Pastoral 2015

Testimonies of Church Camp 2015 - II

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 28 June 2015

Print

Diana Chan

Ithank God for a very blessed Church Camp with rich spiritual feeding of God’s Word, as well as for safety, strength and protection. Thank God for our camp speakers (our pastor, Rev Prabhudas Koshy, and Rev Tan Kian Sing), for Elder Ng and the Camp Committee, games organisers, preachers, pianists, AV team, JW committee, Elder Eliezer and Sis Arlaine, Preacher Edsel and all the brethren who served in other ways. Praise God for all their labour of love for the Camp.

Thank God for the many valuable lessons which I have learnt from the Morning Devotions, Prayer Meetings, video clips on the mission trips to Cebu / Pangasinan and other parts of the Philippines, as well as the Question-and-Answer sessions.

Praise God for the preaching of God’s Word on the theme, “Have Faith in God”. Pastor Koshy and Rev Tan laboured to bring us the messages which were very soul-searching, causing me to examine my heart and pray. Here are some pointed admonitions:

  1. “…children in whom is no faith” (Deut 32:20). My heart was pricked, when I heard that the verse was a lamentation from God. I pray that God will not lament over our faith. May He find us faithful, “children in whom is faith”.
  2. “…I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal” (Hosea 2:8). I asked myself: with the blessings and provisions God has given, for whom did I prepare them, especially when our church is praying for the Church Building Fund? May the Lord be pleased to make me a vessel unto honour in this project.
  3. “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). Pastor Koshy asked us whether we were real “Israel”, whether we were real Gethsemaneans. I pray that God will be merciful and gracious to all of us in Gethsemane B-P Church that we are “all Israel”.
  4. “…faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Rev Tan shared with us the need to work out our faith, citing the examples of Abraham and Rahab. He used two criteria to help us examine that our faith is a living faith –
    • it benefits men; and
    • it submits to the will of God.

May the Lord help us to have true and living faith. Amen.

 

Aron Ong

This, being my first church camp as a married man, I thank God for enabling my wife Shan to come as well, which is incidentally her first Gethsemane Church Camp. He has seen us through our individual peculiar difficulties at work in the few weeks running up to the camp, and enabled us to come and be focused on the study of His Word.

Thank God for the messages preached on the important and pertinent theme for Christians - “Have Faith in God”. Personally, Wednesday’s evening message on “Faith to Depend upon God” is a sobering one for me. It causes me to think of and examine the activities in my own individual and family life, whether they be of God’s will. It also makes me realise that if we live our life in full dependence on God, in accordance with His will for our life, we can have confidence in tomorrow (uncertain though it may be to us). This gives me great assurance as we resume our busy lives back in Singapore and face all our commitments at home, at work, in church, with greater confidence going forward.

A special mention of thanks to Bro Kwan Teng and his team in organising the games, as well as all the preparatory planning and even late nights spent before the camp. It was a time of fun and interaction among one another. We got to see a different (and less serious) side of people during the games. Personally, I was pretty amused by the intense and competitive spirit of some players in our games group.

Thank God for the Church Camp!

 

Shan

This is not only my first Gethsemane Church Camp, it is also my first church camp after coming over to Singapore. So I was looking forward to experience what it would be like. This is a lot more luxurious than the church camps that I have been used to in Australia, which are held in campsites where we sleep in freezing cold dormitory-style rooms with squeaky bunk beds. Thank God for the comfortable environment we have here. Physically speaking, we have been well-fed and have profited from the games and exercise, albeit little compared with the spiritual meat which have been fed to us. It is not always easy to take the spiritual meat, especially when the Scriptures and the preaching prick and convict my heart. Yet I am so thankful that day by day, God’s Word continues to instruct, rebuke and correct me.

I have been deeply moved by Rev Tan’s life example and testimony, where the faith of his family is being exercised daily for the past 18 years. It is a fine example of God’s power and God’s promises fulfilled in action.

One verse that stirs my heart was Romans 10:21 – “...All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” The longsuffering and mercy of the Lord is so great indeed. How long will we make Him wait while we live in disobedience and non-compliance? It causes me to think what kind of faith I had. If my faith can be measured as water in a glass, is it full, half-full, or close to empty?

In the last day’s message, I’m thankful that Pastor ran overtime as he laboured to finish delivering all that he had prepared in his message. For how can we finish learning about having faith in God? In that message, Abraham’s faith in God led him to abandon all that he loved, even his own son. Faith leads us to the untried and the unknown, but it is not without absolute substance and undeniable evidence (Hebrews 11:1). I was deeply encouraged by Jesus’ words on having faith. Even if it is as small as a grain of mustard seed, how powerful it can be, because it is the work of God and not our work.

Thank God also for a blessed time of fellowship and getting to know more of our church brethren a bit better during this camp. Praise the Lord for this Church Camp!

 

Jenice Choy

Praise the Lord for His marvellous provision for this year’s church camp! Thank God for a blessed time of feasting on God’s Word, as well as warm fellowship with like-minded brethren in Christ! The theme, “Have Faith in God”, has certainly been a timely reminder for us to trust in God’s sovereign and perfect will for our lives. Truly, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). We need faith to “endure trials”, to “do good works”, to “depend on God”, and to “patiently wait for Christ’s return”.

May we exercise more faith in our faithful God who never fails to keep His promises. Mal. 3:10 says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” May the Lord find us faithful, and may we all occupy till He comes!

 

Dorcas Koshy

I praise and thank God for the opportunity and provision for my family and me to attend this year’s church camp. Praise God for the reminder that my faith (which is based on the oracles of God) must abound, be continuous, and follow the beautiful feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace. I pray that I will submissively obey God, suppress my self-will, and seek ways and means to provide practical help to those in need, lest my faith be without works and thus be dead. All glory be to Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour!

