For the youth of City Harvest Church of the most highly anticipated advantages of Singapore entering Dorscon Yellow was the resumption of in-person Emerge youth camps, which took place throughout the month of June. Campers from various zones share their experiences with City News.
The month of June was packed with Emerge camps conducted by the youth zones of CHC. After two years of being unable to do camp the way it’s meant to be done, no thanks to COVID, this year’s June camps left an indelible mark in the hearts of the campers.
This year, CHC’s pastoral zones organised 10 camps, held across different venues during different periods. Although each camp was unique, the youths were unified by the camp experience. For weeks after, they continued to talk about how great an experience they had.
What is it about Emerge camp that makes it so memorable? Perhaps it’s the long nights the organisers spend poring over programme sheets while chugging down cups of coffee. Or it could be the camaraderie of campers sweating it out side by side in the sun during activities, going hoarse from cheering. Or maybe it’s kneeling in abandonment during deep worship. The hunger, the electricity in the atmosphere, and the overwhelming love for fellow believers in the house of God are undeniable during Emerge camps.
In the words of camper Nicole Soepranoto, who attended Ginosko Camp organised by pastoral supervisor Pauline Kong: “I love being here—there’s so much of God here.”
This year the zones pulled out all the stops: there were evangelistic outreaches, worship encounter rooms and plenty of sharing of wisdom from the leaders. One writer from each camp shares the best moments, highlights and takeaways of how God moved in their hearts.
Camp Protege (SUN–MJ Zone)
By Barnabas Bay, 26
Camp Protégé: Sons & Daughters took place from 3 to 5 June at Kampung Siglap Lifeskills Training & Retreat Centre. Just as its name suggests, the camp message was to welcome back the sons and daughters of God into His house—this meant the members who missed camp for the last two years, as well as newcomers.
One of the highlights of the camp was a carnival set up by the camp committee dubbed K-Town. The carnival was chock full of exciting booths created and managed by our zone members. It boasted elements of Korean goodness, such as stalls selling Korean snacks and drinks: there was fried chicken and even tteokbokki (simmered rice cakes). A massive tent was set up to shield the carnival-goers from the sun. There was even a game inside a giant inflated bouncy castle! It was sheer fun everywhere you looked.
Outreach was a main component of Camp Protege. The carnival also featured guest performances from Sherman Zhuo, semi-finalist of Mediacorp’s SPOP Sing! Competition and Arthur Choo, founder of BEAT’ABOX Group, who shared his testimony with the participants that day.
The carnival came to an end when a leader in the zone, Sean Yeo, prayed for those who needed healing. Many came forward, notably one who lived with a hearing impairment. That day while he was being prayed for, he described that the sounds he heard felt louder and fresher. While he was not yet fully healed, he felt God doing a work.
Camp is the event that we, the youth of CHC, expect every June season, but that has not been possible the last two years. Coming back once more and feeling the presence and power of God really reminds us that He truly is the same God every single day.
Camp Unstoppable (VER Zone)
By Lisa Kuak, 19 and Isabel Wai, 20
Camp Unstoppable: Journey In Christ, which ran from 10 to 12 June at The Common Good, was led by CHC pastor, Veronica Tang. For many in the zone, it was their first time joining an on-site youth camp. Hence the goal of the camp was to help these young people begin their journey with Christ by equipping them with Biblical head knowledge as well as powerful encounters.
On the second day, Brannon Cordeiro, a cell group leader, shared a message on the good news of God’s salvation during morning devotion. It was a message all of us had heard many times before but it was a concept few of us have fully grasped. He shared that we are all sinners and deserve to experience God’s full wrath. But, because “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Reading this verse with a new perspective, I (Isabel) was not only touched by the magnitude of God’s love towards us but I was also assured in my faith. This simple yet powerful truth is the foundation for our walk with God. As most of our members are still young in their faith, the message was very apt and a good starting point for their journey in Christ. For those who are more mature in their walk with God, it was an excellent reminder of God’s love for us and His desire to be closer to us.
