Blessed by the Next Generation

#Covenantfaithstories from Generations Camp 2021 

Surprises from God

My daughter was looking forward to join this year’s Generations Camp. Two years have passed since the last one so she was very excited. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for us to bond, especially after recently navigating some rough patches in our relationship.

But things didn’t go exactly as I expected. God had some surprises in store for me. Firstly, I wasn’t in the same group as my daughter. The thought of being with people I hardly know made me quite nervous. Secondly, I found out during the camp that our group’s assistant facilitator couldn’t make it due to work-related issues, so I had to help facilitate the youths.


Feeling Inadequate

I was feeling very awkward not knowing how to interact with them. I was from a different generation and race — how do I connect with them?! I was feeling very inadequate. But I remembered that during my personal devotion before the camp, God was speaking about coming home to Him and that it was not going to be an easy journey. I had the assurance that God has prepared me for what’s ahead.


Touching Gestures from the Youths

On the camp’s first day, I was having bad cramps. That was also the day for the “Amazing Race” activity where we had to go around Singapore. I didn’t want to be a burden to the group so I tried to endure the pain and just kept on going. But the youths were very kind and sensitive. They would constantly check on me and ask how I was, “Auntie come with us. Are you ok? Is that [what I was carrying] heavy?” I thought I had to look after them, but they were the ones looking after me. I was warmed by their genuine love and concern. I truly felt loved.

During the plenary session on “Coming Home”, I was deeply moved by the message: coming home is not about what you can give; it is an invitation — you are invited to come home because you are loved. I was crying like a baby as it addressed my primal wounds as a child, and felt God’s loving presence. At that moment, the youths prayed over me one by one. The last one approached me and said, “Auntie, I don’t know how to pray but I want to pray for you.” So she did. Her willingness to step out of her comfort zone was a such touching gesture.

The third and final day was the day to B.L.E.S.S. — a day of reaching out to strangers to be a blessing to them. We were all feeling uneasy and fearful, but I tried to look calm and confident so as not to discourage them. As we went out in pairs, I sensed the pressure that the youth I was with was feeling. So I tried to put her at ease by telling her that we can just give it three tries and even if those end up in rejection, we don’t have to do more. It seemed to allay her fears. I was pleasantly surprised that as we went on, she felt so encouraged that she persevered even after experiencing more than three rejections. She wanted to keep on blessing regardless of the outcome.


Unlearning Pre-Conceived Notions

Those three days taught me so much about the next generation. It was an unlearning of my pre-conceived notions about them and learning what was really in their hearts. Spending time and sharing those experiences with them showed me how I have misunderstood them. I saw their intentionality, genuineness and compassion. I saw how they can be very enthusiastic and fearless in serving God when given unconditional encouragement and support. And how humble they were to admit they needed to know more.

They shared that Generations Camp is a place where they don’t feel judged. I thought to myself that maybe that’s one big thing that we can do for the next generation — to withhold our judgment, give them room to make mistakes as they explore and learn, and just be beside them to support and encourage.  I realised how important it was to be willing to learn from each other and about each other. And it can all begin just by reaching out.


Heart Aching to Pray and Love

After this year’s Generations Camp, I found my heart aching to pray for the Joshua generation and to love them as the Lord loves me — to see the goodness in them and to extend understanding, encouragement and grace.


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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Daniel 7:13-18, 25-27; 11:29-36
Sat, 2 December 2023

The Triumph


What characterises the triumph of God’s people in tribulations under tyrants?

Deeper Reflection
God’s people living under tyrants and suffering tribulations under them can triumph – whether we are delivered from or destroyed in tribulation. The triumph rests on a threefold confidence.We know the conclusion of evil. It is repeated in manifold ways in Daniel that evil that comes through inhuman kings – no matter how great and how long – will definitely come to an end: “he will be broken” (Dan 8:25), “he will be found no more” (Dan 11:19), “yet he will come to his end” (Dan 11:45) and “all these events will be completed” (Dan 12:7).We know God’s calling for us: To be a suffering people – to be captured, plundered, burned or killed (Dan 11:33). But in our suffering, we can be strong as “people who know their God” (Dan 11:32), knowing that God is purging and purifying us to become a sanctified (Dan 11:35; 12:10) and shining people who “shine brightly” with heavenly brightness in the hostile world (Dan 12:3). And we will be a steadfast people who “keep waiting and attain to the 1,335 days” (Dan 12:12) – until we become a sovereign people who “receive and possess the kingdom forever” from “the Ancient of Days” (vv.13-14, 18, 27).We know who is in control. The tribulations under the tyrants in Daniel 7 to 12 are all subject to and subsumed under “that which is decreed will be done” (Dan 11:36; 9:26, 27) “at the appointed time” (Dan 11:27, 29, 35).We conclude Daniel with this theological-discipleship summary statement: We can triumph in tribulations under tyrants when we trust with tenacity in the One who is on the throne.

How can I triumph in tribulations?

Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for Church Board: To grow in the faith and perseverance of overcomers in Christ
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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