Several Mandarin-speaking young people participated in youth camps earlier this month.
Eighty young people from Singapore and Malacca aged 12 to 21 attended the Camp held by Commission for Apostolate of Mandarin Speaking in Singapore (CAMS) at Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Nativity from Dec 13 to 16.
Forty-four local young people joined their 36 Malaysian counterparts to foster relationships, interaction and mutual learning between the two groups while deepening their own relationship with God.
Touching on one of the camp’s themes on putting one’s heart into action, Fr Peter Zhang spoke about the significance of the Advent season, its themes of hope, peace, joy and love, and how young people can actively participate during the season. He also showed a clip of a modern-day Good Samaritan to link it to the camp’s theme.
Fr Joseph Zhang Liyong spoke on the other theme of awakening and belief, and cited examples such as Abraham, Mother Teresa of Kolkata and St John Vianney on how one can respond to God’s call and live out the faith.
Apart from spiritual talks and activities such as the washing of feet to promote the spirit of service, and Eucharistic adoration, the participants took part in games based on popular television programmes such as a round-the-island Amazing Race and Korea’s Running Man.
Agnes Ng, 17, from Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea told CatholicNews, “What I have learnt from the youth camp is that spiritual life can be very active at a young age. All you need is an open heart and constant guidance from the mature ones.”
Ng also said that although the Malaysian youths were initially shy, they became more outspoken and enthusiastic about the camp after the ice was broken.
Meanwhile 20 teenagers between 13 and 18 years of age from the Legion of Mary participated in a camp from Dec 14 to 18 at Maris Stella High School.
With the theme of Homecoming, the camp hoped to deepen the members spiritually while having fun.
Activities included talks on forgiveness and reconciliation, the values of family, love, peace and harmony, along with reflection, rosary prayers and games.
There was also a campfire held on the second last day of the camp.
Vincent Auyong, 14, from Church of St Michael said he enjoyed the games, and through the quiet time and reflection, learnt more about “love and respect”.
By Darren Boon