Campus Chinese New Year Camp

Since it was Ash Wednesday, the participants started the camp with Mass and fasted on bread and water. Everyday started either with Mass or Bible sharing and prayer as the students learnt lectio divina and imaginative prayer and were encouraged to start the habit of personal prayer time.

The morning sessions focused on evangelisation; the participants were taught how to share their testimony, Biblical reasons for faith in Christ and the Church and how to share the Gospel. ‘This session helped me to strengthen my knowledge especially on why I am a Catholic’ shared Fazzila from Institute Pendidikan Guru Temenggong Ibrahim.

In the afternoon the participants had to choose between two workshops. The first workshop was on the Word (How to lead a Bible sharing, How to study the Bible; and How to Give a Talk) and was facilitated by Youth Minister Pius Kallang. Those who attended this workshop learnt how to do exegesis and research from bible commentaries. It was so engrossing that they complained the 1 ½ hours wasn’t enough.

The other workshop was on apologetics and was noteworthy as it was conducted by two student leaders. Quite a few participants listed this workshop as most memorable as there was much input that equipped them to answer questions from their non-Christian friends from their hostel.

The night sessions were times of prayer and reflection. On the first night, there was Adoration and Inner Healing. On the second night, they were taught how to pray in tongues and over each other. On the last night, we had a Washing of the Feet, Seder Meal followed by the movie Passion of Christ and Adoration to help us remember the sacrifice and love of Christ. Many of the participants also appreciated the silence that helped them to prepare for Confession on the last day.

In the camp’s last session, Sr Susan and Fr Arul shared on Vocations since this was the Year of Consecrated Life. More than 20% of the students later gave feedback that after this camp, they were more open to consider the priesthood and religious life.

The camp also had its lighter moments like games, barbeque, loh yee sang and joining the local parishes for their Chinese New Year celebrations. Nevertheless it was what they learnt that was most memorable. ‘I was introduced to many new things that I had never experienced before’ said Anderson Nopis from Institute Pendidikan Guru Hussein Onn. ‘Learning how to give a talk, a testimony etc is something that will help me for a lifetime’ said Ashley from Politeknik Ibrahim Sultan.