Meeting God Face To Face
Fifteen camps, 2,233 youth, countless encounters with God. Campers from all the pastoral zones in City Harvest Church share the highlights.
Text: Ashley Pek
Romans 13:11-12 says, “The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing.” Based on this verse, Camp Ascendance 2017 was divided into three segments: Breaking of Dawn, Valley Low and The Great Awakening.
The camp kicked off with games at Ngee Ann Polytechnic from Jun 4 to 6. Eager youth campers from zones led by CHC pastor Wu Yuzhuang and pastoral supervisor Kelvin Tan formed two houses. With absolutely no idea about what lay ahead of them, the campers started their first “Breaking of Dawn” experience conquering station games.
Still, no amount of fun was able to upstage God. In the hall of New Charis Mission, Wu stirred up the hearts of the youths on the first night, challenging them to step out in faith and believe that God can use their past to do greater things for the Kingdom.
Day Two began with the “Valley Low” experience as cell group leader Cynthia Chua led the youths into a sacred time with God. She taught the campers that God is “REAL” (an acronym for revival, encounter, awakening and life) even when they go through tough seasons. After an afternoon of strenuous wet games, the campers were in for a treat with CHC pastor Choong Tsih Ming’s night session. He empowered the youths and prayed over them for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, also leading them into a prophetic session with one another.
The last day of Camp Ascendance was indeed the “Great Awakening”. While campers struggled to stay awake from a few hours of rest, CHC pastor Audrey Ng’s message titled, “Every healthy thing must grow!” awakened the campers and caused a stirring in their hearts to yearn for spiritual growth. The camp ended with Tan’s sharing on having a burning passion for Christ.
“This camp was a three-day journey: I had a mountain experience on the first day and a personal valley low moment on the second day. But God is good, on the third, the Holy Spirit came like a river,” said Shawn Goh, one of the camp commandants.
Text: Jasmine Ng & Claria Lim
Camp Encounter 2017, led by CHC pastor Edmund Tay, happened at The New Charis Mission from Jun 8 to 10. Its theme was “River”, which signifies an outpouring of God’s love. The 153 youth involved were immersed in three invigorating days of fun, fellowship and faith-renewing encounters with God.
Jasmine’s thoughts: God blessed me with fellowship. I was slightly apprehensive, as I did not know most of the people in my team. Nonetheless, my worries were unfounded as the games, sessions and fellowship allowed me to get out of my comfort zone to connect with people. By the end of the camp, new friendships had been forged and old friendships rekindled. Camp Encounter was exceptionally memorable for me as I transited from being a student to a working adult. I was reminded that God has been with me since I was in secondary school and that His love remains unchanged.
Claria’s thoughts: I was deeply touched by CHC pastor Choong Tsih Ming’s sharing and ministering. As he recalled his own encounters with the Holy Spirit, he emphasized the importance of allowing God to perform an “operation” on you during ministry time and not to rush through it. A successful “operation” requires us to yield to the Holy Spirit. During ministry time I made a decision to yield and allow God to move. The Lord spoke to me saying, “Today, it’s not about your career, your ministry, or your finances. Today, it’s about your heart and I want to heal your heart.” Just when I thought that was it, He continued saying, “I will heal your heart that out of which, it will flourish and flow with rivers of living water.” Right there and then, I knew all those worries that I had were unfounded; what mattered was the healing of my heart.
Text: Gabriel Tan
From Jun 9 to 11, the youth of the pastoral zone led by CHC pastor Tan Yah Lan came together at Changi Fairy Point chalet for an encounter with the Holy Spirit. The Limitless Camp challenged youths to live “not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit.” (Zech 4:6) More importantly, the youth sought to understand who the Holy Spirit was to them.
Nathaniel Low, 23, one of two camp commandants explained, “It’s one thing to have second or third hand knowledge about someone, but it is another to know someone intimately.”
On the first evening, Tan taught on the seven symbols of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is like refreshing rain, reviving rivers, ever-present wind, cleansing fire, anointing oil, and the gentle dove. She then challenged the youth to live their lives journeying with the Holy Spirit in a constant state of perusal.
