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Pastoral 2016

Youth Camp 2015 Testimonies

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Dorcas Koshy (from Singapore)

Praise God for this youth camp; it was a rare opportunity of a lifetime to be so thoroughly girded with the armour of truth against the onslaughts of the wicked one. Every sermon was so filled with the richness of the truth of God’s Word that I will fail to recount all the wonderful lessons learnt out of His clear Word.

During the opening sermon on “Worldliness and its Dangers”, one of my greatest fears was addressed - the fear that I may return to the sins of my pre-conversion enslavement (it is not worthy to be called ‘life’). “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” (2 Peter 2:20). I pray that God will be merciful to me to spare me and help me not to love the world, neither the things that are in the world, lest I be like a dog which turns to its own vomit again!

From the sermon on “Overcoming Pride”, we were warned against the devil, the author of pride. He uses our wealth, talents, successes (sometimes our failures), and even our worship, service and zeal for the LORD to cause us to be proud! He is so disgustingly manipulative and insinuating. It was the cause of his fall from grace. I must not be deceived but rather resist the devil and draw nigh unto God; these are twin commands in James 4:7-8. He showed me what I was lacking to overcome this sin. Our sinless Saviour mourned and wept voluntarily not over His sins, (for behold, sin cannot touch Him), but rather over the sins of mankind. Should it not then behove me to be afflicted, mourn and weep over my sins and the sins of others?

I was blind to the fact that some of my schoolmates were homosexual. I would have been deceived if not for a mutual friend who alerted me by God’s providence and sovereign stirring. I truly thank God for Rev Reggor’s strong sermon on overcoming homosexuality, which has equipped me with the words to speak should I encounter the opportunity to minister to these lost souls. I might be thinking that for now I standeth, but I will take heed lest I fall into the snare of this sin too (1 Corinthians 10:12)!

Praise God for the time to fellowship with the Christian youths from our mission stations. Thank God for the new friends made, especially from the San Antonio branch, as well as the opportunity to hear how they were brought out of Catholicism and their experiences of persecution too. Their godliness and contentment with food and raiment (1 Tim 6:8) have been very encouraging to me and praise God that the Gospel work is indeed not in vain.

 

Keiffer Kessler Mingo (from Cebu)

I  thank God for the wonderful time of fellowship and feeding upon God’s Word in this youth camp. I pray that we would all be vigilant in our walk with Christ, and that we as Christians would walk not in the way of the world, but in the fear of the Lord. I met so many new people and I learned so many spiritual lessons not only from the preachers, but also from the youths through their interactions. Having enjoyed a blessed 5-day camp away from things of the world, I even wished that my life was always like that being always surrounded by God’s people and His Word, not thinking of worldly things. What encouraged me the most was the testimony of many different youths. Even though we have different lives and choices, I can see that their plans were always God-centred. This encourages me to also plan my life by putting God’s will always into my considerations. I hope and pray that the Lord would give us more activities like this and may God bless us all!

 

Kate Alvarez (from San Antonio)

Thank God for His Providence that enables me to join the youth camp, which enables me to see our Gethsemane youths in unity in the LORD. Thank God also for the inspiring and convicting messages which brought revival to me. Truly, I was reminded that as human as we are, we sin and come short of His glory; we can only be saved by His grace. Thank God for all the preachers whom God used to preach His Word to His people.

Through this camp, I learn that in this perishing world, there are many temptations and dangers. Youths must guard against sexual sins, against loving money, against envying things of the world, against ungodly friendships, and against addiction to social media, as they will lead to destruction. God calls us to fight the good fight of faith, deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and appoints us to be overcomers of the world. I have also learned how we must be always tuned in to the things of God and heaven. God’s Word has convicted me to be zealous and share His Gospel with my loved ones and friends who have been walking in darkness. “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:8). In our stand for His truth, God will give us grace and strength if we will look to and call upon Him.

 

Amoz Choy (from Singapore)

It has been a joy to be part of the combined youth camp in Cebu, the Philippines. I have been certainly blessed through the ministry of the Word during this camp. All our missionaries from the Philippines, together with Pastor, Pr Dennis and Pr Andrew laboured in teaching us lessons on the theme, “Overcoming Worldliness”. The stern and bold admonition from the Holy Scriptures has caused me to carefully examine myself. Have I allowed worldliness to creep into my heart? Have I compromised with the world, allowing it to influence my decisions and thoughts?

