Campus Alive

November 24, 2007

Final

Filed under: Please Note — campusalive @ 2:28 am

How Great is Campus Alive

By Helen Pang

Coming to the end of CA, it was really hard for me to say goodbye to CA. Quite reluctant for CA has always been my source of motivation. Whenever I was troubled with disappointments, CA has always been there for me to comfort and console me. I am just a small potato, but deep within I was really grateful to have CA as my companion all this while. Glancing back the past memories with CA, many thoughts had flashed one by one in mind……
CA was something new and strange to me, when I first stepped in INTEC. I never knew what was cell group or Campus Alive. I was alone, alone in the midst of people I did not know. In fact, I did not enjoy myself in the first semester, which should be the honey moon for most of the students. It was a tough and challenging period for me. Maybe CA does not know that he has healed my deep wound, a bottomless cut that people never know. I took a long time to recover from the pain.

My heart was bleeding when I first knew my parents’ decision – to divorce. I could never believe that it
would happen to me. Flabbergasted yet disappointed, I had to receive this decision. I did not know how much tears I had for countless night. Deepest apologies I would like to express to Patricia and Shiau Hooi, my ex-room mates for my weird behaviour at this period. I wonder which child on this earth does not hope for a complete and happy family. Which child would like to see the separation of the parents? I wonder, why they have to be so cruel to me, especially I am in the transition period from secondary school to university level? No one is there to accompany me, but only CA. Because of this, I was interpreted as someone weird and unfriendly. It was indeed tougher when I kept everything to myself, not revealing single news to my friends about this. Maybe they ask why I was so foolish. As a child and a sister in the family, my thoughts were simple – to protect everyone in the family. Which child hopes to see their family’s members being insulted? As a result, I carried all the burdens myself, never knew how to resolve them. The consequence was rather disastrous; especially my performance in academic had gone downhill. People never understand why I was so hard-working all the while? I was not in reality, but just to keep myself busy and away from the negative thoughts, that always distracted me.

I never knew how great God’s love for me is. As the time passes, He has healed me, thoroughly and amazingly. I never knew how, but His methods were unpredictable. After much pain and isolation from friends, I saw his vision one day in my dream. Astoundingly, the dream is still fresh in mind, though I had the vision a year ago. I saw a superb and big church with a pool surrounded by flowers in the middle. Two beams of light were striking from the pool, if I am not mistaken; the colours were white and red. I saw people rising up from the pool, cleansed. The whole dream gave me a sense of forgiving, which is still very strong deep within me till today – Forgive. God is indeed amazing. I gained my encouragement to move on finally after the marvelous dream I had that night. Most importantly, it was CA who brought me out of my past, out of my black shadow.

I could never understand how deep God’s love for human being is. I could never imagine that I can be part of a new church, a place where I yearns to go every Sunday. My parents were against my decision to join a Christian church initially. Many conflicts were going on because of my firm stand to join the new church. God is indeed great when my mother finally joined the church last week and my brother starts learning drum in the church. He has given more than I expect when my mother starts reading bible every morning. As I was pondering, the song “How Great is Our God” was echoing in my ears…..

“How great is our God,
Sing with me, how great is our God…..”

I never want to blame anyone for the pain I have to undergo. In fact, I was grateful because through all the challenges, I am brought to Him. Most importantly, He taught me to appreciate, to love and to forgive people surrounding me. From a person who did not know how to pray to a person who can pray for others, I could never estimate how great the impact God has left in my life via CA. He also gave me a heart of compassion for people in need, especially homeless children and people who are always forgotten in the community. It was hard to walk out of this shadow, but with His guidance and love, I managed to do it. I really hope that one day I could have the opportunity to work in world humanitarian centre founded by Jimmy Chater to serve the people in need around the world. I believe that there are a lot of people outside who are much more unlucky than me. Above all these, I would like to express my utmost appreciation towards CA, for bringing such a marvelous change in my life. CA rocks!!! Most significantly, God is good, all the time.

My favourite bible verse to share with everyone from

Joshua 1:9:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

November 22, 2007

Blind Faith

Filed under: Message — campusalive @ 9:20 am
People have a hard time of understanding faith. Blind faith, they call it. Some said, “I can’t feel it. I can’t see it.” Question is, when did people start to look for proofs and evidences and stop trusting their instinct and heart feeling?

How does a mother bird know that the moment she shake loose the nest, her little birds won’t just drop down from 500 feet and die? Instead she just knows that her little birds will learn how to fly. Why does that mother bird know? Is it because the statistic collected in the past 1 gazillion years shows that birds will learn how to fly when you shake loose the nest and let them fall? Or is it because the mother bird is such a good economist that she can count exactly when her little birds are ready to fly off? NO! It’s faith.

