Super long post ahead!
I’ll do a chronicle of this :).
Day 1 - Sunday
Meet-up at church at 11a.m. before boarding the bus and leaving for Peace Haven, Genting. Was almost late! Whew.
Experimented something on the bus. Ahem:-
Experiment 1 – The effects of isolation
Aim: To find out the effects of isolation on a person.
Subject keeps to himself and limits contact with others. Subject does not encourage, but rather discourage, conversation and whatnot with closed body and facial language, and vocal tones.
Chronicle of events by subject:-
Boarding the bus. Sits at random seat somewhere in the middle, alone. People pass by, uncaring, until the back gets filled. Reluctant person sits next to subject---he will disappear to back of bus for the duration of the ride.
Plays the sign-board game. Starting from A to Z. Done before bus leaves Ipoh.
Walkman proves to be a solid companion.
Back of bus getting rowdy.
Some people decide to play cards beside subject.
Toilet stop! People inquire of subject’s aloofness; people already came up with excuse for subject: sickness.
Bus ride continues.
Bus reaches Peace Haven at about 3:30, thus ending the experiment.
Subject felt an abject sense of loneliness and being left out throughout the duration of the ride. This is amplified with the subject being enclosed in a bus, forced to listen to the noisiness; remedied with the walkman at high volumes. Slight depression.
Subject doesn’t need an excuse for aloofness; people already came up with one---sickness---to avoid un-pleasantries of dealing with emotions, and get on with fun.
Social awkwardness still continued after experiment, took some time to recover.
Isolation causes depression, loneliness, and sense of low-self worth.
So, please don’t isolate yourself, whatever you’re feeling will just get worse.
After the bus ride, we went straight up to the main hall---Rhema hall---for registration. Got our name-tags, folder for morning devotion material and other things, and T-shirt. I didn’t get a T-shirt.
We were divided into 20 groups for team-building and into 50-something devotion groups.
Peace Haven is super strict, with lots of rules. We were briefed on them after registration. All lights off at 11p.m. Hot water for bathing available only at specific times. This and that.
Dinner after going to our dorms/rooms and fitting in our beds.
Worship for all four days was great :). Plenary (that means everyone has to attend) session after worship.
Plenary Session Night 1
Acts 16:26. Paul and Silas, and the earthquake that freed them, and the lives of the jailer’s family.
This session talks about the shockwave that God causes, why it happens, how it happens, and what it does.
It happens to shake you up, make you think, see clearly the things God want you to see, and whatever that isn’t from God will crumble and fall.
It wakes you up; sets you free. Makes you realize that everything else that you hold on to will not hold, only God is stable and unshakable, your one true hope.
What if we rise up, receive God’s power, and activate it?
Have faith, He will do great things in you, and through you.
Buzz-session after that, which means a meet-up with your devotion group, and then supper and lights out :).
Day 2 - Monday
Woke up at 6a.m.! Super-cold. NOT used to it yet :(. Prayer at 7.
Devotion today talks about friends. Are the friends you surround yourself with true friends? Friends that will stick with you through thick and thin?
Breakfast. Worship. Workshop.
“In His Image”
We’re all created in His image, we’re his “eikons”, or icons, his “little images”.
We started off with an exercise---imagining yourself:-
How do you see yourself?
How do others see you?
How does God see you?
Then we looked at the apostle Paul. Before and after his encounter with Jesus.
We were designed for one-ness. But Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and that created a rift between us all, this otherness. And this otherness expands throughout history. This otherness happens between us and God, us and other people, us and the natural order of the world, us and ourselves.
Then Jesus came and showed us the way, so that we may be one in Christ.
Now, we await the second coming of Jesus, that this oneness in Him may be consummated forever :).
Then the speaker taught us an old old song:-
Had lunch after that. Bad thing about lunch was this: CGMC group just sat together. I regret joining them.
Registering for creative ministries. Got into drama! Whoop :). They had Vocals, Photography, Sign Language, Self-Defense, Drama, and Dance.
Team Building up next! Super-super tiring, but fun la. We had 5 stations, scattered all around Peace Haven.
Station 1 is called “Passion”, and we had to do a dance routine to Black Eyed Peas’ “I’ve got a Feeling”, edited worship version. I enjoyed this one the most :).
Station 2 is the Intellect station. We had to shut up for the whole duration of that game, while spelling out words in Acts 16:26 with our bodies. Uhhhhhhh. I won’t go into what happened :P, ask Alisson.
Station 3! Prayer. Knee-ball! Which is just captain-ball, down on your knees, with 4 teams at once. Super hectic. Screaming and shouting and clawing around. Scary la!
Station 4 is Power. We had to do 1000 push-ups, 1000 sit-ups, 500 star-jumps and don’tknowhowmany squats. Can die.
