We thank God for the Combined B-P Youth Camp on 28-30 Dec 2020. Despite the uncertainties due to the COVID situation and the limitations faced in conducting the event virtually, the 3 day camp ran smoothly with almost 120 campers from 9 B-P churches across various countries.
Through 4 messages by Rev Ho Chee Lai, as well as 3 workshops by Pr Lee Hann Yang and Ps Tan Soon Yong, the campers learnt about their Identity in God, Identity in the world, and Identity in the church. We also conducted physical games in small groups for the campers to fellowship, and a prayer meeting for the churches to encourage and support each other.
Personally, planning this camp has been a humbling experience for me. This was my first time serving in a camp committee, and the first ever online camp we have had. Being faced with challenges such as the short duration to plan the camp and a lack of manpower, it is truly by God’s grace that we were able to bring it to fruition. As I reflect on this camp and the past year, I realise how God has used me, an unworthy vessel, for His purpose, and how much it has been a privilege to serve Him. Amidst the busyness of juggling school with numerous church commitments, and in the many occasions it felt like I was doing this alone, God has been by my side through it all. Indeed, it is God’s strength that is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor 12:9).
This camp has been a timely reminder on how God is so much greater than all the world has to offer, and how I am nothing without Him. There are many times when I am tempted to feel self-sufficient, or times when I am discouraged in my service, and I forget that I am living for Jesus, and doing all things for His glory alone. I am inspired to shine as a brighter light for God both in church and in the world as I live a transformed life and reach out to more people. I am also resolved to seek God more in prayer and in reading His word in 2021.
It has also been encouraging to meet and fellowship with people from other churches during this camp, recognising that we all share a common identity in Christ, and are all part of the same family of God. I am hopeful that we can continue to show this common love for each other in the community, and build each other up even beyond the camp. I also hope that all of us continue to grow or even serve together through the B-P Youth e-ministry (bpilgrims.com) and upcoming combined events.
As we return to our daily lives, it is my prayer that the youth across the various churches will not merely have a “spiritual high”, but that they will be reignited in their first love for Christ, so that they may boldly show forth their Christian identity, and grow to become an unstoppable force for God’s kingdom in the year ahead.
– Daniel Tan (Life BPC)
I had been aware of Combined BP Youth Camp 2020 rather early on. This was partially due to its association with BPilgrims. A person who was (and still is) working on the BPilgrims project had approached me to ask if I would be interested in contributing ad-hoc articles to the platform. I agreed. I was and still am impressed by what has been established thus far. Anyway, I did not register for the camp initially due to concerns over the difference in time zones and that I would not be able to attend any in-person activity. However, upon the conclusion of Life BPC’s YF Camp which occurred a week prior, I learnt that it would still be possible to register for the Combined BP Youth Camp. After considering the timetable, other issues, and being informed that virtually everything will be online except Day 2 games, I realised that it was feasible for me to attend virtually the entire camp. I truly thank God that I was able to make it for this camp.
As for the camp’s messages and the workshops, I would say that what left a particularly indelible impact on me would be the workshop on pride and the message on our B-P legacy. As much as I would like to talk about all the messages and workshops, I shall only talk about what I learnt from the workshop on pride for the sake of brevity. I appreciated how the speaker methodically dissected the passage (Mark 10:32-45) to reveal to us the thoughts of Christ, and the ulterior motives of James, John, and the other ten disciples. For the first workshop point on how pride is characterised as brazen and blind, the speaker asserted that pride is insatiable by suggesting that even if James and John had been appointed to sit adjacent to Christ, both James and John would likely still quibble with each other regarding their relative positions. And who knows? Even if one does become appointed to sit on the right hand, one might be discontent with that and covet the very seat of Jesus himself. Indeed, the notion that pride is insatiable still manifests today, two millennia after the time of the disciples.
It doesn’t stop with James and John. We learn that the other ten disciples “began to be much displeased with James and John” (v. 41). Such a reaction by the ten disciples, whether it was outwardly visible and/or was something that manifested in their hearts, was itself a manifestation of pride. These twelve disciples were also sinners that were susceptible to pride. In stark contrast to the pride that was exhibited by the disciples, humility is contra-instinctive and quite counterintuitive.
