next gen ‘10 – Tuesday

The night wasn’t too bad. I am well aware of the issue of snorers at camp, nobody likes that. It’s funny that throughout primary school and high school there has never been a scenario where I’ve had to deal with snorers; it was only when uni started that snorers became a leading issue in choosing cabin buddies. Sad to say, even though our cabin wasn’t filled with 5 Caucasian guys like last year, we still had snorers. It wasn’t much of an issue last night, I must’ve fallen asleep before it got worse, but Jacky and Matthew described themselves to be escaping the war in Afghanistan and a stampede in Africa.


Anyway, I woke up at 7am, have absolutely no idea why other people in my room wanted to wake up at 6am. Breakfast was at 7:30am so I quickly ran off to have a shower. I can’t remember what we had for breakfast this morning. It was something along the lines of last night’s dinner (yes, leftovers) some sausages and stuff like that. They had cereal, apricots and other stuff on another table. I made myself another coffee. I knew I was going to rely on this stuff a lot, camps are always tiring if you sleep uncomfortably. That’s probably due to not sleeping where we normally would sleep, ie at home. It’s a psychological thing yeah?


Morning Session

More singing and announcements on the weather. It’s just weird seeing how the weather in Katoomba would be cold at the start of the week, and then hit very hot by the end of the week, people were sure to get sick from this dramatic temperature rise and some people simply hadn’t packed to cater for the cold and the hot, like me. We had an interview with some people who visited Uganda recently and had started their very first “next gen” camp there. It’s really encouraging to see how people in those countries are being trained to teach the Bible to people in their community, and just how grateful they are to be taught and trained; makes us feel all the more privileged to be raised in such a prosperous part of the world.


The morning talk was on the middle chunk of Jeremiah; on how God actually “hated” Israel because of all the sins they had committed. Like many others, it struck me how God used such a negative word to communicate His emotions, don’t ever remember reading it anywhere else; the word “hate”. A lot of people would want to see that God is a bad character to have to resolve hate, but it actually highlights how sinful Israel was back then, and how sinful we are today. It’s the reminder that really gets us wanting to change the way we live, that’s where the application of today’s passage lies.



Strand Group – Tuesday

Funny how over the last 24 hours I had come to know about half my strand group; and it’s funny because I got to know them “outside” of strand groups, meeting and chatting with them over morning tea and getting to know them through friends. Funny how we’re all connected like that! Today we finally got the chance to introduce ourselves, I wonder why our strand group leaders didn’t get us to do so yesterday haha. Every group knew each other after Monday except us I reckon.


We proceeded to learn about how the OT was linked to the NT through Jesus; we talked about the idea of “fulfilment”, that things which were foretold in the OT are fulfilled by Jesus and we come back down to the 3 most common answers in Bible studies: God, Jesus and the Bible; but the most common answer of these is Jesus haha! We did a little more analysing of our passage but we didn’t really get onto writing the Bible study, there was heaps more theory to learn over the next few days.




In the afternoon our workshop was on “Packaging a Bible Study” and if I remember correctly I think it was to look at the different ways that people learn things: through audio, visual, reading/writing, and actually experiencing it (through touch or whatever). So looking at the four ways that people learn, we thought of ways we could incorporate as much of them in our studies so that we are able to cater for all youth who are bound to learn differently from one another, and especially the leader. I found it interesting that the workshop speakers said we tend to write our Bible studies in order to suit ourselves, the way we want to learn it; rather than considering the best way for the kids.


Later, we had an impromptu strand group outing; our leaders originally planned this for Wednesday but we nagged them for today. We went off to a cafe in Katoomba again, where I had another mocha. We all shared in wedges and had two separate conversations because the table was too big to talk across. It was interesting to hear how everyone in our group had a different background, since we’re all from different parts of NSW. So everyone’s upbringing is different, as well as where everyone is heading this year; some are going into ministry, others are about a year off, still others will not be going to uni, others overseas, etc.



Night Session

Skip dinner, I can’t remember it anymore but it probably wasn’t good. Oh wait I think I remember why; it’s because we were on clean up duty so we had to rush with eating; it was steak or something. We shovelled what we could and got to work. Most of the guys in my cabin simply don’t know how to wash up T.T” You’d think everyone would have to learn these skills at some point; or are we still going to have families in the future where the man doesn’t know how to clean up? So Matthew for example was his same old self at being uncomfortable at cleaning up haha! He was like first to shirk duty halfway to have more food; some of us joined him out of peer pressure.


The night talk was on practical ways that men and women should be living. For everyone it should always be with prayer; but Paul then moved on to talk about the roles of men and women in church. And here we get to the weird part of 1 Timothy where is talks about not wanting women to teach and to have authority over men. Paul had to spend a while clarifying what it should be; how to reconcile it from being a sexist thing. He explained that women shouldn’t lead because of history (Adam and Eve) but that it’s not forbidden to a point where women are discriminated against. Instead men and women have separate roles at church and both are vitally important. Men need to do the upfront things and lead congregations and stuff; they’re the ones with the pressure, while women support and encourage the men, not to make sure they’re staying in line but to make sure that they’re doing something. I guess it works in two ways since some women will be glad they don’t have to do any upfront nerve-racking things while others would be disappointed that they can’t have the spotlight in some circumstances. I might blog on this at another time if it’s pressing enough as an issue.


But what Paul said tonight sparked a lot of discussion afterwards, and we did end up talking about it a lot until bed time. Conversation on this topic would carry on to the end of the camp because not everyone fully understood the passage still since that women part was so short and relatively ambiguous. At night we watched some anime and slept at 12am.


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