Station 5 is Love. We had to transfer people, along with 10 items (one person, one item) to the other side and back. Mat and hula-hoops provide the road.
Dinner. Worship :). Plenary Session.
Plenary Session Night 2
Main point is “Will you keep trusting and worshipping God even when the going gets tough?”
I was super emo before worship. Why? Because. Well, I shared this during buzz-time. I observed the people in YouthQuake, and although it’s a camp, everyone’s supposed to have fun, enjoy, meet God, they are so busy, going around. People they don’t know they just pass by with barely a glance. Busy busy busy, for what? I am guilty of this, too. Passing by so many people, not even with a hi, just to find my “gang”. How will there be unity if we don’t even take the time to know other people?
Thank God, he lifted me up during worship. I just didn’t feel like it when worship started. But I told myself, this isn’t about you, Jon. Worship is for God. So stop being such a selfish brat and give it all up to Him, for isn’t it called a “sacrifice of praise”?
Today is the day, you have made; I’ll rejoice and be glad in it. I won’t worry about tomorrow, I’m trusting in what you said. Today is the day!
Day 3 - Tuesday
Brrr. Colder. STILL not used to it.
Devotion today talks about ungodly friends, bad company……. About how they can corrupt your character. So choose wisely. And also, how good a friend are you to others?
Breakfast. Worship :D. Workshop. I went for “Inner Healing”.
This workshop teaches you how to start the process of inner-healing, focusing more on the familial aspect.
It starts with us being divided into groups. Then, we had to share a secret with each other. Anything. After that, a little more intimate secret, the speaker picked the helpers in the groups to share. The participants were told to not pay attention to them. Funny things happened :D.
Ahem. Anyway. This workshop teaches us about wounds and emotions and arises when something happens, and how those wounds and emotions can be repressed underneath, which allows them to fester and boil, and cause personal development to go stunted. And these wounds must be acknowledged, or they won’t ever heal.
Three types of wounds:- Developmental, Emotional, and Memories. Developmental being those wounds that develop over time, something that happens again and again, like being disappointed by someone again and again. Emotional wounds may be caused by a tragic event, which may cause shock and trauma, and lead to repressed emotions. Memories, events that happened, and when something---a sight, smell, or touch---triggers it, the same emotions and thoughts come running back.
The speaker then proceeds to tell us that emotions have two layers, like an ice-berg, the top---which everyone can see---and the bottom---which only you yourself can feel, and that bottom emotion is the one that has to be acknowledged.
How to start the healing process? Be honest to yourself and a confidant. Pray. Forgive, let go. Got steps wan, but I didn’t write them down ;(. But that’s the overall gist la :).
Lunch. Siesta (which means “nap”), I didn’t take any nap at all throughout the camp. Creative Ministries! :D:D:D
It can be a better way to address certain issues that your pastor may not want to address due to any reason.
What is drama meant to do?
Glorify God! and edifiy the Church.
What is drama NOT meant to do?
Detract from the sermon---rather, it should complement it.
Being the center of attention of the service---people should remember the main message, not the drama.
Go against Scripture.
What do you need to be able to do to be an actor?
- See pictures in your head, a.k.a. having an imagination!
- Translate pictures in head to words, movement---being able to express it.
- Get in character---not jumping to stereotypes, but rather dimensioning, giving depth and life to, your character.
- Able to read. Really.
- Be directed by others.
- Kill pride.
- Empathize with the character you’re playing and the characters your character interact with.
- Be observant.
- “How do you get into it?”
- Improvisation/Ad Lib
Which means, on the spot thinking, going with the flow. Requires a leader or initiator and a follower.
- Body & Facial Language
- Vocal Expression/Control
Being able to convey expression and moods through your voice.
- Interspatial Dynamics
Where you are in relation to where other people are on stage; the stage is not a real environment!
Then we had to do a drama on friendship and what we learnt at YQ. Rarwarawr.
It was fun :D.
Dinner. Worship :)! FUN NIGHT!
“I say stand, you say up!” “Stand!” “Up!” “Stand!” “Up!”.
“If this is a fish, –hand motion-, what is this –another hand motion-?"”
“Cause I want it that way ~~”
“Mmchichi, mmchi, tokitoki tokitoki, tongchaktongchak”
Day four – Wednesday
Wasn’t that cold today. Or maybe I’ve gotten used to it. Or maybe it was just a particularly warm day.
Devotion today talks about betrayal, betrayal by a friend; how it can deeply affect and destroy your trust and faith in people, and how can you deal with it. Forgive!
Breakfast. Worship. Workshop!
Peer Counselling :D
Peer: an equal, either in abilities, qualifications, age, background, or social status.
