Retreat 2016 was incredible on so many levels. Though there were things that could be sharpened, I honestly think that it had been one of the best retreat I have ever went for.
I told some people about my thoughts on the presence of God in this retreat. It felt so heavy and yet there is this releasing feeling of freedom. I don’t know if it was just me, but that was how I was feeling.
I should really stop trying to please everyone. I guess in the process of trying to love and please everyone, it kinda had a backlash and made me pull back from loving instead. Sounds a bit contradictory, but it is true. I love a certain way, (cue the book of the six love languages) but some people just don’t feel loved like this and would get irritated with me. Then as a Sanguine, I see their response and get drained emotionally, so I pull back from that person.
I find it so hard to be the person I am, because I honestly want people to like me, but they don’t like the way I love them. So I annoyed them instead of pleasing them. You know what? I am going to stop trying to please everyone alright? I am still going to be the person I am. I will love everyone as much as I can, if God called me to go pray I will. No matter how hard it is to live that person, because it is God that matters not them.
Over the course of this half a year, I caught myself doing something and I am in such pain because of it. Loving this person is what I want to do. I want to take care of this person as much as possible, however, through the process I kept on irritating the person instead. I felt really bad yesterday because this person got a bit annoyed at me, both times I was trying to chat and talk to that person. We were both tired I guess, but our response deferred. Mine was to still chat and listen, to tease, to kinda get energy off each other. That person needed to be alone, pushed such teasing away and was irritated. I could have led and continued the conversation somewhere, but I was tired so I avoided it.
I don’t want to be the friend that is only there during the good times. I want to love everyone and be there for all of them. Perhaps I should stop trying to please everyone.
Nevertheless, may I never bear grudges with these people. May I continue to love them as much as I can in whatever way I know how.
Retreat was fun! Ok maybe I should be a bit more cohesive and reflect about it day by day.
Before retreat, I really contemplated buying the Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN. So I looked all over, finally in Funan someone is selling cheaper at $418. (everyone is selling $438) However I wanted to make sure that the price was right, so I called my mum to ask her to call her Friend. Then while waiting for a return call, I when down to Harvey Norman, just to see if my lens was there. It wasn’t, but I found the exact model of tripod I wanted. Not only that! It was cheaper! Yes! It was cheaper in Harvey Norman than some other stores! So I bought it!
I also enquired via Facebook on the price of the lens! I found the quote cheaper than Funan! YES! So I actually went down on my off day to buy it!
Even before that, I replaced Joshua Lek for retreat, so I was about to pay him $279 dollars, but, his parents and him were very kind. They were ok with me going without paying any money! :O I felt bad, so I paid him a hundred dollars instead. Nevertheless, paying only $100 for retreat was such a blessing.
On the late bus, I made a few new friends, namely Jermaine, Ben’s friend. Heard that she was about to serve in children’s ministry! Cool! 🙂 Was fun! I watched Crescendo with Bob! It was a nice bus ride! 🙂
Above: Jermaine loving her roasted peanuts.
Then upon arrival, I met my two room mates. Thank God they were tired and slept early!
My group was quite foreign to me cause you know, I only know a few people there! So I just went there and try to get them talking to me and each other! Was good! It was good that I had the “heyyy broooo” moment with Jonathan!
Then for R&R… Wah… It was honestly the most tiring R&R I have ever had in retreat. We had to bring out the people as a group. It was so hard to manage and control. We had to move together, and whenever we lose someone we just panic. I mean, come on! They are old enough! Emerge should just go with their parents! Tsk!
I was very thankful that I got to chat with Miss Tan. Was very nice.
Then came the night service that day. It was the pastor T’s(I am sorry I dunno how to spell her name) service. I actually haven’t heard the sermon. HAHA! I was listening to service with the Emerge kids. OH OH OH! I am now pretty close with my kid Ethan Choo! Haha he kissed me on the cheeks! 🙂
Then I was asked to shoot photos when Pastor Andy had his altar call. It was interesting. I went into street photography mode! HAHA! It is very different, because people here actually stays still! I guess a lot on photography during worship is capturing precious moments of love and posture.