When it comes to faith, I believe that no amount of statistics, and evidences can ever convince everyone that God does exist. We just have to trust Him and follow Him by faith; blind faith. While science demands proof and evidence that God exists, religion however demands blind faith. I’ll give an illustration of blind faith and let’s see whether or not blind faith is better off than proof and evidence.

Imagine yourself wearing a blindfold and being placed inside a giant maze. You cannot see anything and the only way for you to get out of the maze is through a headphone. The person who will be communicating with you(let’s call him Simon) holds the map of the maze and a GPS, so he knows where exactly you are and how you should walk to get out of the maze. However, you do not know that Simon has a map and GPS system with him.

Since you are blind, when he says right, you go right. When he says left, you go left. When he says stop, you stop. You cannot question him because you are blindfolded and you have only him to cling on to. He’s your only real chance of getting out of the maze alive. You just have to believe that he knows the way.

It is hard to trust someone when you can’t see. It is definitely inconvenient and it can make you very nervous and insecure. However, you cannot just give up on Simon because he is the only person that you have.

Because you listen to him, you make it to exit of the maze. Congratulations.

Now, imagine yourself in this giant maze again. This time, without the blindfold. You still have Simon guiding you, except that this time you can see. What will happen to you?

I am very sure that most of us, if not all, will question Simon sooner or later.
“Are you sure this is the right way? Are you sure? I think THAT is the correct path. No no, this is taking me too long. The opening there is wider, it has to be that direction.” blah blah blah

I am sure that when we can see, we will start to judge and see. We will start to question. We will demand proof and evidence that Simon is giving the right direction. We might doubt him because now, we do not have to rely on Simon 100% We have our EYES to seek for our own direction.

In the end, we might come out of the maze eventually after quarreling and arguing with Simon.
Some of us don’t even make it out of the maze and just die there because we spent too much time arguing and doubting Simon who CLEARLY had the right map and knows what he was doing.

You might say this, “No, this will not happen to me. I’m sure that I will listen to Simon and follow his instruction.”

O REALLY? Well, I don’t think so. Human are rebellious. Eventually, you will think that you might be right and that Simon might be wrong. After all, you have no idea that he is holding a map. You might think that Simon is trying to play you around. Or maybe after some time, you figure that it is taking you too long to get out of the maze and you begin to feel furious. Then you start taking your own path(since you can see) and ignore Simon for good.

Thing is, the simple analogy I have just presented is exactly what I thought of when it comes to blind faith. Sometimes, we just have to follow God and have faith in Him. Because if we can “see” the proof and evidence, there will be no need for God be around. And get this too, life is like a giant maze. Sometimes we come to a dead end. However, if we just listen to God and walk His way, eventually, we will get out of the maze….safely. If we fight back, we might still get out of the maze but it will take us a long long time before we finally get out of the maze. More often than not, in our midst of ignoring God and His voices and directions, we might just die in the maze before we even get out of it.

Nonetheless, our God respects our freedom of choice. That’s why He lifted the blindfold off our eyes EVEN THOUGH He knows that there will be a chance of us rebelling against Him.

Question:
Are we willing to ignore our sight and just listen to God’s instruction or do we prefer to wander aimlessly in the maze of life hoping that we will find a way out eventually?

November 3, 2007

CA report (Part 3 / 4)

Filed under: CA Service,CA Updates — campusalive @ 8:34 pm

Aufwiedersehen (Goodbye) Campus Alive~

Greetings to all! I’m Daniel from ALG batch 9. This is my first time writing a report on behalf of my fellow coursemates for CA, so I would like to apologize beforehand if my report is a little too long or boring. I’m sure many of you have seen me in CA without actually knowing my name. I don’t really blame them for that. Most of us rarely meet each other n even if we did hear of each other’s name, a busy schedule inside a space of 2 weeks would probably have done the job of “deleting” that particular person’s name. But I do felt silly n at the same time happy when on one occasion I had being addressed as “the Arsenal Guy” by a fellow junior. At least he remembered that I’ve wore an Arsenal jersey to CA before. Haha! Better than not knowing me at all la~~ :b