Day Two was activity-focused. Campers worked together to defeat their biggest obstacle: the camp committee! The campers all had good fun learning what living out the unity and community spirit of the Acts 2:42 church felt like.
It was just three days long, but many of the youths forged deep friendships and tasted the faith-building atmosphere of worshiping God together with like-minded believers. The Limitless Camp is about building a community of passionate youth that love God and each other. This community is built, not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit.
Text: Caslin Lau
Camp Unstoppable (being unstoppable in one’s pursuit of God) was held for the pastoral zone under CHC pastor Veronica Tang took place from Jun 9 to 11 at Aloha Loyang.
The dragon boat outreach was a unique feature of this camp. Campers had just had three boats to accommodate over 70 campers! It was a close fight among the three teams.
A special session with Gary Heyes, pastor and founder of Speak Life Canada was the highlight. He preached a word and prophesied over the youth. The spiritual atmosphere was so strong, and God touched everyone differently. The campers wanted to dwell in His presence and it felt like the meeting ended too soon.
The presence of God was so strong throughout the camp. This camper’s biggest takeaway from Pastor Veronica’s preaching was that “earthly brokenness creates heavenly openness”. It reminded me of something God once said to me; that the word “broken” connotes something bad to the world, in the heavenly context, being “broken” creates the opportunity for God to move as we empty ourselves and stand humbly before Him.
Text: Jasmine Kurniawan
Ginosko means to personally know and experience something. For the youths from the pastoral zone led by Ho Boon Kiat and Pauline Kong, Jurong West was the place to ginosko God from Jun 9 to 11.
The theme for the camp was “The Army of God”—an army of youths who are yielded, passionate and discipled, whose lives’ purpose is to lift the name of Jesus. Anchoring on Ezekiel 37:9-11, Kong told the campers that army of God includes those who do not yet know Christ, who have yet to hear about Him.
The highlight was Ginosko Night, a time of worship where campers pressed in deeper into the presence of God. Worship leader Malcolm Tay led the campers in an original song called “Your Love”. The presence of God was so tangible, many stepped into the Holy of Holies and had their ginosko moments with God.
Camp Ginosko was not without fun and games. As “initiates” the campers discovered their vocations in the army of God: worshippers, shepherds, teachers, or evangelists through a questionnaire and participated in activities to understand the qualities and skills needed to carry out their roles. This culminated in a mass game demonstrating that all vocations play an integral part in winning the lost and leading them to God.
By the end of the camp, many had caught the fire for revival. Personally, experiencing God’s love for me moved me to yield to Him and to reach out to others with the same love He has for me. The call is on us to win the lost for His Kingdom!
Text: Chan Xin Ying & Joelle Valen
The theme of the camp, “Pursue” was taken from Psalm 119:9-10 (MSG): “How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted.”
On Jun 10, members from CHC pastor Lee Yilun’s zone gathered at Focus Adventure in Sentosa, preparing their hearts to encounter God. The first day was filled with exciting activities.
On Day Two, CHC pastor Wu Yuzhuang joined the campers for campfire night with a timely message. He preached that every man should be at their own “tent”, that is, their own, whole-hearted worship of God. Wu left the campers with
this: “May we never lose the feeling for God’s presence and treat him as something common.” The night ended with campers creating an altar for God on their knees.
Xin Ying’s thoughts: The most memorable event in this camp was when pastor Gary Heyes preached about how God has a purpose for our lives. He shared about how he and his wife received a miracle baby after eight years of praying and confessing. His personal testimony encouraged many of us to believe that God always takes difficult situations and turns them around. I realized that God has a plan and purpose for each one of us. It was a powerful session: the Holy Spirit filled everyone and brought many to tears as the session ended with an altar call. This camp was an amazing encounter-filled one for me.
