From the 19th until the 26th of January 2018, the first ever Mission Leaders Training (M.L.T) Camp was held by Malacca-Johore Catholics on Campus (M.J.C.C) at Barre I.J. Centre, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands. This camp was a Training of Trainers for the 10 campus students who would be involved in the mission trips being organised by UTM, UTeM, UTHM and UiTM Pasir Gudang, during their long holiday later in the year. Specifically, we needed to teach the leaders how to facilitate the finalised Mission Bible Study material, the Social Analysis-Theological Reflection and praying over. Sessions were led by Malacca-Johore’s Campus Ministry Officer, Daryl Tan, guest speakers Mr Adrian Pereira and Ms Ann Beatrice from North South Initiative and Mr. Sinappan.
The participants did the ten Bible Studies over the duration of the camp, which progressed from personal growth and reflection to realising their roles as missionary Catholics. The first bible study began with identifying each person’s “Turning Point”, when we made our commitment to be a disciple of Jesus. Other notable studies were “The Grace We Don’t Deserve” and “Ambassadors of Christ”. One Catholic quote that struck us was from Pope Benedict XVI: “The world offer you comfort, but you are not made for comfort, you are made for greatness”. The last couple of Bible Studies explored and guided the macro-structural analysis of the mission and ended with a commitment to accept the Great Commission personally and beyond the experience. Besides the Bible Studies, Daryl Tan, Stefanus Able and Cizrinna explained the need and reason for evangelisation, the role of the leader, the essential structure and attitude; and equipped them to pray over others.
Mr Adrian and Ms Anne shared their views and past experiences how to construct a mission that would leave a lasting impact and benefit to the people and places where we would be going. We went for an exposure to three different situations: two of which were having difficulties in obtaining a home and another is fighting for his right to get certification on his land. These exposures introduced us to their difficulties, understand critical issues involved and identify possible steps that can be done to end and prevent such social injustices. These experiences truly opened up our eyes to what is actually happening in this world. The need to transform and to create a better environment for those in need is something we cannot ignore. One of us summed up our experience well: “By embracing one’s differences and focusing more on humanity, one is able to lower oneself in order to have a better view of other’s way of life and to understand them while maintaining good virtues just like Jesus did as He lowered Himself lowest among the lowly.”
Later, Mr Sinappan taught us how to debrief a mission through a theological approach. This session was particularly interesting as he explored how the cultural narrative of Jesus’s time affected how Jesus conducted His mission. Mr Sinappan also shared on its resemblance to the situation in the current world and how it should shape our approach on how missions are done. A final thought on the session was the importance of seeing the bigger picture when on mission thus being able to serve the mission places in a more long term manner.
Eva Glen Robert from UiTM Pasir Gudang gave her assessment of the entire camp: “M.L.T. gave a great impact to me as a “mission leader to be”. The guest speakers have supplied us examples and ideas on how to manage our future mission trip better. The exposure sessions also made me realise that, as a Christian, we should not just focus on helping them who have same beliefs as us but, we should also be open to serve everyone even if they are non-Christians”