From the 3rd to the 5th of October, the Melaka-Johor Diocese campus students gathered in MAJODI Centre for Southern Syiok 2014 with the theme ‘Wake Up Ambassador of Christ Are You Ready?’ This gathering saw an increase in the number of participants from the last one in 2012 to 230 students, who came from about 20 institutions of higher education. Some participants came from as far as Kuantan and Terengganu, from other Christian denominations and from the Working Adults Ministry.
The first day saw the arrival of the participants and the Opening Mass celebrated by Bishop Paul Tan and Deacon Adrian Ng
“How many of you are in a relationship?” Deacon asked the crowd
Less than ten hands went up
“How many of you are in a relationship with Jesus?’ Deacon asked again
All the hands went up
“So how come you didn’t raise up your hands earlier?”
After laying down the importance of a relationship with Christ, Deacon went on to introduce the focus of the camp: the Church’s understanding of marriage & sexuality. Nowadays most of our campus students are struggling in areas of sexual morality, boy and girl relationships, pornography, abortion and homosexuality. It was time to give all the participants a wake-up call to face their struggle instead of ignoring it.
The speakers for the camp, Pius Kallang, Gregory Pravin Rajah, Carol Fernandez and Pastor Edmund Smith, shared on chastity, homosexuality and relationships in both Bahasa Malaysia and English. The call to ‘Wake up’ took its cue from the Asian Youth Day theme and excerpts of Pope Francis’ speech in Korea were shown during the camp. Some found the session where the boys and girls were separated, to be really good as it addressed their particular concerns. Others found Gregory’s presentation to be the moment of awakening.
Short video presentations relating to the topic of sexuality was projected during the break times. In the evening, all the participants were divided into groups for station games around MAJODI Centre.
Throughout the camp, various CSS took turns to lead Praise & Worship. The Inner Healing prayer time conducted by Father Valentine on the second night was very meaningful for many as they let go of family-related hurts. During Adoration, the participants were encouraged to step up and pray for various needs interspersed with the Taize refrain ‘O Lord Hear My Prayer’. It was a beautiful scene to see the participants silently praying in front of the Eucharist. Morning Prayer on both mornings was ‘Lectio Divina’ followed by sharing. ‘Morning prayer was the most memorable part of the camp as I had the chance to meet people and more importantly I can share my story in Christ with them and vice versa’ said one participant. The Sacrament of Confession was also offered on the third day before the closing Mass which was celebrated by Father Valentine.
The campus students then went forth from the camp as ambassadors of Christ ready to be salt of the earth and light of the world and awaiting the next Southern Syiok!