Camp attendees praying and praising God. Photo by Priscilla Lim

SINGAPORE – When you’re able to accept your own weaknesses and to do the things that are pleasing to Christ, you’re effectively building up a positive and healthy self-image in Christ.

And that’s what the Youth Explode Camp 2010 tried to teach some 17 youths, both Catholic and non-believers.

The camp, which took place from Jun 11-13, was organised by Clouds of Praise, a “Catholic Bilingual Evangelical Music Ministry” affiliated to Blessed Sacrament Church and Sacred Heart Fathers.

Aside from talks, the camp activities included Sunday Mass, outdoor games as well as morning and night prayers that helped to introduce Christ to the youths as their Saviour, healer and friend.

Clouds of Praise founder and pastoral director, Bernard Lim, gave several talks aimed at instilling self-confidence in the youths, some of whom he noted had expressed self-doubts during the group sharing sessions after failing to meet their parents’ expectations.

Mr Lim told the youth that while the camp was a one-off event, it was the start of their personal faith development. Specifically, he hopes that the youth will join the “budding group”, a Small-Christian Community where young people gather on Tuesdays and Saturdays for bible study, prayer and fellowship.

Mr Lim said he was heartened by the positive response of non-Christian participants, who were seen taking notes during the talks. Four attended the recent camp and are friends or relatives of youths who are part of Clouds of Praise.

On the other hand, Mr Lim noted that some Catholic youths initially appeared to be a little disinterested with an air of “I know it all, been there, done that”. However, they too gradually warmed up and participated actively in the activities.

Loo Sining, 14, a non-believer, described the camp as “peaceful, fun and enjoyable”, allowing her to cast aside her problems and helping her understand God.

Ms Loo said she learnt that everyone is precious in God’s eyes. She added: “I have also learnt that Jesus will save us from the evil of sin. We don’t need to feel inferior, inadequate or fearful. Instead, we will increase in knowledge and wisdom.”

It is non-believers such as Ms Loo that Mr Lim hopes to see eventually catechised and received into the Catholic Church.

The camp was held at the Clouds of Praise’s premises in a rented shop house in Hong Kong Street near Clarke Quay. The group aims to nurture and build the younger generation in Christ’s likeness with a firm grounding in the Bible, so as to be able to evangelise others.

By Darren Boon
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