Another thing that I appreciated about this workshop was how the speaker walked us through what would likely be the inner thoughts of the disciples in John 13, a well-known chapter in which Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. The speaker suggested that the disciples were probably more shocked than overwhelmed by a feeling of unworthiness when Jesus washed their feet because they likely had not internalized what Jesus had spoken about how the greatest should minister. This is evident by how Peter remarks, “Thou shalt never wash my feet” (John 13:9). God exhibited the epitome of humility when he gave up his Son in an act of substitutionary atonement for our sins.
Despite embodying the greatest possible good and adhering to impeccable standards of morality, Jesus voluntarily accepted the worst possible punishment for people that are so vile, wicked, and unworthy. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is that even if Jesus had decided to put to death every other single human being on the day of his crucifixion, no injustice would have been committed. After all, every other human was a sinner who deserved death. However, what we see instead is Christ’s vicarious act at Calvary which showered unmerited favour on those who would and will be saved. I think this is why Christianity has captivated people from all walks of life since time immemorial. I don’t think there’s a conceivable story which transcends the central Christian story in the magnitude of the love, humility, and mercy that has been exhibited.
In sum, the camp has been a wonderful experience. I have learnt new things from it. For the stuff I already knew, it did not hurt to be reminded again. It is truly amazing that technology had enabled over 100 campers to participate in this camp. I was privileged to be able to interact with other youths within the B-P family. I am grateful to the CBPYC 2020 main committee, camp subcommittees, various church representatives both within the city-state and overseas for working together to provide a memorable and insightful experience for everyone. Most importantly, we ought to express our gratitude to God who has graciously allowed the camp to come to pass despite the pandemic.
Make us strangers on earth, dear Saviour, till we see our heavenly home!
– Nicholas Loh (Life BPC)
The 2020 Combined Bible-Presbyterian Youth Camp (CBPYC) was held from 28-30 Dec in a hybrid format, taking place both online over Zoom, and in real life for the games, which were held in groups not exceeding 8 members. As my first (at least part) virtual camp, it was really remarkable. To be honest, I thought I would not have made it through the 3 days on Zoom as concentrating on Zoom is very tiring since it requires much more attention to be invested in the speaker than normal (as many of us can testify too!). However, the camp was planned in a way to help manage this fatigue, such as by organising a games outing for the afternoon to evening on the 2nd day or by scheduling 2-hour breaks in the day, and by God’s grace I managed to attend most of the camp! The camp theme centered on our “Identity” in Christ and I learned a lot from the messages given by Rev Ho Chee Lai, since they covered a broad range of subjects, from instructions on how to live our daily lives as a born-again Christian to covenant doctrine, enhancing both my basic theological knowledge and conviction to live for Christ. Discussions were also fascinating, since we got to discuss the messages from so many other fellow believers outside our own Life BP Church (even including some friends from outside the BP denomination), allowing for a greater diversity in perspectives to be contemplated before arriving at our conclusions. With the whole myriad of views, we managed to collectively tackle deep questions on the implications alternative doctrines other denominations believe in (as opposed to the principles of Calvinism we believe in) to differing styles of worship used outside the BP circle. Of course, beyond the messages, fellowship was very edifying, meeting fresh new faces as we participated in many Bible-related games together (such as filming a mock news broadcast of a Biblical story). The new friends I made also gave me godly advice on life matters, such as university courses and National Service! All in all, the combined camp was extremely fruitful and productive, in spite of the limitations imposed on it due to the coronavirus, and I am looking forward to more of such events in the future.
– Josiah Teo (Life BPC)
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I thank God for His bountiful blessings for allowing this CBPYC 2020 to go on via various forms of communications (mainly Zoom) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Truly it has been an eventful and refreshing camp whereby I was able to take some time off my NS life and fix my mind on Christ and Him only. I am enlisted into the NS as a Security Trooper and my schedule is 2 in 2 out, and thank God that this camp fell on my 2 out days and I was able to participate for majority of the camp. With the well designed and easy to use BPilgrims forum, I am able to view the recorded sermons and workshop for the last day which I missed too.
The most impactful activity was the workshop on “Pride”, which was an eye opener. Thank God for Ps Tan for the very humbling and impactful workshop that spoke to my heart and helped me reflect and re-evaluate myself and the actions I take. I learnt to put away the “self” and focus more on Christ and to follow His actions in meekness and lowliness, humbling myself.