First and foremost, let me introduce ALG9 to all of u. ALG9 consists of only 8 chinese students (5 guys, 3 gals). Out of this 8 students only 6 ever attended CA. They r Qi Hao, Xiang Yu, Jing Xin, Kah Ho, Yen Zhao n me of cos. Sadly, only one out of the 6 attends CA on a regular basis n that’s me!! Haha, loyal leh~. The 6 of us were invited to CA around mid-2007 by our ALG junior, Helen. The first time I planted my step into the NLRC building, I felt strong sense of belonging. It seems that God had called me to come to this place 4 a purpose. Despite being a Christian, I have not attended any Christian fellowships here in INTEC. To be frank, I did knew that there were such meetings here in INTEC , however, due to busy schedules and never-ending homework n assignments, the thought of attending such meetings was quickly dispelled. Those days without CA were like a “drought” for me. Deep down inside me I felt thirsty n hungry spiritually. My heart longs for something but I could not figure out what it was. Little did I know that the answer lies in CA. My first experience at CA was totally awesome! During the worship session, I could not stop myself from clapping n singing with all my might to God. I could still remember the first song we sang that night which was “One way, Jesus”. During praise n worship I felt totally refreshed n renewed. I have not experience such a feeling for nearly 2 years! Perhaps I could be labeled as “the prodigal son” who returns home to the father. That feeling is so incredible that I could not sleep that night.

Having that wonderful first experience at CA, I found myself just could not say no to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th…. and so on CAs. Being one of the oldest in the congregation, I could not help it but to admire the zeal n passion the juniors have for God. The way they sing, they jump, they praise God is just totally amazing. Maybe I’m too old for that la.. haha. Despite being a year older than these juniors, I found myself perhaps 10 years younger than them spiritually. Joash, who is one of the most outstanding among all juniors, is a proof to my previous statement. To be frank, I have not seen someone who is so eager to serve God like him. Not only he leads the worship session but also plays the piano magnificently. To my surprise, he can preach like a pastor as well. Remember the parable of the Talents? I’m sure God has blessed Joash with at least 10 Talents and he had used them all for God! Another figure in CA who fascinates me a lot has to be Erin. From the way she leads worship sessions (she can memorize most songs without much effort) and pray, I’m sure that she has a really strong desire within her to praise God to the fullest.

Being in ALG offers us one privilege, if you could call that one. ALG is the only course in INTEC where seniors can meet not only their juniors but their super juniors who r 2 years younger as well. In a space of 2 years I have become one of the youngest to the oldest in INTEC. Watching these super juniors praising God makes me feel older (sigh… got white hair already!) “Only old people sits on the chairs, young people sit on the floor!”- one of Joash’s favorite sayings. But come to think of it, maybe I’m qualified enough to sit on the chair. Lol. Sadly, I do not have the chance to do so anymore as 25/10/07 was the last CA for me.

22/10 (Mon)- Rain, 23/10 (Tues)- Rain, 24/10 (Wed)- Rain, 25/10 (Thurs)- Sunny. If God intends to make our last CA a special one, certainly the weather can be the proof. The last CA of the year surely did live up to its name. To me, everything from start to end was simply new n different. The ice-breaker, conducted by Erica, can be said to be one of the best this year. Everyone enjoyed it. We had to dig deep into our wallets and bags to search for items like lip balms, 10 dollar note folded in a heart shape, baby photos, Giant’s receipt, earrings, asthma inhaler etc… I did not have any of those n was really surprised that people do have those stuffs with them. My group, screwdriver, won it in the end (Erica, where are our prizes??). After that we had our usual praise n worship session but surprise surprise… this time there were 5 singers on stage. The juniors have taken over from the super juniors in the worship team. Old faces, but youthful n vibrant as ever. Then there was a special performance from 4 beautiful gals n then a really funny video presentation. Pastor David then took the stage to present to us God’s word. The main theme was how to become a good servant to God. We must be FAT. Faithful, available and teachable. It certainly was a useful n inspiring message. Last but not least, we had our refreshments at 5th floor. Got sponge cake n orange juice I think. Those final hours in CA passed really fast n soon it was 11pm. Time to go. With one final glance at the NLRC building, I said a “Goodbye n Thank You CA” inside my heart. Farewells are indeed sad.

But there are many things I can be happy n thankful about. The passing of the baton from the juniors to the super juniors can be regarded as smooth. The super juniors did a great job in the past few CA meetings, conducting ice-breakers n praise sessions brilliantly like their seniors. I certainly do have the confidence in these super juniors that they can take CA to scale greater heights.

On behalf of all ALG seniors I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to Helen, who first brought us to CA and then faithfully provide us transportation to n fro CA. A special thank as well to Cheng Ing, who did a great job as an usher, making us feel comfortable on our first visit to CA. Last but not least, to everyone who attended CA and by that, making CA a success. Life in Germany would surely be a new experience for us. Many trials and obstacles will stand in our way. For this I hope that everyone in CA will constantly keep us in your prayers.

My last words for my dear brothers n sisters in CA:

Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

May God bless you all always. CA rocks!

Daniel~

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