Theme: Hear the Call of the Kingdom
This year our Church retreat was held at Best Western Hotel, Panbil Batam, a change from our usual haunt of Melaka. With this change of venue, we hope to give our campers a different flavour of people, food and culture.
We thank God that Mr. Lim Chien Chong, Director of Youth for Christ, International accepted our invitation to be our camp speaker. He brought a series of messages that were both timely and practical. Judging from the response and robust interaction in our discussion groups, it was apparent that they thoroughly enjoyed Chien Chong’s teaching! By God’s grace, we will put what we have learned into practice to the glory of God.
One of the highlights of our retreat is the visit of the children (about 20 from 3 to 16 years old) of the Filadelfia Grace Orphanage. Under the leadership of preacher Ang Liang and her dedicated staff like Maria and Fransina, the orphanage is doing a wonderful work of raising these children into future ambassadors for Christ. In line with our theme, Hear the Call of the Kingdom, we set aside some time to reach out to these children and bless them with tangible gifts of school supplies like uniforms, shoes, books and towels (the last item was donated by a member who could not attend due to other commitment). After our meeting where they sang and shared with us, we adjourned to the hotel’s swimming pools where they could enjoy an afternoon of delightful food and fun-filled swimming! According to Sister Ang Liang, these children thoroughly enjoyed their special afternoon with us. As Chien Chong reminded us in his first session, ‘The Christian Servant,’ we serve by giving just as our Lord Jesus came to serve and to give his life for us.
Our retreat at Batam seems to pass so quickly. One moment we were packing and looking forward to it, the next we were saying ‘goodbye’ to one another as we went our separate ways. However, I believe God has heard our prayers and has done His work in our hearts. Just as we sang the theme song, Hear the Call of the Kingdom, we were also challenged by its chorus:
King of Heaven we will answer the call
We will follow bringing hope to the lost
Filled with passion, filled with power to proclaim
Salvation in Jesus’ Name
Rev. Mark Tay