Michelle Heng, a participant of Emerge 2012’s brand new competition, Com’ Sense shares with City News her journey.
Contributed by Michelle Heng
When the theme and various competitions of this year’s Emerge Youth Conference were announced, a particular competition caught my attention. The committee had introduced a brand new competition under the “Spirit” category, which only had Preaching and Testimony Challenge previously. Dubbed Com’ Sense, this competition required participants to demonstrate not only their Bible knowledge, but also their general knowledge on the pillars of society.
Each participant received a thick stack of readings spanning six topics: Youth, Elderly, Family, Current Affairs, Environment and Health. In addition, we were to memorize 15 Bible verses (thankfully, punctuation was not tested!).
It seemed like a daunting task as most of us were full-time students or working professionals, this means that we had to find every opportunity of time to read and digest all the information. It truly felt like I was preparing for year-end examinations all over again! Each reading had highlighted text, scribbled annotations and the occasional acronym–precious tools to aid the memorization process.
Preliminaries were held on Jul. 5 at Suntec Singapore. The atmosphere in the room was buzzing with anticipation as we awaited the start of the preliminary round. Some participants were seen cramming last bits of information into their heads, while a few others were flipping through their own handwritten notes. Finally, we received our question paper and started the moment the clock struck 8. As we attempted to complete 30 multiple-choice questions and write out in full all 15 Bible verses, one could see the look of determination on the faces of each participant to ace the competition. Many left the room with a sense of relief; some had confident smiles on their faces.
Overall, feedback for the new competition has been positive. 19-year-old Jane Ng from Ngee Ann Polytechnic found Com’ Sense to be a fresh and good idea. “It’s good for us not just to have biblical knowledge, but also gain knowledge of society and its current issues, so we can actually relate to them,” said Ng.
Indeed, it was not just about the knowledge, but about understanding our own society and the roles we play in it. Special needs teacher assistant Linda Ha, 25, felt the readings were very relevant to her profession, especially the ones on volunteerism. “Volunteerism is a real problem in society today, and I felt the readings brought about some awareness and understanding of the community service sector in Singapore,” she said.
Though I did not make it through to the finals, I have been very blessed by the entire learning experience and gained invaluable knowledge about our society. I now have a well-rounded perspective on community issues and also this has also inspired me to do more for society.
I want to say a big thank you to the committee who planned such a unique competition, and kudos to those who stepped up to the challenge and shone in their own way. Com’ Sense finals will be held during the Emerge conference on Jul. 27, and we look forward to seeing the six finalists shine on stage. In the meantime, I shall look at my red “Spirit” badge with fond memories of Com’ Sense 2012.
Emerge is a youth conference organized by City Harvest Church to inspire its younger generation. Competitions leading up to the three-day event are categorized into “Spirit”, “Soul”, “Body” and “Salt and Light”, and flows with the central theme of “Social Cause”. Emerge 2012 will take place from July 27 to 29.