Another notable event was our first live Q&A session at the end of the camp with the leaders in the zone—Chua Zonghan, Lau Quanhan, Brannon Cordeiro, Rhoda Xiu, and Pastor Veronica. The panel took turns answering questions concerning topics such as experiencing, preparing for and maintaining a relationship with God. What stood out to me (Lisa) was when Pastor Veron explained that having a deep understanding of God’s Word penetrates many areas in our lives and that we should aim to know the Bible well. Such a simple thing is easily overlooked by many of us, but it can strongly impact our faith. Needless to say, the whole zone was truly blessed by the wisdom and insights provided by the leaders!
Throughout the camp, our members not only got to know each other better but also got to know God more intimately. Equipped with a greater desire to live for Him, may our journeys in Christ continue to remain unstoppable!
Camp KAINOS LITE (WR Zone)
By Sandra Tan, 27
1 Peter 1:16 reads, ‘For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.’” From 3 to 4 June, the youths in the pastoral zone led by Ong Wei Ren gathered for a quest for purity and holiness. See Toh Wai Yin, the zone’s youth lead, explained, “After two years of the pandemic and having irregular in-person meetings, there is a burden to focus the hearts of the youths back to God. A choice for purity and holiness is something we hope our members will be bold and willing to make, even when the temptations in their lives are real. We want youths to be willing to make a stand for Jesus and be unashamed of it. This generation will know the Lord, be set apart and serve the kingdom of God!”
Held at the Salvation Army, one of the highlights of the camp was Kainos Ignite, a two-hour free worship session. During this session, the campers learned to wait on the Lord and tarry in His presence. Many took a step of faith to prophesy and express their worship via flagging or prophetic painting. Truly, there was a freedom of worship in the atmosphere.
On day two, the youths put the idea of serving God’s kingdom into practice during the camp’s Youth Takeover session. The youths took on every component of the service, from games, praise and worship, offering and preaching of the Word, to handling the session’s visual communications and sound.
The youth band comprised the zone’s youths, who met weekly in the months leading up to camp to practice. Members of the zone’s main band also attended some of these practice sessions, to coach the youth band. As I watched the youth band and youth preachers on stage, knowing how much effort they put into practising, I had the sense that I was watching the next generation of worshippers and preachers, lovers of God’s presence and His Word.
By the end of camp, many campers had experienced a personal encounter with God, some for the first time. Samuel Chow, 17, shared that he hasn’t been in church for three years but his boss, who is also a Christian, encouraged him to go to the camp. He said, “When I was singing [during one of the sessions], I was saying, ‘If You’re really here, let me feel Your presence.’ And I really felt His presence.”
Camp Koinonia (JE Zone)
by Rebekah Tan Zhi Jun, 14
“Who am I?” “What is my purpose in my spiritual journey with God?” These were the questions that campers of Camp Koinonia, held from 10 to 12 June at CHC’s Jurong West premise, asked the Lord during the Prophetic Night session.
Prior to the Prophetic Night session, JE leaders had prayed over all the campers’ Chinese names to receive a prophetic word from the Lord for each member. As the night progressed, the Holy Spirit started moving mightily amongst the campers. Many were amazed and asked, “Lord, how do You know so much about me?” Tears flowed freely as the campers felt burdens being lifted off their shoulders. They felt immersed in their own safe space, where they personally encountered the Lord.
The Lord showed some of us our identity, our purpose in life, and how attending that night’s prophetic meeting was no coincidence. For others, the Lord was a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on, as we poured out our worries to him. He then assured us to always trust in Him and He will show us the way.
Clarice Lim Wen Qi, 17, said, “Prophetic Night was a God-filled time. He showed me that I am a creative person, brave and courageous. He also told me that I was like a beautiful rose and that I must never doubt that. These are the words that will forever be cemented in my heart.”
Another camper, Gabriel Gow shared, “I am a person who relies on myself when solving a problem. That changed during Prophetic Night when God spoke to me and reminded me to always count on Him whether the situation is good or bad. We tend to believe that the problems we face are manageable and can be easily solved by ourselves, but let us depend on God as He is always there for us.”
