Sunday, July 10, 2005

encouraged from reflections

i can't remember when it all started, but for some years now we've had "camp reflections" following the end of the annual yf camp. this year's edition took place last night, and after initially thinking i might not be able to make it, i ended up going for the whole thing and came away much encouraged.

as someone who's been to more camps than they can remember, it probably gets more difficult to have individual highlights that really stand out amongst the sea of memories and experiences. but this year, a few things that i found good/encouraging was:
  • some of my group members sharing how they enjoyed the group. it can be hard as a leader when the group members do not appear to be very responsive, or you're just not sure if what you're doing is really having any positive impact/effect. it is quite reassuring to hear that people did take away good times and lessons learnt from our sessions together.
  • one of the non-christians who came to camp sharing how she appreciated the opportunity to find out more about christianity, and being placed in a "beginner's group" that was appropriate for where she's at in her search. also her comments about people's general friendliness - this was something i too experienced when i first attended a yf camp way back...
  • other comments about how new people found the camp environment to be welcoming, non-judgmental, and where people don't just talk about loving others but actually practice it.
of course, things aren't perfect (and i can point to many an example where it's not, though now's not the time or place), but for a pessimistic-minded person like me, i'll grab all the enouragements that i come across :) it's good to know that yf camps are generally heading in the right direction, and is doing well at providing an opportunity for people to come and hear God's word, and be challenged to respond to it accordingly.

it's easy to be discouraged, and i'm thankful for the glimmer of encouragement received last night. that might not always happen... it might not usually happen... i need to bear in mind some other words i read tonight (by some dude called george macdonald - not that i have any idea who he is):

“Am I going to do a good thing? Then Father, into your hands, lest the enemy have me now.”

- - - - -

there's a bridal shower going on downstairs (for my younger sister) as i write... i was just about to start on my dinner when the advance party arrived to start setting up. so i hung about with the girls and leant a hand here and there, and chatted with some people whom i had not seen in a while. i don't think i've ever been alone (ie being the only guy) in a room with so many girls before :p anyways i eventually got kicked out when it was time for the guest of honour to enter.

i've been to a few buck's nights, but have never really known what goes on at a bridal shower. the little bit of prep work i saw tonight showed me at least a glimpse into one such event - a fair amount of effort from the heart. i'm sure my sister will have a memorable evening enjoying treasured friendships. sometimes (maybe too often??) i think girls are better company :p

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