 

Amanda Tan

I want to thank the Lord for enabling me to attend the church camp this year. Initially, I thought I would not be going as I had school and other commitments that fell on the same week as the camp. However, as I was eventually able to shift all of that to the following week, I thought of going to the camp. But a week before the camp, I fell sick and had a high fever that lasted for a few days. So I’d like to thank the Lord for being gracious unto me and healing me of my illness so that I was able to enjoy the camp. Thank God also for the fellowship that I had with the brethren, for the messages that were preached throughout the camp, and also for the efforts that the camp committee had put into the camp. All praise be unto His name!

 

Lim Hua See

Ithank God for the many lessons I have been taught through the camp, which applied to me in no small way.

Firstly, thank God for working upon me even prior to the camp. In deciding whether to go or not, God proved Himself to be the Provider of all things. Furthermore, through His Word, He had shown me my desperate need to have faith in Him. Also, through the prompting and good example of brethren, I was encouraged to go.

James 1:2 teaches us to be joyful when we “fall into divers temptations”. This is possible only through faith. Many things can take away our joy in the Lord; in my case, I think the most plaguing problem for me is my “own understanding” (Prov 3:5). Oftentimes I would fret when things look impossible and beyond my mind’s comprehension, which cause me much struggle and anguish; consequently, there is no peace in my heart and joy fades away from me.

One lesson that struck me is the call to be confident in things unlikely or seemingly impossible, as manifested in a living faith which does “good works” that benefit man and glorifies God. For come what may, God who calls us will lead us and will never leave us to struggle alone. If we just look up to God and allow Him to lift us above our trials and temptations, we will surely be able to see His tender mercies and rejoice in Him always, realising that “He that spared not his own Son” shall “freely give us all things”.

Lastly, thank God for giving us His Word accompanied with the gift of faith, and His Spirit to teach us so that we may discern and abide in the will of God. Therefore in times when my faith is weak, by His grace, I will not fail. Amen.

 

Aileen Tan

With a grateful heart to God for enabling me to attend Church Camp 2015, I thank God for precious lessons learnt on the theme, “Have Faith in God”. I’ve learnt much from the six sermons by Pastor Koshy and the nightly messages by Rev Tan Kian Sing, as well as the morning devotions by Preachers Dennis, Kelvin, Jeremiah and Andrew.

2 questions by Pastor in the opening sermon “pricked” my heart deeply – “What is the state of my faith?” and “Do I have genuine faith?” This awakened me to search myself and I learn to beware of these errors -

In Pastor’s sixth sermon, he reminded us of our daily spiritual responsibility: a believer’s life is an open book for people around him to see how his faith is growing. This is a timely reminder for me to be a good daily testimony for God. May the Lord help me to grow in my faith in Him.

Thank God for the labour of Elder Ng, our Camp Master, and his camp committee. This year, I also thank God for blessing us with the participation of new brethren in our midst. We hope they all feel welcome in this camp and find joy in worshipping with us in our church. All glory to God!

 

Arnold Diaz

I thank God for giving me the boldness and words in expressing my thoughts to praise His Name.

In this church camp, when Rev Tan Kian Sing testified of his family’s trust in the Lord concerning their struggles with the health problems of their daughter Faith, God brought to my memory His goodness towards me in my own difficulties. When I lost my first job after coming to Singapore, I became very anxious and troubled. A brother then encouraged me, “Brother, one day is long enough for the Lord to give you a job. Just pray and commit everything to Him.” I praise God that after one week, I found a job.

We also heard Pastor preaching on ‘Perils of Lack of Faith’. When he started enumerating the perils one by one - worry, anxiety, fearfulness, doubt, failure to discern God’s will and failure in spiritual battles, I felt that all of those perils are present in me. That’s why my faith is very weak. But when he said that ‘by faith you can conquer the mountains’, it really stirred me to consider the greatness of our Lord - how He raised the dead Lazarus from the grave, how He stilled the raging waves, how He turned the water into wine, etc. I praise God for bringing me to the camp to hear all the messages on faith.

Now, in the church, Pastor mentioned to us about the building fund of 5 million dollars by the end of 2015. We still haven’t reached even 1 million. As human as I am, I thought to myself that it’s impossible to reach this goal. May God forgive us for our lack of faith; we have been hearing all these things, and also many testimonies of God’s goodness in Pastor’s life and ministry, yet we doubt. May He strengthen my faith and cause me to doubt no more. In the spirit of the brother who had earlier encouraged me, I like to say: “One day is long enough for the Lord to give us 5 million!”

 

Kenneth Wong

Our family would like to praise and thank God for the gracious provision (through the church) for us to attend this year’s Church Camp. During one of our family morning devotions in the camp, we read from Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

Truly, how we have ‘tasted’ God’s goodness during and even before the camp. Thank God for Pastor and Church Session who had enabled us to come. During the camp, we were fed physically by the sumptuous spread during meal times, and spiritually through the faithful preaching of God’s Word. We ‘saw’ that our faith in this world is a journey filled with perils and promises; as such, we are to have faith in God through our trials and to depend on Him daily.

Personally, I am challenged to grow and be led from ‘faith to faith’, increasing and progressing ‘day by day’. As a family, we are to continue to serve Him faithfully. I ‘saw’ the faith in God through the “cloud of godly witnesses” in the biblical characters, as well as in our pastor and Rev Tan. Undeniably, they are living examples of the blessedness of a man whose faith is in Him and Him alone. Most importantly, they had pointed us to the Word of God and Christ, the Perfect Example who is our guide and hope. All glory be to God!