Counselling: to advise.
The focus here is age. People who are within 5 years of age between each other can be considered as peers, usually. But this is not true most of a time---consider a 18 year old with his/her boyfriend/girlfriend problem, sharing it with a 13 year old. Of course, maturity can’t really be calculated, so this is just a general statement.
Pros and Cons:-
- More mature……? [Some adults may be less mature than youths, but generally speaking…..]
- Better judgement (Adults have a developed frontal lobe, which recognizes future consequences)
- Better idea on consequences [see above]
- Emotional Stability [more so than youths, generally, if an adult isn’t emotionally stable, they can’t be counselling]
- Gap between adults & youth---age, culture…..
- More judgemental---jumps to conclusions….
- No good rapport
- Neglecting emotions [that is, belittling or not considering emotions experienced]
- Easier to trust
- Better rapport
- Same “language” [yo, dude!]
- Easier to relate to the emotions
- Easier to bond with
- Less experience
- Harder to make good judgement
- Not that good on looking at consequences
- May not know how to offer help / Can’t offer help---cannot drive, this that.
- Emotional instability
Before you counsel someone, check yourself for limitations---what you know and do not know, whether your emotions are stable, what can you do or not……
Things we base on to counsel people:
- Moral Values
- Social Norms
- Societal Standards
Out of that 6, 5 are man-made. Which means they change regularly. While religion, if it comes from God, is constant, and never changes.
What you must have to be a good counselor:-
- Be able to take good advice from others
- Believe in something, firmly.
Characteristics of a good counselor:-
- Good listener
- Respects privacy of others
- Know when to refer to a professional/other people
- Ready to take on responsibilities
- Cut emotional ties [that is, if someone comes to you with a problem with a guy you hate, you still have to listen and give good counsel, not gossip and backstab that person]
When to refer to a professional:-
- Dramatic behavior changes
- Lots of pressure on the person
- Death Wish
- Deep guilt
- Substance Abuse
- Skipping school
- Acting out sexually
Do not ignore them when they say they want to suicide, no matter how casually they say it---it’s a cry for help; giving us one last chance before they do it.
- Listen well!
- Ask open-ended questions
- Look at person with respect and approval
- Show interest
- Gentle tone of voice
- Do not interrupt with story of your own
- Encourage expression of emotions!
Then I got chipsmores cause my group won. Mwhahahahaha
Lunch. Siesta. Team building part 2!! :D
Team Building #2
Again, 5 stations! Passion, Energy, Mind, Prayer, and Love :)
Passion:- Part two of the dance routine! Ripple, bounce bounce bounce bounce x4, jump jump jump jump x2, bow arrow bow arrow, roll~~~head hold! Monkey bar, step and open, monkey bar step and open, boogie down, boogie clap, boogie up, boogie clap, lean lean lean lean, aeroplaneeeee, up down up down!
Energy:- Carrying people on mats---not fun!
Mind:- Moving chairs while chattering all the while---not fun!
Prayer:- Squeezing and contorting ourselves into positions to get 10 feet 10 hands and 1 butt on the mat---not fun!
Love:- Lowering a stick with the lame sign---not fun!
Okaylah, fine. Quite fun la. Hahahahahaha
Dinner. Worship :D.
Plenary Session Night 4
Dare to be different in a culture/society that tries to be someone else. You are different; you don’t need a tattoo to be different.
We are supposed to change the world; not vice versa, as it is now.
Our example is Jesus. We imitate him; not the world.
Don’t go down the path of least resistance---conformity.
Then an extended time of prayer for everyone who wanted to be prayed for. Super-super happifying sight, to me. Everyone else was crying or emoing while I was smiling and grinning like some crazy person. What to do? God answered my prayers! :D
It was straight on to supper cause prayer ate all the time :).
Oooooh. And I sat with different people during lunch and dinner today!
Day 5 – Thursday – Last day! :OOOO
I’ve somewhat gotten used to the cold weather already. My lips were all cracked, though, and drinking lots of water doesn’t really help---more toilet trips only. Thank God the toilets are easily accessible at Peace Haven. Haha!
Devotion Day 5
Being a Friend of God
Today’s devotion talks about us being friends of God, like Abraham was. Is God just a mere acquaintance, or a close friend? How do we build a deep deep friendship with God?
Breakfast. Worship :D.
Challenge: Will you let God continue to rock your world, and make a change through you in your church, community, school…..?
Prayer for those who wants to be prayed for again. Another crying fest. Yup, I was smiling and grinning and being super happy, again. What to do. God answered my prayers :D.
Then we packed up and say goodbye to everyone and get email addresses and phone numbers and hug hug hug hug hug hug and go back home ;(.