As I was being prayed over, the Lord showed me a vision. Upon receiving it, I was extremely doubtful. I asked the Lord, “Lord, why me? How will I be able to accomplish this?” The Lord then repeated over and over again, “With Me, nothing is impossible”, and “All you need is to place your faith in me”. That day, I walked out of the hall with newfound confidence and was extremely touched by the word and love of the Lord.
As the night drew to an end, many of our hearts were set ablaze by the wonderful love of the Lord. Prophetic Night might have ended, but fellowship with the Lord had just begun.
Camp Encounter (ET Zone)
By Ernest Cheng, 18
ET Zone’s Camp Encounter was what brought me to City Harvest Church. I first attended Camp Encounter in 2018, and every year’s rendition since then has been life-changing.
This year, Camp Encounter: A New Beginning was held from 10 to 12 June at Kampung Siglap. One of the highlights was a night session where we had a ministry experience called the fire tunnel. A ministry team lined up in two rows facing each other, creating a holy walkway. As each member walked through, hands would be laid on them, spiritually shackles would be loosened, and one would experience God in a mighty way.
Although I had been touched by God multiple times throughout the camp, I strongly believed that God still had more in store for me. I did not just want a touch-and-go encounter, I wanted to meet God face to face and experience Him intimately. That night, all I had in my mind was that burning desire to encounter God like I never did before. I remember waiting in the queue with tears rolling down my cheek, repeatedly praying, “God—come and touch me ever so powerfully tonight. Please.”
The moment I stepped into the tunnel, I was thrown to my knees. As all the leaders laid hands on me one by one, the presence of God rushed over me intensely. Like many, I found myself not being able to move forward at all. As the altar call workers helped me through the tunnel, I was hollering at the top of my lungs and exploding in tears as hands continued to be laid on me. Holy fire rushed through my heart and, at that moment, it felt like God was taking control of my entire body.
Left in a heap at the corner of the hall, I continued to wail and cry at the top of my lungs. My legs and hands were curled up in an awkward position for a long time. I could not even move an inch as other campers lay sprawled around me. Amid all the “chaos” and tears, my heart felt weirdly at ease. I knew at that moment that God was doing His work in me, which He did so by reigniting the flame that once burned so brightly for revival on my campus. As I clambered to my feet with my swollen eyes and mucus-filled mask, I knew that this was that transformative encounter that I had been yearning for.
Truly, God is capable of extraordinary signs and wonders. It was really heartening to see God’s presence saturating the entire room, touching and ministering to many, including the new friends. As long as you carry a heart full of expectancy and desire, your powerful, intimate encounter with Him will come.
From head to toe, God’s love really overflowed and crashed all over me that night.
Overall, this camp was truly refreshing to our souls. Aside from all the personal breakthroughs and new kingdom friendships forged, what really stood out to me was how all the new friends were so open to the presence of God. From not displaying much interest in sessions at the beginning of the camp to kneeling down and weeping during worship, the drama shift in their attitude toward God really touched me deeply.
Finally, I would like to give a huge shoutout to each and every single one on the planning committee and those who served during camp: given the short time they had, all of them still managed to make the camp incredibly fruitful and inspiring one. Without them, there would have certainly been no camp.
Till next time, Camp Encounter!
LOUD! Camp (AN Zone)
By Chester Lim, 22
After a two-year hiatus, Loud! Camp 2022 returned with many exciting activities and spiritually filled encounters. Held from 12 to 14 June at Focus Adventure Sentosa, its theme was “This Is The Greatest Show”, encompassing various movie elements which enthralled the campers.
With the campers being divided up into four clans representing distinct movie genres, everyone not only managed to forge meaningful friendships but we also learnt that God is the only one who has the power to bring meaning and purpose into a person’s life.
Through God’s grace, almost half the attendees were newcomers. It was so heartwarming to watch them come into the house of the Lord. Pastor Wu Yuzhuang preached about the fire of God and urged the youths to have a burning desire stirring within their hearts, which attracts the Holy Spirit. This means that they must have the fire of passion, which requires them to have a heart to glorify God. It is through this relentless pursuit that intimate relationships can be developed. “Jesus died for you on the cross, now what are you going to do for Him?” asked Pastor Zhuang, stirring the hearts of many youths as they responded to the altar call, in hopes of reigniting their flames and zeal for Jesus Christ. Encountering His presence deeply, they surrendered their hearts to Him as they sought to renew their faith and reconcile with their first love.
