We thank God for His blessings upon our recently-concluded 18th Annual Camp at Hotel Puri, Melaka. A total of forty brethren (including 22 from Calvary Jaya Youth Fellowship) attended the Camp from 4th – 7th December.
Our speaker, Pr Joshua Yong, spoke on the theme, “The Christian in Complete Armour” based on Ephesians 6: 10-18.
In his introduction, Pr Joshua drew our attention to the similarities between Ephesus and our modern cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Located at the crossroads of trading routes, Ephesus was a cosmopolitan city. A busy port of call and a prominent commercial centre, it attracted people of various nations and cultures seeking to take advantage of her growing prosperity. Moreover, the huge temple of their goddess, Diana, which stood outside the city walls drew many to indulge in idolatrous and sensual practices.
Believers living in a thriving community like Ephesus would struggle to resist these worldly influences or a life of ease and affluence. As such, the apostle Paul warned the Ephesian Christians not to be complacent as they were embroiled in a dangerous spiritual warfare: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6: 12).
Paul’s warning is a reminder to us as believers today. Our enemy, Satan, the devil himself, is an invisible and dangerous foe who steals upon us subtly and beguiles us with his cunning devices.
In Ephesians 2: 2, Satan is aptly called, “the prince of the power of the air”, and “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” This means that he will use non-believers as his instruments of evil to lure Christians into sin. As God’s children, we must be alert to the devil and his malicious ways. The apostle Peter warned us to be sober and vigilant “because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5: 8).
We thank God that He has given us His complete armour that will not only equip us for the battle, but will also assure us of victory. Our speaker highlighted the relevance of each piece of armoury and its specific usage against the wiles of the devil – “the belt of truth”, “the breastplate of righteousness”, “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace”, “the shield of faith”, “the helmet of salvation” and “the sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6: 14-17).
We ought to arm ourselves fully for the bitter conflicts with the devil and the powers of darkness by putting on “the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6: 11). Let us put into practice what we have learnt at the Camp. May we be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (Jas. 1: 22).
Wishing all a Blessed and Joyous New Year!
TESTIMONY: BERITH'S 18TH ANNUAL CAMP
I thank God for seeing us through yet another church camp; more specifically, Berith’s 18th Annual Camp. As always, He has been gracious in keeping us from harm and danger, and blessed us with favourable weather throughout the four days, so we were able to enjoy our leisure time.
Our message theme for this year was “The Christian in Complete Armour”. We were privileged to have Pr Joshua Yong to speak to us. The introductory message was an exhortation for us as Christians to “be strong in the Lord” (Eph. 6: 10). This requires that we draw our strength from the Lord our God, and not from ourselves.
However, having this knowledge does not give us an excuse to be lazy, as we are then commanded to “put on the whole armour of God” (v. 11) not just one or two parts of it, but the full set of armour. An apt way to describe this complete armour is “panoply”, a word introduced by our speaker. This is crucial for we are fighting a spiritual warfare against the devil and his demons, and not merely mortal men.
The following six messages then helped us to better understand how and why we are to equip ourselves with each individual part of the armour. The complementary workshop questions enabled us to discuss the challenges we faced in our daily lives and how we could apply the lessons practically to these Christian struggles. I am thankful that some of these questions got us to reflect on how our walk with God has been. I pray that the Lord will renew our zeal and increase our love toward Him.
We also thank God for the children who attended this camp – for Rachel and for Chloe (who joined us for the first time at camp). Thank God also for the opportunity given to Sister Charyhon and me to be part of the children’s programme. I pray that our short devotions on “The Ant” (Prov. 6: 6) and “Discretion” (Prov. 3: 21-23) will go a long way in their young lives.
Last but not least, it was a joy to see our Calvary Jaya brethren again and to have fellowship with them over breakfast, and during our free-time and ice-breaker games. They were kind as always, taking the initiative again to organise a fellowship dinner. Though it was a little rushed, I thank God for the provision of a venue near the hotel that was able to accommodate all forty of us.
All praise to the Lord for seeing us through our 18th Annual Camp. We are thankful for God’s grace in giving us a meaningful time of learning and fellowship.
May the Lord continue to keep us faithful and sustain us in good health that we may all look forward to, and once again attend the church camp, God-willing in 2018.
Bro Kelvin Li