, Jit Pang, would share with us a short message.  He shared about the roadblocks in our lives and removing them, having accountability, caring for your neighbor or community, stepping out for God and taking God seriously.

During the plenary session of the second night, Jit Pang talked about roadblocks in our lives which hinder our walk with God, roadblocks which stop us from being serious with God. We were asked to identify the hindrances in our lives, stop making excuses and don’t hide our pain.

On the third night, the speaker asked all campers to move to one side of the hall and the helpers, full time workers, youth counselors and pastors to the other side of the hall. The campers signify us, all the youths in general, and the helpers signify those full time youth workers, counselors and pastors all across the nation. All campers were encouraged to go thank those helpers who were present for their effort in making this camp possible. This activity reminds us of the sacrifices, contributions and various efforts put in by these people for the youths with only the intention of meaning them well and helping them with their walk with God.

On the last night, the speaker shared with us about his projects and undertakings in the town of Kluang. We were also challenged to make a commitment of taking God seriously and being accountable to someone. This sharing evoked in us of how ungrateful we were and the things we took for granted, such as food on the table every day, a home with water and electricity, the privilege of going to school.

I was taken aback by the experience in the camp as this camp really struck a chord in me. I took time to think, digest, and try to understand fully the message which was being conveyed instead of being rash and riding on the emotions of the camp which; I’m sure many not excluding yours truly; have done so many times in the past.

I thought that the message the speaker tried to convey to us was rather relevant. It mirrors the many struggles we young people encounter when he was talking about the roadblocks in our lives such as past experiences, traumas, troubles, impressions and doubts. This message spoke to me more on the third day of camp when we were having sessions in our respective levels where in level 2, we were talking about spiritual formation. It was then that we were asked to be honest and draw a timeline regarding the significant points in our lives and also a simple picture which depicts the condition of our heart, of what is going on inside our heads. After this simple activity, I realized the significance of the message the night before. Things which may seem small and not worth mentioning actually left impressions in our hearts and in many ways hinder our walk.

Regarding the message on the last night, I was touched as I saw a situation back home which bears much similarity. In youth, we have this chart consisting of the six ministries which we try to reach out to, namely: Boys Brigade, Girls’ Brigade, BM, Chinese, Orang Asli and the Hot Kitchen. The message that night was about caring for your community and loving your neighbor. It struck me then when we were asked about how much we care. How much do we really care about the situation around us? Our neighbors: the people we see every day, every week, by the roadside, the poor, the hungry and the uneducated. Have we stopped by and asked about their lives? Being of capable means, have we helped them in any way? Maybe we can’t help ALL those that are underprivileged, but what about those whom we see in our schools, college, university or even workplace? When that message was being presented, I thought of the chart in youth. The amount of people who wrote their names and commit themselves to help out in the ministries is so scarce, almost next to nothing. What went wrong there? Not only that but how many members of the youth actually went out and help? How many of them actually went for Orang Asli, help out in Hot Kitchen or the many areas where help is sorely lacking?

Then there was also the message about committing ourselves to taking God seriously and being accountable to someone. This is important as we see many people backsliding in their faith. This message not only applies to the youth but also to people of all age groups. We were reminded a few times during that night that when we commit, we must really do it because more often than not, the decision made was based on the heat of the moment and after a while the “feeling” dies off and the commitment was forgotten. We were asked to think carefully before making any sort of commitment. Those who made a commitment that night were asked to be accountable and their names were taken down for further follow up to ensure the commitment was kept. It’s not that commitments are bad, but if we make commitments rashly, we often live to regret it. Maybe it’s not my place to talk about commitments but those are my sincere thoughts.

All in all, I’m very thankful for the opportunity to attend this camp. As a wise man aptly puts it, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. So it is with our walk with God. Did we treat our walk seriously? Care for our neighbors? Are we living each day knowing our identity in Christ and reflecting His goodness? Maybe it’s time we start.

Wei Zheng

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Testimony 2  (Samuel Lau) :
It was a five-day long YLDP camp at Chefoo Cameron Highland.  Weather was cold and windy – makes us young people feel hungry most of the time. But otherwise, the overall environment is near perfect.

Day 1 : We arrived at Chefoo around 4pm, on-board the bus from Trinity Methodist Church PJ.  Nothing much to do on the first day – found out our bedrooms, got our T-shirts, then went for dinner. Plenary for the first day was kind of meaningful as our speaker Jit-Pang talked about his life and his views on Christians’ actions in different aspect of life. As a Christian, are we living like how we are supposed to live? Do we do what we are supposed to do?

Day 2 : Waken up by the other 3 roommates at 6.30am but we took our time to shower. Worship after breakfast makes us all energetic, then followed by the different levels’ lessons.  For me, I am currently at level 2 and the first lesson of level 2 is about maximizing.  We played the life game, made me realize that every decision made in life takes up a lot of time. Our life should be in accordance to God’s will and we should not waste it in whatever way we want.

Team building on the first day is super-tiring as there were 6 stations as 12 groups are competing 1 on 1 on each station, before rotating to different stations.

  • knee ball
  • cooking game (with people splashing water)
  • face to som (“scissors-paper-stone” with face)
  • Humillipede
  • Tug of war

Each of these games have their own meanings.

Then plenary night is basically on what we have done in our walk in God. We have to be honest with ourselves and reflect on what we have done in our life whether it is right or wrong.

Day 3 : Level 2 lesson on the third day is about discipline and also identifying red flags and roadblocks in our life.  Lesson on foundational discipline was also taught. Other than that, spiritual discipline was also being introduced to us.

For the team building, each group had been given a task to design and build a wreath and come up with a skit that includes our camp theme, bible verse (Ephesians 2:10) and all sorts of different random conditions.  Therefore, that very night is “special night” where all teams will present the wreath and perform respective team skit.

Day 4 : Level 2 lesson on the fourth day was on “Media”. We learnt more about our limits with regards to the different aspects of media, as in what are the limitations and when do we tell ourselves that this is not supposed to be watched/read/listened to.  We also learnt about sectarianism and syncretism in life. Choices are always ours to decide, whether we involve ourselves in worldly stuff (syncretism) or isolate ourselves from it (sectarianism). Either way, we have learnt that there are good and bad.

For the team building on the 4th day, it teaches us a lesson that we have to pass down what we achieved to the next generation so that they also may do the same, in order to get a bigger and better result.

Day 5 : Fifth day is our closing day, so there are not many activities we do. However there are some closing challenges for us. We are challenged to change and not to be the same as previously after we finish this camp, we have to strengthen our walk and also put more faith on God.

Samuel Lau

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