Joelle’s thoughts: Camp ONE was definitely an amazing experience for all, leaving many longing for more. Bobby Chaw (CHC’s executive pastor) said in our first session, “If only I can have God’s presence travelling with me through the journeys of life, everything is going to be all right.” The campers are now on fire for God and together they are pursuing God, which is the whole purpose of life.
Text: Beverly Ng
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” It was Matthew 5:8 that inspired the camp’s theme of “Heartcore”. Camp commandant Soon Liwen, 24, explained, “This camp is about going back to a simplicity of heart, where we first experienced the love of and a touch from God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, no hidden motives. It is more than an external purity of behavior; it is an internal purity of soul.”
The excitement level of campers from the pastoral zone led by Leila Tan was high through the whole camp from Jun 11 to 13. From competitive cheers, creative and engaging games that led campers from Esplanade to Boon Lay MRT station, salt and sea soaked activities at Sentosa, a campfire night and a canvas painting activity called “Heartistic”, along with morning devotion and evening sessions every day, campers found themselves constantly in God’s presence.
Tan preached an impactful message on living life for God. “If you always need recognition, then you’re not living for an audience of One,” she said, citing the example of the woman with the alabaster jar in the Bible. The woman’s gift was unplanned and uninvited: she had another plan but decided to follow God’s plan instead, and her act of worship and sacrifice transformed her life.
“This was a camp where we sought God together as a zone with a deep hunger for more of Him. I can feel our zone is so much closer now, physically and spiritually,” said youth cell group leader, Jeanette Zee, 21.
Text: Gabriel Su
Camp Enlarge’s rallying call for the youths from the zone led by pastoral supervisor Ee Zhen Ying was to “Breakout!” in all areas of their lives. The campers came expectant and hungry to encounter God.
The mini carnival and production on Day Two featured free-flow popcorn and candy floss, with fantastic live performances by the zone members. The highlight was the zone’s first ever production, Finding Light. The production, based on a true story, was funny and moving. It ended with an altar call which saw new friends and backsliders give their lives to Jesus.
In the final session, Ee challenged the youth to make a decision to be passionate for the Lord and His house, to break out from their past, and step into supernatural living in Christ, and not be held back by the pull of the world. God’s love began to saturate the entire room; there was a tremendous presence of the Lord.
Many campers left with hearts burning anew, hearts and lives realigned to God’s vision, ready to “Breakout” for the Lord wherever He sends them.
CAMP HIGHER GROUNDS
JOL & EC Zones
Text: Jo’zzy Koh
Camp Higher Grounds, which ran from Jun 11 to 13 at Pasir Ris PA Holiday Flat, was attended by more than 70 tertiary students from pastoral zones led by Josephine Lim and Elaine Chua.
Before the campfire on Day One, the campers were each given a piece of firewood. As the campfire blazed, Josephine likened it to the consuming fire of God burning away the impurities in their lives. That night, she invited the campers to surrender to God all the impurities, wrongful thoughts and addictions, represented by the firewood in their hands, and to allow the Holy Spirit to consume all of it. As the campers added to the fire, it grew bigger, brighter and wilder. To the campers, it symbolized their lives blazing brighter for God, entering on to higher ground with Jesus as they consecrated our lives to God. It was a moment that no camper would forget.
For me, the segment “Higher Purpose” led by camp commandant Kezia Yee and youth cell group leader, Rickson Tan was the most impactful. I am in the final year of my university life and this was my final camp as a tertiary student. I was struggling with the transition and found it hard to believe in God’s plans for my future. Through Kezia’s and Rickson’s sharing about discovering their life’s purpose in God’s word, I begin to gain clarity. What Kezia shared has stuck with me: It is not about loving the outcome, but loving and enjoying the process of it more than the goal itself. I start to ponder if achieving what I want at the expense of my relationship with God was worth it. That day, I made a decision to have my heart and mind realigned to the Word of God and His purpose for my life.
Through Camp Higher Grounds, my mind is renewed and I am liberated from all anxiety and worries. I am ready to go on to the next level of my life. God is indeed my Emmanuel—He is with us.
