PAPAR – The Chinese Sunday School pre-Confirmation class of Sacred Heart Cathedral Kota Kinabalu organised a Life in the Spirit (LSS) Camp for the students on 29 Apr – 1 May 2017 at Pace Bene Retreat Centre here.
The participants included 32 students, seven teachers and teacher-helpers. The camp was facilitated by the cathedral’s Young Adults Prayer Group. At the camp, the students learnt about God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Although it was a Chinese pre-confirmation class, the camp was conducted in English, with translations where needed. It was a great experience and opportunity for the students to encounter other youths outside their normal activities.
At first, it was slightly worrying whether the students would be able to understand English. But after a game called Captain Ball where they learned teamwork, the relationship between the facilitators and the participants took off and progressed.
The ministry session (praying over) was a new and different experience for many of the participants since they have no experience of it before. Many were confused at first, but as it continued, they soon learnt what it was.
They learned about God’s love, and experienced it, as well as His mercy and forgiveness, which moved them to tears. Many were amazed at how the Word of God spoke Truth to them.
The sessions helped the participants to connect from within, such as the parable of the Prodigal Son, a short video clip When God Ran, and topics such as Who is God?, Who is Jesus? and Sin and Salvation. This led many to recognise their unhappiness, bondage, grief and a need for forgiveness.
The participants also learnt about the Holy Spirit according to the Bible. They were given the opportunities to ask questions, such as, How does Holy Spirit look like?, Is Holy Spirit a guy or a girl? After the talk, the participants were led to an experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit in which they once more experienced the warm love of God.
Aside from the talks, ministry time and Captain Ball, there were also other dynamics such as group sharing, praise and worship, morning and night prayer and Eucharistic Mass. There were games that tested their creativity, alertness, awareness, strategy and planning skills. These different dynamics were important to help the growing of relationships among all, especially among the students themselves.
This was also the first experience for the Young Adult Prayer Group to facilitate such a camp for the Chinese-speaking group. Many admitted that they are being called out of their comfort zone and to be more flexible. Language was the main barrier but it did not stop them from loving and nurturing the young participants. Despite the language barrier, they have experienced the joy of being led by God to walk in deeper trust in Him. – Natasha Jaya Kumar