So for once on the last night of MYC, I managed to rack up 3-4 hours of sleep as opposed to 0 hours. Still, the dawn of the last day pretty much meant that camp was coming to an end, and we would soon no longer have all that time to sit together with other Christians, to have fellowship and to study God’s Word. Which is probably why over the years we’ve managed to see that the time spent at MYC is precious and needs to be used in a manner that reflects how rare the opportunity is. Just like all the speakers say, you really don’t get a daily chance to study God’s Word so in depth outside of MYC.
Anyway for this last day I was a bit detached from the activities that we did and so I wasn’t really paying attention too much. So I’ll spend the latter half of this post just reflecting on everything that happened over the five days.
The last Bible Study for the week was just going over the passage once more and making sure that we’re able to digest everything we looked at over the week. Every group had members missing here in there (most likely catching up on sleep) and so we disbanded groups and formed new ones. This allowed us to see what other people learnt from the passage over the week since we were pretty much stuck with the same people the whole week and never had a chance to compare “research” with other people. We formed a group of about 5-6 and just shared what we learnt over the week, and sat together to read other relevant passages to “humanity”. We had quite fruitful conversation and it was good for us to pray at the end, showing how indeed we as Christians are united because we can so freely pray with one another.
Because we only had the morning on Friday to do stuff, the talk was much shorter than the ones in the night session; and this last talk was just to wrap up everything we’ve learnt about humanity over the week. The last talk was on Acts 17:16-34 and we were reminded that we live in a world where people fail to acknowledge God, and in some cases, refuse to acknowledge God. We were reminded that we will suffer for being Christian because of all these conflicting beliefs that people have. But we are reminded to not worry because we are at peace with and in the day when Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead, we will inherit the kingdom of heaven alongside Jesus. Until then, we should be ready to endure any type of suffering and we should also be actively seeking out those who are still “lost in ignorance” and calling them to repentance.
After taking a bunch of photos during and after lunch, we finally left Merroo Christian Centre and headed home. Transport wasn’t too hard to organise and once we got it all sorted we headed off. Traditionally, the car I’m in always heads back to Hong Kong de Cafe for afternoon tea; and I think we really that meal because we were all so hungry, especially for this last day. Condensing the final hours of MYC into a sentence or two, we simply drove back, had afternoon tea, went home, slept, and today here we are heading into semester 2. Such was the conclusion of our semester break.
Thinking over the last five days, I felt like a lot was accomplished. I’ll probably end up repeating some of the things I’ve said over the last four posts. There was no way I’d miss MYC this year and I was glad to have come. In terms of learning about the topic “humanity”, I didn’t feel like I learnt much extra, most of the stuff we learnt this week was stuff we knew most of (as opposed to say last year’s topic of “Holy Spirit” where we probably knew next to nothing about it). However, one thing I wasn’t able to do before was to put all these factors together and weave it into one big picture. It’s somewhat easy to look at the different aspects of the Bible and to treat them separately; but when you manage to put everything together, you really do get a much bigger picture that enlightens you. Of course, we’re not talking about a complete and sudden change in the way we live, but it certainly does change your perspective a bit and allows you to direct your life better based on the knowledge you attained. Humanity was a pretty good topic to go through this year and I found it was quiet relevant to many worldly issues we face today, things within our culture which we don’t think too hard about such as career and relationships because we just treat them the way they are right now as normal, when the Bible might say it’s not a good thing.
I won’t nag too much about food, but this year food was a bit of an issue; there just simply wasn’t enough to eat. It’s a bit hard day after day going through each meal knowing you’re not full, and feeling upset because of it (because that’s how your body will feel if you don’t feed it). Of course, there are many factors that attribute to this; the most obvious fact is that there were about 700+ of us at camp, and preparing food for 700 people is no easy task. So our hearts must definitely go out to the camp staff for being able to pull of such a feat. Because food had to be mass produced in a short amount of time, this also means we can’t really expect any sort of gourmet food. Of course, most of us could’ve had seconds (and thirds and fourths) but for our faculty, we kept ending everything very very late; most of time up to 30 mins into a meal, so by the time we got down to the cafeteria most of the food was gone and we would get the chance to have even seconds (let alone thirds and fourths). Again, that’s what you get when you’re in a discussion group with 125 other people, it doesn’t move as fast as other groups with half the number of people. Sad how all these factors were just stacked against us this whole week. But in any case, we must be thankful for the food because everything had an explanation and was within reason, even if our stomachs did not feel the same.
Catching up with people was hard because we had the responsibility to look out for the first years or anyone who was coming to MYC for the first time. And when you get heaps of first years coming, that just adds a lot of people in your personal list of people you need to catch up with over the five days at MYC. As such for me it was hard to balance my time between meeting up with new people and catching up with old friends. I can’t say I got to know many of the new people that well, but proportion-wise there was just too many people to go through so it felt like we didn’t talk to many people. I was glad to have been able to catch up with my primary and high school friends, particularly those not in the Commerce faculty. There were many people I hadn’t seen for a long time and so being able to sit down with them at breakfast, lunch or dinner and just chatting to see how our lives had been was a moment I valued a lot. Becoming more and more busy as life goes on really makes you look and see that even the short 30 minutes you get to chat with a friend over a meal is a very precious time indeed. I was able to catch up with most of my friends I hadn’t talked to in a while, there were others I wasn’t able to catch up with as much but I was glad with the time I managed to get. And since MYC is over, it simply means that we need to learn to create time for ourselves to catch up with these friends, outside of our normal weekly routine.
The last thing I would want to reflect over is of course the issue concerning Mandy; it wouldn’t be a complete reflection unless I actually addressed this last issue. I’ll be sparing with my words in case I say anything offensive. Most of you who went to MYC would know (though it was never spoken) that one of my primary duties was to “look after” Mandy (I’m not quite sure what the appropriate verb clause should be). Anyway, we know that’s it’s always a hard issue to get the message across to everyone that when Mandy seizes everything is actually completely okay, that she isn’t in any danger. It was a pretty rough week as people saw or heard and there really isn’t explanation that either one of us can give, that’s just how camps occur. But I was quite encouraged by the number of people who did flock by to ask if she was okay, and in many cases, to assist in keeping her physically safe from hurting herself (again she is never in any danger at all). One memory comes to mind, where in Wednesday night, we all banded together and formulated a strategy to get Mandy back to her room, which was an impossibly long walk for her to pull off in her state. And so we all formed a crowd control/escort unit; we managed to border her off from other people, to keep them from staring and making her feel nervous, and then we had a driver bring their car to the entrance of the hall and a few of us carried and transported her back to her room. That was an image of not only simple cooperation but an also an image of Christian love; where people who didn’t really know Mandy well all came to help as much as they could. Having said that, most people just stood at a distance, stared and pointed, which at first I thought was quite rude and unloving; but I see that they probably have never witnessed anything of the sort and so they wouldn’t know how to react to it, that’s completely fine. For everyone else who was brave enough to check up on her, you have my many thanks as well; it was encouraging to see everyone’s love and support for her.
Well I think that wraps up MYC for yet another year. There were many experiences to be had over the week; and as we continue to grow year by year in the love and knowledge of Jesus Christ, I hope that we’ll be able to continue looking out for one another and keeping each other accountable to their godliness since it seems clear that as things get busier, it becomes harder to keep track of our own Christian lives, which is why it is a good thing to have others helping us through that. I look forward to chatting with people over this year’s MYC as well as to seeing everyone again for next year’s one.