Care Community Church camp at Pulai Springs, Johor
Pulai Springs, Johor is a good resort for church camps. We arrived there from Singapore within two hours or less. We had ice breakers and orientation and settled into our rooms. The haze however spoiled what would otherwise have been an ideal place for relaxation, seminars and meditation. The food was excellent and the rooms were above average. So was the service.
The Care Community Church is a warm and loving family church. Their welcome quickly put us at ease with them. Meals were pleasant as we got to know different members of the church. As they responded to us warmly, we in turn enjoyed a growing rapport with them. When I am relaxed and feel at home with an audience, I find I can preach and teach more effectively. I found the church to be friendly, unique, and blessed with many talented and faithful people. You could tell they have been cared for and loved.
Pastor Amos Yap has been their pastor for more than a decade. I got to know his family better: Juliet, his wife who gives tuition with a twist – counseling and guidance! and his son and daughter. They are a lovely family and all are serving the Lord. The theme was about personal renewal and rebuilding the church. I dealt with the common symptoms of an unhealthy spirituality.
Pulai Springs, Johor is a lovely hotel with good service and food. I adapted some ideas I got from Peter Scazzero’s “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” and filtered them through my experience, and shared 8 symptoms with them over two nights. Detecting some of these symptoms will help people unlock some of the hindrances to the Christ life in them. I also did two morning workshops on the spiritual disciplines of the “Examen” and “Lectio Divina” – fancy Latin names for a review of the day and devotional reading. Short explanations and 25 minutes of actual prayer, followed by 20 minutes of group sharing and prayer. I kept the practices brief and manageable so that the young people can enjoy a taste of these spiritual practices. These are disciplines that will position them to receive and experience more of God’s grace and love on a regular basis. On the last night we had a wonderful ministry time praying for the sick, prophesying and blessing people in the name of the Lord. The presence of the Lord was among us.
There was more hunger and faith among them than I had assumed from the first session. In the final morning session, I encouraged them to rebuild the church together, doing a bare bones expository message of Haggai’s second prophecy.
Euclid Tan was my room mate, a young man who had been in Bill Johnson’s school of the supernatural in the US. He was a great help. He gave me input on the messages, helping me to angle it to young people and contributing stories as well as trimming off unnecessary fats. May the Lord raise a new generation of ministers who will excel in faith, hope and love.
Pardon my rambling all over the place. This is a symptom that I need to slow down, slow down.