IC, AZ and JJ ZONE
Text: Cheyenne Tan
Matthew 14:29 says, “So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.” WAVE Camp, held from Jun 14 to 16, encouraged campers to rise above their calling with boldness and to grow deeper in their intimacy with God.
The unique thing about WAVE Camp is its annual the Faith-In-Action activity. Now in the third year, campers reached out to three beneficiaries: children, the elderly and migrant workers. The campers gave sun-catchers to children and the elderly, taught them about the migrant workers in Singapore and to make sun-catchers for the workers. The experience overall was enriching and heart-warming.
What was especially memorable about this camp was the tangible presence of God this writer felt during the sessions. My greatest gain was the new relationships formed with fellow brothers and sisters of Christ and the many encounters that God revealed Himself to me.
Elter Lim, 20, one of the house captain said, “I get very emotional when I see youths worshipping the Lord with all their heart and all their soul. There’s a very strong power behind it and it is what I connect with— it really touches my heart.”
Text: Angela Ouyang
Themed “Conquest”, LOUD! Camp kicked off with intense games that took place from Tanjong Beach to Palawan Beach in Sentosa. The youths from pastoral zone led by Wayne Choong played games centered on a storyline of four different tribes with different passions fighting to inherit the kingdom.
Throughout the camp which ran from Jun 13 to 15, it felt like God was in the midst of His people, working the supernatural solidarity that the zone had been praying for.
Focusing on decisions, devotion and discipleship, the Spirit-filled morning and night sessions saw anointed speakers preaching up a storm: pastoral supervisor Wayne Choong, pastor Gary Heyes of Speak Life Ministries and cell group leaders Ng Shi Ming and Thaddeus Chew.
The final session preached by Choong speaks of us as a generation of conquest. The Word stirred up the hearts of members to be disciples, and to make disciples. Concerning making disciples, Choong said, “All that is required for evil to win is for a good man to do nothing.”
He quoted British evangelist Rodney “Gipsy” Smith during the altar call: “Brother, go home, go into your room. Take a piece of chalk and draw a circle on the floor. Then get down on your knees inside that circle… Repent, determine to follow the Lord where His Word directs you, no matter what the cost, and pray that He will begin His work of revival within You!”
Many youths responded to the call by streaming to the front of the room, each taking a piece of chalk, drawing a circle on the floor and kneeling in their own chalk circle. As they worshipped, some with tears in their eyes, the campers were resolute in their new walk of discipleship in Christ and His people.
CAMP GREATER: CONSECRATION
Text: Fiona Wai
It is almost clichéd to say this, but this CAMP gets GREATER each year; and this is not by power, not by might but only by the Holy Spirit. This year’s camp started on Jun 19 and lasted for three days.
In line with this year’s theme, the zone corporately fasted on the second day of camp, trusting that as we consecrate the day unto the Lord, He would come and do wonders among us–just like Joshua 3:5. And we had some wild Holy Ghost time when pastor Gary Heyes ministered to us during that night’s meeting.
Pastor Gary shared on not bowing down to the Babylonian spirit before he prophesied over the campers. Pastoral supervisor Ong Wei Ren then requested for the Levites of the camp to be prayed over first. As I was part of the praise and worship team in that meeting, I got a chance to be ministered. I was beyond thrilled to have a word spoken over my life by Pastor Gary whom I have heard so much about, and the excitement grew rapidly as he gave spot-on prophecies to my peers in front of me. However, when he finally got to me, it was not what I expected at all.
It was not a word of affirmation or a faith proclamation but full-blown manifestation and deliverance from bondage that I never knew I was subjected to.
Pastor Gary told me that God wanted to heal my heart of an offence that I have been feeding unwittingly, and it has been eating away bits of my soul. I broke out into holy laughter, let out vehement screams and fell to the ground. As I laid on the ground and let God to do His work in me, I felt serenaded by songs of joy and victory. It was a kind of liberation I had never felt before.
