In no time you will be entertained by their nonsense and just let loose and be yourself. Sharing with them was not a problem as we are all of the same age group and the problems we face are very relevant, this is a hallmark of a youth community in campus… At the camp, I learnt a few things which struck me like how as Christians we are the body of Christ and every part of the body has a specific role and function to fulfil and yet we all make up one body of Christ in a community.
Above: Samuel anointing one of his groupmates in an icebreaker game for FOC 2015
Hi there, I’m Samuel Lau, currently Year 2 (going on Year 3) NUS Pharmacy. The idea of having a Catholic community was bugging me ever since I drifted away from church and Amplify after serving NS. As most guys would probably know, NS was a hard period of my life in which God was there every moment with me but due to staying in camp my circle of Catholic friends in which I stayed in contact with slowly dwindled after the two whole years serving the nation.
So it all began when… prior to entering University, I was fortunate enough to be approached by my dearest Aunt Theresa who once worked at the Office for young people (OYP) as a caretaker. She invited me to participate in this event called ‘Kickstart’. Curious about her occasional talk about the happening youth events at OYP, I decided to give it a shot. And I haven’t regretted ever since ☺
Enough said. Hahahahahha
I went to the Camp being myself: reserved, shy and more of passively waiting to get approached rather than to actively approach others. Not to worry fellow introverts, these people are the most friendly and welcoming people ever. In no time you will be entertained by their nonsense and just let loose and be yourself. Sharing with them was not a problem as we are all of the same age group and the problems we face are very relevant, this is a hallmark of a youth community in campus which attracted me unlike other groups back in my parish whereby it’s a struggle to understand people with ‘generation gaps’ and are in very different phases of life. It’s not that its bad to have variety but I guess I feel a sense of belonging here in CSS with the Catholic youth of the same age. (Plus point!!!! Expect to see your Catechism/Catholic school old friends!!)
At the camp, I learnt a few things which struck me like how as Christians we are the body of Christ and every part of the body has a specific role and function to fulfil and yet we all make up one body of Christ in a community.
1. Community challenges you to be more like Jesus. The camp was a good balance between play and pray so don’t worry about it being ‘too spiritual’. The sessions really catered towards freshmen like me and it really brought me a step closer back to God. Throughout my University life, there were Catholic friends who journeyed with me during cell groups. Their faith and example as well as their sharings really inspire me to strive towards Jesus. Simple daily encouragement to go for mass or pray and lending a listening ear whenever I needed help really spurred me on in my studies.
‘And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’ – Hebrews 10:24-25
2. Community carries you emotionally/opens your eyes to the needs of others. Being with CSS throughout the past year really carried me though university life. There were so many times that I could feel the presence of God and just experience him in this community while at school. Even after a tiring and emotionally draining day at school, I had the opportunity to unload all of that sadness and frustration and fellowship with these people. We definitely need friends in our faculty and courses, but a fellow Catholic friend is always a bonus to help me in this journey of faith.
‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.’ – Galatians 6:2
3. Community empowers your relationship with God. I can’t stress less about this point whether is it playing games in the camp or saying prayers before meals and just getting to know new people. The community will bring you closer to God and this camp taught me the importance of journeying with a community rather than alone.
‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ – Proverbs 27:17
So to end off, if you don’t remember anything that you just read, just sign up for CSS FOC! Your own faith adventure will begin and I will assure you that you will have loads of fun☺ while growing closer to God in faith. It’s a 2 for 1 deal, how much better can it get?
Thank you Samuel for sharing your testimony! For those fresh out of National Service, or those who may have drifted from God, we hope his sharing has encouraged you to step out of your comfort zone and answer God’s call to return to Him 🙂 Who knows what you might encounter at CSS FOC 2016! Do sign up now if you wish to join us on this exciting adventure 🙂
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. – Revelations 3:20