It was such a wonderful experience as the campsite was evidently filled with God’s presence, moving His almighty hand in executing the things that He has planned in stored for the camp. His abundant love and grace permeated the atmosphere, ensuring that the campers were well taken care of and blessed by the meaningful events.
CampF火re (CL, KEL, WYZ, YL, ZY Zone)
Ann-ya Chan, 16
Psalms 5:3 (TPT) reads, “At each and every sunrise You will hear my voice as I prepare my sacrifice of prayer to You. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for Your fire to fall upon my heart.”
Held from 12 to 14 June at Kampung Siglap, CAMPF火RE was an Emerge youth camp collaboration between zones led by CHC pastors Wu Yuzhuang, Tan Yah Lan, as well as pastoral supervisors Kelvin Tan, Catherine Lee, and Ee Zhen Ying. The theme of CAMPF火RE gave campers the opportunity to learn three things— to ignite, fan and guard their fires— but what exactly is this fire?
CAMPF火RE was not just an event for campers to meet new friends and engage in adrenaline-rushing activities together. It was a time for campers to discover the desire for Christ in their hearts, making them yearn to know more of Him. As youths, we have so much potential to give to others, and through our hunger for God, we can reach out to so many of our peers in the same generation. This is understood from 1 Timothy 4:12, which was shared by Zhen Ying during the third session: “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity,” she preached.
Evidently, CAMPF火RE had unlocked something new in the youths of our camp over those three days, rallying them to the altar. Although this was the first onsite camp after two wearisome pandemic years, the fiery passion burning within every camper seemed to have never left. It was empowering to see the eager and the hungry desperate for God, praising, worshipping and dancing with renewed vigour consistently throughout all the sessions.
The camp was a sanctuary for all those who needed a glimmer of hope in their lives. It did not matter how lost one felt, because, through Him, one is made whole again. It was a shift in terms of atmosphere as compared to the outside world. Society may judge inherently, but the camp environment was a safe space for campers to be “fools for God”, as Kelvin Tan said during one of the sessions.
Camp Ginosko (BKPL Zone)
By Brandon Goh, 25
BKPL Zone’s long-awaited Camp Ginosko returned with a bang from 16 to 18 June at CHC’s Jurong West premise. The theme was simple: “Closer to You”—the youths wanted to draw closer to God and to one another. This camp proved to be filled with many such encounters.
Ginosko Night on Day Two was a worship night where every single camper soaked in the presence of God. Preaching from Exodus 3, cell group leader Poh Yang Hong shared his revelation of God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God is not just the God of past generations, but the personal God of every single person at Camp Ginosko.
At one point during the Ginosko Night altar call, zone supervisor Pauline Kong felt prompted by God to ask the cell group leaders to go into the crowd and lay hands on the campers, rather than waiting for them to respond. This move reflected the truth that God is a good Father, He always comes to us even when we feel far away.
Even after all the encounters, God was not done yet. On day three, CHC Pastor Jeremy Choy shared on sexual purity, explaining that sex is never just a physical act. It affects a person spiritually and emotionally as well. Members were challenged to keep their sexual lives pure for the Lord because there are physical and spiritual consequences to their actions. God was not just drawing closer to BKPL Zone, He was refining our character.
The camp ended with some members sharing tearfully how the experience had drawn them closer to God. Most of those who shared were first-time participants in Camp Ginosko. The camp committee is grateful that God is still tangibly revealing Himself to the campers and changing lives yearly.
Camp ONE (LYL Zone)
By Charmaine Teo, 23
Camp One’s theme for 2022 was “One in Christ, One in Love”, inspired by John 17:21 (NLT). Held from 17 to 19 June, the camp was filled with games at Sentosa, and worship sessions at the church’s premises in Jurong West and Suntec Singapore.