As youths who face the bombardment of sin’s temptations from the world, it is most important that we make a firm and concerted effort to “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim 2:22). In one of our messages, we were reminded from James 4:7- 8 to ‘resist the devil’ and to ‘draw nigh to God’. How wonderful to know that this command is followed by the sublime promise that the devil ‘will flee from you’ and God ‘will draw nigh unto you’!

The camp has also blessed me with the opportunity to meet and know more about the youths from our mission churches. Their joy in the Lord has encouraged me greatly and may the Lord be pleased to continue to shower spiritual blessings upon our mission churches.

 

Rezeile Ortega (from Cebu)

Thank God for enabling me to attend this combined youth camp. The theme “Overcoming Worldliness” and all of the 10 messages are very timely for the youths today. I know myself that I am guilty especially of social media addiction. I thank God for admonishing us through preachers from Singapore and Philippines so that our eyes may be open and we may realize that we should not be living in worldliness and sin. I pray that all the lessons learnt will be applied in our daily lives. Thank God also for the warm fellowship that I had with like-minded brethren. All glory be to God.

 

Amanda Tan (from Singapore)

Thank God for the many lessons that He has taught me through this camp on the theme, “Overcoming Worldliness”. We should not compromise with the world, which is at the expense of spiritual things. I realise how susceptible we are to the different forms of worldliness. It didn’t take long for me to experience that.

Upon landing in Singapore, I received a message (on my handphone) from the manager at my part-time job, inviting all his workers to a New Year celebration lasting until 1 am. I declined the invitation but my manager kept persuading me to come along, saying that there would be sumptuous food and drinks (including alcoholic drinks, of course!). I then recalled a verse from Rev Reggor’s message on “Overcoming Substance Addiction” – “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). That gave me the resolve to decline the invitation firmly, whereas in the past, I would have compromised, saying, “I’ll consider” or “Maybe”. Hence, I want to thank God for teaching me not to yield to the world, but to take a firm stand against it. May God continue to give me strength, that I may become an overcomer of the world. All glory to God!

 

Jansher Khan (from Australia)

One week before the camp, I fell sick with flu and fever, but thank God He gave me the strength to recover so I could get on the plane and receive God’s blessings through this camp.

Thank God for providing us with shelter, food and water throughout the camp. I am very grateful to everyone involved in organising this camp, which must have taken a lot of time and effort. I can’t thank the preachers enough – Bro Andrew, Pr Dennis, Pr Donald, Rev Reggor, Pr Edsel, Eld Eliezer, Eld Richard and Pastor Koshy. They provided so much knowledge from the Word of God (especially concerning the rights and wrongs in this world), and its counsels against worldliness. Truly, as one preacher had put it, “Without God’s counsels, our heart will bring us back into the world”!

“Overcoming Ungodly Friendships” was a message that was very relevant to me as I have friends who are Catholics, atheists and homosexuals. Before becoming a Christian, I was receptive to all types of people and had an “open” heart regardless of their race, religion, gender. I feel uneasy crossing out the friendships just because they are of different religion or if they are homosexuals. Am I not guilty of discrimination if I treat them differently? Should I try to change them and if so, how do I change them? These issues were troubling me. Through this camp, I realise that friendship must be a godly one, and I must influence friends for Christ and His righteousness, instead of them influencing me with their unbelief and sins.

Overall, I have learnt a lot about the Word of God and drawn closer to God. I have also made some new friends and become closer with the youths of Gethsemane. Can’t wait for the next youth camp!

 

Mary Rose Ocharon (from Bogo)

Thank God for enabling me to listen to His words on how to overcome worldliness, especially overcoming social media addiction. I am now aware of how to deal with it. Thank God also for the good fellowship with brethren from Bohol, Pangasinan, Cebu, and especially youths from Singapore. I am thankful also for how Singaporean friends had previously helped and prayed for my mum’s illness.

My prayer is that all of the youths will stand for the truth of God’s Word and overcome worldliness. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12).