Then two girls came over to the emerge side and they were honestly so cute! Apparently, pastor T’s sermon was on lust and sexual sin, them not being exposed to such stuff before were so disgusted and repelled. Haha, I was just surprised.
Then when I entered the room of the service hall, I saw this room full of people on the floor praying and crying. The first thought that came to me was “This is a war ground.” I sat down to reflect and I looked around me and indeed this was a war ground, but tears and brokenness isn’t a lost battle. It was a battle won! People were crying over their dead selves and rejoicing over their new selves. It was quite an amazing sight.
I cannot help but feel that I just missed something amazing though.
I then went on to share quite deeply with my room mates about certain issues. They all started opening up and I just poured my life out as well. I dunno, I just felt that I could. God has been using me to pour out more than I ever thought I would.
Then we went down to play guitar! Haha! We borrowed Isaac’s guitar and he asked Jairus what time is he going to borrow until. I think Jairus misheard and thought, “why do you want to borrow my guitar?” And his answer was so win.
“I want to worship God!” Jairus said.
It was honestly a very pure desire and I admired that!
We went on to sing and praise God with the guitar. Going off tune here and there. Playing the wrong chords here and there. None of that mattered because we just wanted to worship God. We then played “Beautiful Savior” as a praise song because I was jut thinking, hey! Beautiful Savior isn’t very wordy, maybe I can sing it fast too! I at first thought of a shuffle version, but we ended up playing something like an EDM version! 😂 it was good!
The next day, it was Pastor T’s sermon again! This time with the emerge kids. It was a good sermon with lots of grace. We do need to preach more on grace. I remember breaking down during worship because the presence of God was so strong and i knew that i have to respond. SO i did. I knelt down and cried out. Then, I wrote down on a piece of paper to ask pastor T about something so strong upon my heart.
“What are your thoughts on leaders in sexual sin still serving God”
Pastor T’s answer was really good. Her answer was so much more, but what i took out from it was: Sin that is little is still sin. This little sin could effectively take away the kingdom of God from you.
When she gave an altar call, i went out and i just broke down. Three people prayed for me. Sis Tiff, Bro Josh and EnMing. Thank God for them. Thank God for people that will watch out for me. I remembered EnMing praying over me and he began crying as well. I just held his arm and said, “God, thank you for loving us” over and over. God, honestly, thank you so much.
After that, I stood up and looked at the scene again, once again, the thought of a war ground came to me. God told me to go love someone. I honestly find it REALLY hard to. I had this desire since a few posts ago to go up to the person to talk it out, but i couldn’t. This time, i almost said it, but when i went before him, he was emotional and couldn’t speak, so I just stayed there. Awkwardly, wishing that i was dead. As a friend, I would go up to them and stay with them, even without praying I will be with them. This is something i will always do with Johann. Every single time he becomes a bit emotional and cries, i will stay by his side and not pray for him(sometimes i will, but most often not). I will just hold him and comfort him. I felt like he needs to talk to God on his own, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be there for him.
I get a bit annoyed when people push people away when they are emotional.
Course of action for me? Learn how to love people even when you don’t feel like it; learn how to gently ask people to give you some space rather than a violent shove to ask them go away. Before you push people away, learn to see yourself and how emotional you are.
After that was a very interesting game of finding out who the killer was. The overall game was interesting and executed very well, but you know, it should really be more of a group thing. Some people from my group were quite disengaged because there were some quite choleric people from my group trying to convince the group to do stuff when the group disagrees. It became more of a one or two people thing, rather than a group thing. I guess it was the result of the group dynamics too. Nothing to do with the comms.