Thank God for the well planned initiative to reshuffle the groupings when Phase 3 was announced and I managed to meet some new friends from other BP churches. This was a good opportunity to expose and expand my Christian circle and learn from one another through discussions and other interactions. It was such a refreshing experience being able to meet up with them and enjoy the activities and fellowship. This interaction allowed me to take my mind off the routine schedule of my NS life and be with like-minded Christians, fellowshipping and talking about Christ.
This camp was a great way to end 2020 and start 2021, as it has allowed me to set some resolutions for 2021 and push forward throughout the year. Camps usually give a boost and a spiritual high for a period, but I thank God for a community of believers whom I have made friends with, who would push me on throughout my life.
– Matthias Ho (Galilee BPC)
Greetings fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I hope you’re all doing well and having a close walk with God!
As a rather introverted and soft-spoken individual, I usually keep to myself as much as possible. Even when it comes to school or church camps, I often stay close to the people that I’m more comfortable with, and mingle with them throughout the camp. When I saw that there was a Combined B-P Youth Camp with the various churches, I was initially hesitant to sign up for 2 reasons:
- I personally wanted to end the year by spending time alone, unwinding and preparing myself for my next Semester in University.
- The thought of having an online camp didn’t appeal to me(didn’t enjoy virtual orientation for Uni)
To be frank, when I signed up for the camp, I really wanted to just ‘show face’, attend the messages/workshops and retreat to the state of comfort which I had enjoyed for the past month.
However, through this camp, I realize that I have learnt much more about myself and also about our identity in Christ and in this world. The main takeaway for me would be that as Christians, we must learn to step out of our comfort zones to reach out, to show care and concern for our brethren. If we choose to remain comfortable with our circles, we will never fulfil the Great Commission! I really thank God for somehow convincing me to sign up for this camp as it has granted me a different perspective on how we ought to live our walks with God. I would also like to thank Rev Ho Chee Lai, Pr Lee Hann Yang, Ps Tan Soon Yong for imparting knowledge to us, and the various committee members for putting effort into coordinating and planning for the camp. Amen!
I’d like to end off with challenge to all youths (adults even), regardless of the church you are from:
Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone to serve Him? Be it in worship, fellowship or evangelism, I hope that all will take a step in the right direction for God!
Do remember to keep one another in prayer.
Hope to see everyone soon!
– Pua Wei Sheng (New Life BPC)
This camp has been a very fruitful camp for me as I have learned a lot of things from it. There are many things that impacted me during this camp. During the camp I learnt a lot about spiritual discipline and what it means. In the past, I try my best to do good works, spread the word and be kind because this was what the Bible says and in order to be a ‘good Christian’, I am ought to do so. However, through this workshop forced me to rethink this reason. The reason as to why I should follow what the bible says and be more like Christ should be because I fully believe that Jesus Christ is the best and only discipler in which I believe in and because of that, the urge to change and be a better person is so that as a true disciple of Jesus Christ, I can be more like Him. As I walk on this journey to be more Christ-like, it is not going to be easy, and a Christian life is a life that is full of repentance. Though it would be tough to repent, with the holy spirit in me I believe that I would be able to slowly remove the “old man” in me and be a “new man” that brings glory to the Lord.
I would like to thank everyone for putting this camp together and making it so wonderful. I wish you guys a happy new year and I hope that in 2021 we will continue to show God’s wonderful love for us and bring Him glory in everything that we do.
– Renice Chua (New Life BPC)
Hi friends! 2020 was a challenging year with messages, workshops and etc being moved up online. Many of us had difficulty adapting to the new normal i.e: wearing mask, social distancing and check in safe entry to the malls. How we wished everything would return back to Pre Covid levels?
I would start off with how I enjoyed 3 days of of CBPYC. Even though we are unable to meet up in church and spend time with God, we still thank God that we are able to meet in smaller groups. In one of the message, Rev Ho mentioned about how to be assured of our salvation by believing in God through our identity. Preacher Lee taught us how not to be prideful of ourselves but be humble and a good testimony to the Lord. I thank God that I get to know new friends in my group from different churches and fellowshipping with them. Thank God for Ethan, my games group leader who take time off to plan games and cooperate with us. Indeed, this combined camp is a rare occasion where many new people come together to know more about God.