 

Angela Saragena (from San Antonio)

Thank God for this combined youth camp, because the messages had reminded me to shun away from worldliness and all the works of the devil. I know I am prone to being “connected” with the world and the things thereof. Through God’s working, I now realize that I made myself vulnerable by allowing my ungodly friends to influence me to succumb to worldly activities. Indeed, as Romans 7:19 says, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” I know I had failed miserably in the past. These messages have strengthened me on ways a Christian youth should take to handle (and even avoid) varied worldly circumstances that will lure us onto the wrong steps. I should be cautious and mindful of the dangers the world has laid. God’s words are my whole armour for this battle I am facing, according to Ephesians 6:13.

It is heartwarming to receive the joy of fellowship God’s children can extend. It is very visible that lives being well spent in God’s plan will always bring forth genuine happiness which the things of the world cannot offer. I am also very moved and encouraged to see church leaders and youths, especially from Singapore, fully submitting themselves to serve God with much joy and gladness in their hearts, being committed to God’s Word in their life. May our Almighty God give me the strength to be and do the same, with all my might for His glory. Help me, O Lord, to be an overcomer of worldliness! “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

 

Glenda Saragena (from San Antonio)

Thank God for His provision and for enabling me to attend the youth camp – not only to have fellowship with other youths in Singapore, Cebu, Pangasinan and Bohol, but most importantly, to hear His Word. God’s Word has taught me how to overcome worldliness, which can destroy us and damage our body. Truly, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15b). Therefore, we must be overcomers of the world!

 

Titus Ho (from Singapore)

Thank God for His provision that enabled me to attend this year’s youth camp, which was truly a great opportunity and challenge for me. This is my first youth camp and also my first time going overseas without my parents. Despite some problems at the Cebu immigration office, I thank the Lord for seeing me through.

Thank God for the camp theme on “Overcoming Worldliness”, and the preachers who ministered God’s Word to the youths. I have been taught many pertinent things. Firstly, on “Overcoming Ungodly Friendships”, I learn that having a godly friendship will encourage us to provoke one another in Christ to serve the Lord even more. On the topic of “Overcoming Pride”, I learn that the remedy for pride is to humble myself before the Lord, acknowledge my sins and be willing to change. Furthermore, on “Overcoming Social Media Addiction”, I have been taught that social media can be abused. The dangers in social media are lurking “in ambush, waiting for the right time to strike!” Hence, we should not spend too much time on social media, but instead redeem this time as a faithful steward to serve the Lord.

Thank God also for giving me good roommates who made me feel accepted and willingly lent me a listening ear when needed. I am grateful for this chance to interact and enjoy good fellowship with Christian youths from the Philippines and Korea. Not forgetting the youth committee, their labour of love is indeed instrumental in making this youth camp a fruitful and enjoyable one for the youths.

To God be the glory!

 

Louie Ngojo (from San Antonio)

Thank God for the committee which organised this camp and all the preachers who taught us on the theme, “Overcoming Worldliness ”. Praise God also for His blessings to us youths in Bogo and San Antonio through this camp, including providing for our camp fees. How compassionate the Lord is!

I received rebuke from God’s Word, feeling intense guilt when the preaching exposed my enslavement to worldliness, especially the message on “Overcoming Homosexuality” by Rev Reggor. Living in homosexual sin is an abomination to God and disqualifies people from God’s kingdom. I had unfortunately chosen to be a gay in the past, through weird worldly notions that I imbibed. But thank God His Word reached me and delivered me from that horrible bondage. Though I became a Christian through the late Pr Dominino and received much fervent teachings from him, I lived a life full of deceptions because of my misunderstanding of God’s Word. I took it lightly that God loves me, and will always accept me as I am. It is only by His mercy and through this privilege of joining the youth camp that I have a clearer view of how I should behave according to His Word. I cannot take His words lightly. Yes, God loves me but He will not tolerate my sins! As Pastor Reggor mentioned, being sober concerning the Word is not just about reading and knowing the Word, but about submitting yourself fully unto God’s Word and walking His way.

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of the God?” (1 John 5:4-5). Praise be unto the Lord!

 

Pastoral Exhortation