By the time it was the last night, My group had warmed up to me significantly. The quiet people were listening to my stupid stories about how a knife was being made. Kinda like the Shidawu Shidalin Rocks story! HAHA! I should tell them a story that i have thought about. I really like ” I am going to ask her out tonight” I am so going to continue writing it. I really like the story about a 30 year old man that got amnesia and tried to recall what happened after he was 18. I am still writing them, but i do not have an ending in mind AT ALL. HAHA! God, please inspire me!
I was on duty to shoot again. Some people have been asking me on my opinion on Photography during worship because a few of them have been quite distracted during worship seeing the photographer moving around taking photos. In my opinion, as long as the photographer isn’t too intrusive, it is fine. Like don’t hold the lens like 5cm away from my face. I know that worship is sacred, but if photos of worship can edify the congregation, why not right? God can speak through many different mediums and photography could be one of them. Nevertheless, the photographer needs to learn how to not be intrusive as well. It is hard when you tried street photography and you are always hunting for the decisive moment and going in closer and closer.
Next significant thing was me putting out the fire. I already recounted it a few posts back, so i will leave this empty. It was cool! HAHA!
Then the next thing was praying for J to receive the gift of tongues. He reminded me of someone, i cannot remember who. Someone who really wanted the gift of tongues but didn’t receive it. I think it was either Alex or Esther. I saw Miss Tan, Adler and another guy going up to pray for him to receive it. Since I was on duty, I didn’t go up to pray for him at first. I then saw M, I went up to him to pray. He refused to talk about it with me, but he thanked me and hugged me(THIS I CAN STAND< BE LIKE M GUYS!). I then decided to go up to pray for J because only Miss Tan was praying for him at this point. I went in and tried. I prayed a safety prayer, because I myself have a lack of faith. I only ever prayed for two people to receive the gift of tongues and actually worked. One I was just skeptical.
After the safety prayer, I just prayed for myself, for faith because i honestly lacked it. I then prayed for the gift. After a while, you just run out of words and don’t know what to say. At that point, I just prayed in tongues because I really had nothing. Then after hearing Miss Tan’s prayer, I just felt a need for J to pray for himself. So i told him to. He whispered a prayer for himself in such a personal way. I couldn’t make out most of the words. I did hear, “God, you know i have been coming to you for this gift so many times, and i want it, this gift that will bring me revelations….” I felt a sense of “I am not going to get it this time as well…” My heart just sank, no, no, no, Kelvin you don’t lose faith too. I prayed for more faith. More faith. I heard the worship song ended. They were about to sing a praise song. My heart sank again. No. No. it isn’t over. It can’t be over, God can still come down. My mind went to pentecost, the disciples heard that Jesus will be sending a new counsellor and he will be coming back again soon, so they gathered and prayed. They don’t know when he will send the counsellor, but they prayed nevertheless. SO i just yelled out, “NO, it is not over yet, it is not over yet” and continued praying for J for the gift of tongues to come upon him. I seen his lips move, but i wasn’t sure if he had gotten the gift or he was just praying. After the praise song, we just sat down and he gained composure after a while.
Lord, will you please build up my faith?
Then, the night was quite tiring. First was a dance party. I was surprised, but it was hilarious. Then EnMing told me to go down to Leb’s room to have supper. It was good. Nice to hang out with older people you know. Then, I went down to write cards and prepare for devotions.
This year, I tried putting in more effort in preparing devotions. To prepare it like my own lesson. So I did what i would normally do. Play a game/activity then link it to the lesson. I was very pleased with the results and the group clearly enjoyed. I was grateful. 🙂
Finally came to the bus ride back. It was nice. I had so much fun. I bought Baskin Robbins, Pineapple pies, Herbal Tea Egg, Yoyo honey lemon lime.(OH IT WAS SOOOO GOOD) Made friends and that is good.
It was a wonderful retreat that you had given me Lord, Thank you!
Ps: I know I only posted one photo and that is the photo of Jermaine and that made my post look a little strange. Paiseh, but I actually had more photos and i was about to post them, but then i switched to using my laptop to write the post, so I lazy post the photos from my phone now because it is so mafan. So yeah! HAHAHA! TOO BAD!