Singapore: Wake-up calls and new perspectives

Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted and borders re-opened, students in Singapore have spent the last few months strengthening their faith through in-person camps and retreats.

In late December, students from five universities across Singapore travelled to neighbouring Malaysia for SWAT, which stands for Studying the Word All Together. This Bible camp was jointly organised by students from the National University of Singapore Varsity Christian Fellowship (NUS VCF) and Nanyang Technological University Christian Fellowship (NTU CF). After two years of online camp, students were excited to come together in person and be challenged by this year’s theme: Preparing for the King’s Return, taken from 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13.

“The theme talks were a good reminder – and wake-up call – of whether I’m ready for Jesus’ second coming, and if I have been intentional in engaging in the Christian communities God has placed me in,” shared Tricia Khaw Jing Xuan, a first-year business administration student.

Tricia was one of 128 students who attended the six-day camp, during which participants heard from an expert speaker who unpacked 1 Thessalonians. But the highlight for many students was the richness of delving into the Scriptures with their small groups.

“What impacted me the most,” reflected Tricia, “was hearing my group sharing about the topics covered like rapture and grief, preparing for Jesus’ return, and the salience of the Christian community in today’s world. I was able to see Scripture come to life in other students’ experiences, and that level of vulnerability throughout the camp made us much closer.”

For Nathanael Lim Yeong Sng, a third-year international trade student, a workshop on lament left him with a new perspective on how faith relates to our emotions.

“We explored the story of Job in a new light, and looked at how Job’s feelings of anger, sorrow, and questioning of God were part of having a genuine relationship with Him,” said Nathanael. “This retelling of Job shifted my perspective on my relationship with God.”

“Society generally tells us to sweep our pain and grief under the rug and to be positive all the time. But I learned that it’s okay to air our feelings out and care for the soul. Lament shouldn’t be seen as something negative to get over but as a great expression of hope where we can trust that God listens to us in times of brokenness.”

Please pray with us for FES Singapore:

  • As students return from camps to the busyness and burnout of their second semester, pray that they would continue to be filled with courage and commitment to make the choices that matter for the Lord.
  • Pray for student leaders that they would be equipped with the heart and skills to engage their campuses and make a lasting impact, particularly during this time when campuses are changing in the aftermath of the pandemic.
  • Pray for staff, especially as the movement’s Staff Conference approaches on 17-20 April. Pray for wisdom, insight, and courage as the movement focuses on equipping staff to meet new demands and issues in a post-pandemic world. 

Read more recent news from FES Singapore in the movement’s Impetus newsletter.

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