– Thaddeus Ho (Life BPC)
Romans 12:1-2 says “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
With identity as the theme of the combined BP youth camp this year, we revisited the convictions of the Christian faith as taught by the BP churches here in Singapore. These 2 verses spoke most to me because it reminded me that our faith involves a complete renewing of our mind – to have the mind of Christ. In today’s world, influences come from literally everywhere – music, movies, media… Subconsciously, we start to adopt such ideas and ideals to stay current, and follow such trends to be accepted by those around us. Because our exposure to God’s truth pales in comparison to the flood of these influences, it’s easier and more convenient to go with the flow instead of making a conscious choice daily to choose differently. It is crucial that our minds are renewed day by day, constantly thinking and realigning to God’s truth to live in a way that is worthy of our calling.
In revising and reaffirming my beliefs, I started to consider how to share this with my unbelieving friends. I have always found it difficult to unpack these concepts to them in a relatable and understandable way, often just coming from a “Christian perspective”. It was helpful for me to put myself in their shoes for a moment, to think about looking at these convictions from a “non-Christian’s perspective” having never heard the gospel before and starting right from scratch. These pushed me to search the word for answers and examples which reinforce these convictions.
2 Tim 2:15 says “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
I have seen how this not only talks about understanding God’s word, but equipping ourselves with it to bring others to Christ. Upon reflection, I am someone who frequently only looks inwardly. This year, it is my resolution to try to look more outwardly, to share the gospel and be a living testimony to point others to Christ.
One of the workshops that truly resonated with me was on the topic of pride. This topic was especially impactful because it came from a very real perspective: of how it’s so natural to be proud, how easily we can fall into it (even in service), and how we must actively resist it. Looking back, I’ve seen myself constantly choosing to indulge myself in pride, presenting my best side during orientation, and often bring up past achievements to impress others. Even on my own, I’ve often chose to assume control rather than trust in God’s plan, finding satisfaction in my success rather than finding peace and contentment in God Himself. Something that Pastor said when explaining pride stuck with me: When we choose our own glory, we take that glory away from God. Truly, if we remember from our original state, we will realise that there is indeed nothing that we have done that is worthy of boasting. I resolve to be as Paul as he says
“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” so that God’s “strength is made perfect in [my] weakness”. 2 Cor 12:9.
All glory to God!
– Jireh Loo (Life BPC)
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
I am Colin Chung from Galilee B-P Church and I pray that this testimony of mine would be able to encourage you in your walk with God and to give God all glory for this camp!
Truth be told, I never expected myself to be able to make it for this full 3 days camp (even though it was held online), as I am currently serving in National Service and I would only get to book out over the weekends. A few months prior to camp, I was still praying that God would allow me to attend the whole camp and by His grace, my prayers were answered! In November, I was informed that I had to be confined in camp before an outfield, but I would be paid back a few days off-in-lieu, of which, by the providence of God, all of them landed exactly on the dates of this year’s CBPYC! I was really excited and thanked God that I was able to attend the whole camp because there was absolutely nothing I could do to make myself available for the camp as my leaves were also controlled by my superiors (so I could not apply for leave to attend the camp even if I wanted to).
Fast forward to camp, there are a few things I would like to thank God for. Firstly, thank God for sustaining the main camp committee, who had sacrificially devoted a huge portion of their free time to plan and execute this camp. Being part of the Bpilgrims team, I was able to have a glimpse of the huge amount of work that the committee had to do, from the planning of the theme to looking for speakers to sending out camp materials et cetera, I would dare say that it is humanly impossible for a few youths to organise a 3 days online camp, all while coping with their studies/work at the same time. All glory should go to God for providing them the wisdom to plan for the camp, as well as giving them the strength and sustenance to prepare and execute the whole camp online. They have shown me what a great privilege it is to serve God silently behind the scenes and to not expect any appreciation in return.
Secondly, I would like to thank God for the workshop on pride. As I was going through the workshop led by Ps Tan, I felt that my “self” was constantly under fire from the word of God. In fact, I confess that I share similar struggles on pride as Ps Tan, especially in the following 3 situations.