Even though I’ve attended SOT, it was the first time I experienced manifestation. That night, my heart was so glad. It was like a lovely surprise from Daddy God who always gives us more than what we can ever expect. Even though I did not receive a prophesy over my future, I walked away with the best gift ever–knowing that I’m no longer a slave to fear; I am a beloved child of the Most High God.
Camp Protégé: The Call
BC & MJ Zone
Text: Serene Tan
Camp Protégé: The Call was held at Focus Adventure campsite in Sentosa from Jun 23 to 25. The vision for this year’s camp came from Joel 2, which led the youths of the zone to assemble to receive and heed the call God has upon our individual lives.
Fun-filled games took place in the day, as the campers from the pastoral zone led by executive pastor Bobby Chaw and pastoral supervisor Lim Meng Chin basked in the sun and the sand. Campers were also taught ways to be effective evangelists and witnesses of the gospel.
During the night session where Pastor Bobby preached on “Understanding The Child Of My Past”, God began to do an introspective work in the hearts of the campers as we were reminded of some past emotional setbacks and learned emotional reactions. It was a special moment as He spoke to me, to let go and forget about past disappointments and rejection, because I am a new creation in Him. I can trust and find security in God. As Pastor reminded us that God created us to enjoy pure and sincere relationships with Him and the people around us, I received a new outlook on how I should approach relationships in life.
During altar call, the Holy Spirit moved, and brought deliverance and inner healing to many. He broke down the emotional walls many have built, and we received liberty to pursue the calling God has for us, and to reach out to the lost. That night, many came to Christ too!
The highlight of this year’s camp was the campfire night. Seated by a campfire, we were blessed by the testimonies of Lim and worship leader, Chervelle Chua. We felt one another’s struggles and celebrated each other’s breakthroughs. The presence of God lingered in the place–that moment really touched and bonded our hearts. It was a family moment.
Camp Fuel 2017
Text: Alycia Leong
After a pre-camp (Day Zero) day of activities at Sentosa, Camp Fuel—themed “Pursuit of Passion”—ran from June 23 to 25 at CHC’s Jurong West campus. The tangible presence and power of God permeated the four sessions—which concluded with an evangelistic meeting “POP Night”—led by pastoral supervisor Catherine Lee and her team of leaders.
In the first session worship leader Pamela Choo spoke about the visions that God gave her and how she captured them in “devotional drawings”. The campers also exercised drawing their visions on canvas boards. Choo also wrote a worship song titled “Glory to Glory”, an ode to pursing after God.
At the final session, Lee told the campers that their generation should not stop passing on the baton, the spiritual inheritance they have, to the next generation. An outpouring from the Holy Spirit at the meeting filled many with holy laughter.
Camp Fuel taught me that our spiritual walk often begins with that first encounter and vision with God. God then helps us grow in brokenness. Brokenness compels us to step out and answer God’s call upon our lives. The call spurs us to ensure the gospel continues, from generation, to generation.
Text: Kimberly Chan
Incredible things happen when hungry and expectant youths come together on bended knees to connect themselves to the heart of God. From Jun 24 to 26, the pastoral zone led by CHC pastor Kenneth Sim gathered at the Girls’ Brigade Centre for their annual youth camp, Camp Connect, themed “The Kingdom Generation” this year.
On the first night, Sim emphasized the importance of building one’s altar for the Lord. “An altar is a place of sacrifice, a place of prayer and worship, and a place of encounter,” he preached. The evening became a night of unusual worship. As the lights dimmed and hearts grew open, Sim encouraged everyone to turn the hall into their personal altar. It was a significant moment for many as they met their King in a raw and intimate way.
Another highlight was the campfire, held in a pavilion in Sentosa lit only by fairy lights that spelled “CONNECT”. Testimonies were shared, games were played. The intimacy of the testimonies forged bonds and allowed pre-believers invited as guests to get a glimpse of who God truly is.
Luke Ong, 22, a university student, summarize the camp in one impactful statement: “Four teams, three days, two nights, one family, and zero reservations about my conviction; which is to win my generation for Christ.”
All Emerge camp photos by Emerge camp media teams.