Though it was an Emerge camp, Pastor Lee Yi Lun encouraged the young adults to serve during the camp and attend the sessions too. There was also a workshop for the young adults.
Day one featured two games that tested the campers’ brains and brawn in “The Trial of Wits” and “The Trial of Strength”. In “The Trial of Wits”, campers had to go through station games such as “math dodgeball” whereby the elimination of the attackers and defenders could only be done either through traditional dodge ball rules or by answering math questions. “The Trial of Strength”, was a relay featuring high-energy activities such as wheelbarrowing, sandbag passing, and running to the finishing line to planting the victory flag. This was the true test of teamwork, coordination and strength. After the activities, Pastor Yi Lun led the night preaching session, which saw many newcomers gave their lives to Jesus.
Day two started with the Encounter Room where every member was given two hours to explore and take part in activities as led by the Holy Spirit. There were a total of seven stations for them to explore within the Jurong West church’s main auditorium—His Word for me (Bible Reading), His thoughts of me (Journal and Prayer), His love for me (Holy Communion), His dreams for me (Painting), His vision for me (Prophetic Painting), His heart for me (Flaggers) and His Rhema for me (Prayer Ministers).
Rebecca Lum, 14, was moved by the Encounter Room experience: “All I had to do was to wait on God, to hear His voice and worship Him. No one needed to tell me what to do, or where to go. I loved it so much.”
While the youths were having their final game “The Trial of Hearts”, the young adults attended workshops. The panellists of the “Adulting in Christ” workshop were cell group leaders Jonathan Ng, Wu Ruoyi and Liong Chee Pang. I was personally blessed at how relatable the sharing was and realised that I’m not alone in this “adulting” journey. Just as they were able to do it, I can too—by the grace of God!
At the “Fulfilment in Singlehood and Dating” workshop, Pastor Eileen Toh and Pastoral Supervisor Johann Sim came to share their love story. They taught principles to help us find fulfilment in the Lord at any season. Johann also shared that we should set God as our pillar instead of our partner, and that is why we need to find the 3 Ss (Security, Significance and Self-Worth) in God first.
That the evening, lay pastoral supervisor Lim Meng Chin came and preached a fire-filled word about the move of God. Deliverance, holy laughter and healing took place that night.
Day three began with Sunday service in the morning, and two cell group leaders Jonathan Ng and Andrew Wong stirred the hearts of the youths with a rousing message during the finale. Many answered the call of God with a desire to be a cell group leader during the altar call.
The whole camp was soaked in His glory, and 17 youths gave their hearts to Christ! Hallelujah!
Camp UniteX (AZ Zone)
By Nicole Soh, 20
Camp UniteX, held from 20 to 22 June at CHC’s Jurong West church, gave an opportunity for campers and the committee to do what their senior pastor, Kong Hee has been sharing about in church for a while: silence and solitude.
Led by pastoral supervisor Ian Chong, campers spread out in the main auditorium and meditated on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. They reflected on their personal walk with God and spent time asking Him how they can draw closer to Him in the next half of the year after camp. By God’s grace, even the usually restless secondary school students that made up the bulk of Camp UniteX’s attendees also quietened their hearts during the session to hear from God.
There was also a Powerhouse (a prayer space) located at Level Four of the building, where campers could pray in groups of two and three with fellow campers or with cell group leaders stationed there. Eventually, the whole camp moved to the Powerhouse to pray collectively with Josephine Lim, a pastoral supervisor. There, they prayed for personal and cell group revival. Following a Spirit-filled time of prayer and quiet time with God, Camp UniteX broke into individual teams to have a time of reflection, and the atmosphere was evidently saturated with the Holy Spirit’s presence which touched the campers deeply.
Jonas Moh, 15, a team leaders, said, “During silence and solitude, God gave me the vision of an arrow, asking to send me like an arrow wherever he shoots from His bow. I felt clueless regarding what this vision meant, but after waves of encounters and visions, God affirmed me by telling me to reach out to a group of unsaved people. The ones that need the most love are the ones who have not experienced His love for them, whether it is my friends or loved ones I’m close to.”
All glory to God for what He did in Camp UniteX!