The 3 situations are:
- When I feel good when others congratulate/praise me for something that I did
- When I feel bad when others criticise my ideas/work/suggestions
- When I did something well and expect others to thank/praise me, lest I feel sad
These are the situations in my life whereby I really need to be cautious of and to pray against the pride swelling up in my heart whenever I detect it. The workshop has also reminded me of a quote from Charles Spurgeon: “If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him, for you are worse than he thinks you to be”. I have learnt that the greatest sinner I know is myself and I should continue to live each day ever more dependent on God Himself. It is prideful for me to think that the gospel is just for unbelievers and I can live each day without preaching the gospel to myself. To those who are currently reading my testimony, may I request you to pray for me as well as for the rest of the youths who are convicted by the workshop, as we embark on a lifelong journey to kill pride in our lives.
Lastly, I would like to give thanks to God for the prayer meeting on the last day. It was the most encouraging activity for me throughout the whole camp, as I saw how youths from various B-P churches came together to share the needs of our fellowship groups with one another and to pray for one another. It made me realise that we are never alone in our christian walk and there will always be brothers and sisters in Christ around us who are ever willing to pray for us. I pray that this will not just be a one off activity, and I look forward to many more opportunities in 2021 to share and pray with youths from other fellowship groups! Do pray for me, as I would like to be less self-centered in prayer and I hope that I can spend more time praying for others in 2021!
Before I end my testimony, I hope that I have met the 2 purposes which I have set out to achieve: that the reader (you) would give glory to God and be encouraged after reading this testimony.
May you continue to set your eyes upon Christ and seek to have a closer walk with Him daily!
– Colin Chung (Galilee BPC)
I thank God that we were still able to have a camp this year despite the various obstacles COVID posed! I’ve been blessed and edified by the various messages, discussions and warm fellowship over the three days.
The focus on servant-heartedness during the last two workshops had the biggest impact on me. Through the pride workshop, I realised how much my perspective on humility and servant-heartedness had strayed from God’s Word — I had begun to associate it as weakness rather than something that was great and honourable in God’s eyes. Even Christ showed great humility in acknowledging that He was doing His Father’s will. In the past, my pride has hindered me from serving wholeheartedly and cheerfully: oftentimes, a part of me would hold back as I was afraid of showing vulnerability and was worried that I was being taken advantage of. The workshop definitely reorientated my perspective on humility, and caused me to carefully examine where pride was evident in my life. These reflections and thoughts spilled over onto the next day when we had the workshop on being an encourager. I was reminded yet again that Christ’s heart is one of gentleness and humility, and His compassion has no boundaries. As a child of Christ, I, too, should have this boundless compassion and generosity for others and should not hold back because of selfishness and pride. Post-camp, I have been especially aware of when my pride manifests itself and in identifying my “pressure points”.
Another key learning point was that having low self-esteem is also a form of pride. Again, I realised how much I had bought into what the world preached — that low self-esteem is perfectly normal among youth and that there is nothing inherently wrong it. While initially counter-intuitive, I realised that the problem with low self-esteem is that it stems from a desire to be admired or exalted; one desires to be seen as “good enough” but thinks that others won’t view him or her as such. At its core, a person who has low self-esteem thinks more highly of oneself than he or she ought to think. This again caused me to examine the situations where I felt like I wasn’t good enough — was this because I desired to be admired and exalted instead of exalting Christ? I was challenged to examine my motivations behind my actions and service. One particular question the speaker posed resonated with me: when I feel dissatisfied in service, is it because I didn’t serve God to the best of my ability or because I wasn’t praised?
Ultimately, camp brought a timely reminder to examine who I have been exalting — myself or God? Learning humility is by no means an instantaneous process, but I pray that God will continue to teach me humility, that I may put away any prideful thoughts and truly exalt Him in my service, thoughts and actions. I pray also that we may continue to encourage and build one another up in the faith as brothers and sisters in Christ even after camp.
– Julia Lim (Calvary BPC)
This is my first combined bp camp and i’m proud to say i enjoyed it to the max! Limitations were set in place but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the full experience of camp, learning about who I am before God and the world, how to be set apart from the world, are essentials as i continue living my life out for Christ! I’m thankful for the fellowship I had in this camp, not only with my own lifers but also brethren who shared the common belief, thank God!
– Lee Weixin (Life BPC)