Are you going for the Family Camp this year?

Dear BPCWAians, Several weeks ago, we announced the respective Family camps scheduled for this year. We are having an English and a Chinese Family camp that will be held in July (7 – 11 July) and September (30 Sept – 4 Oct) respectively. With separate English and Chinese camps this year, worshippers can now choose to attend the camp and hear the messages in the language medium in which they are most conversant with. We also hope that with this, more people in our midst will now plan to make it to either Family Camp this year.

Why attend camp? Those who have not attended a camp full time for a number of years may feel reluctant to attend one now. We spend much time in planning each year for a family camp because it is an important to Christians. 1) It is a time of spiritual refreshing. Some may think that as long as I do my quiet time, it is fine. However, our physical teaches us lessons of what our unseen spiritual life also needs. Despite eating perhaps our meats and our veggies every day, most of us may feel a need to either “detox” or to “nourish” at certain times, through a carefully selected change of diet to boost our bodily health. God provides us the Lord’s Day to do this to maintain our walk with Him. But many find that they slip back through the year due to pressures at school or at work. Time at camp, away from the distractions of the world and pressures  of everyday living take our minds away from earthly things and allows us to set our attention on heavenly things (Col 3:2). This is helpful for every Christian. If we have felt that we do not love Him as we ought, or that our love for Him has grown cold, then that is a warning sign that your spiritual life is weakening and we should take this opportunity to set apart time for camp to seek Him afresh without distraction. 2) Grow together as a church family. The church theme is prayerfully chosen considering what is needful for us spiritually. So, as the thematic messages of the camp focuses on this same theme, it allows us to be able to understand in greater depth what God requires of us, individually and as a church. 3) Dwelling together in unity. Perhaps in the minds of some are – I would really like to have the spiritual feeding, but I’m not ready  to do that “dwelling together” part. We are used to our own beds, our own toilets, eating our breakfasts at our own time and on our own. But “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Php 2:4). This is a time to put this to practice as a Christian. Christian forbearance. Christian exhortation and encouragement. Christian mutual fellowship and care. Camp is but 4 nights out of 365 nights in a year. God finds delight in brethren closeness in unity. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Ps 133:1). Do not forgo this spiritual retreat for lesser things.

Is it important to attend it full time? This may be a question that is uppermost in the minds of those who are working. Thinking that annual leave is hard to come by, they would like to reserve their leave for personal vacations, or for those with families in another country, hope to use their leave to have longer periods back at home instead. Or, this may be a question for those who do not want to stay with others. To such, I hope that you will see the camp as not just a mere physical activity, but one that is designed for your spiritual good and for you to also do your duty in edifying those around you. While your blood family is important, make it one of your priorities to be with your spiritual family that God gave you as well. Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. In fact many who have tasted the blessed time of spiritual retreat and fellowship with brethren began to realise what they have been missing out on and have become regular campers.

Which camp should I attend? The principle for this goes back to the purpose of the camp, namely for spiritual refreshing, growing together as a church and mutual edification of the body  of  Christ. Being at a camp where are you best fed spiritually would naturally be where you can read, understand, pray and converse with each other. Some have requested for a Chinese family camp before and we can once again have it this year. The purpose of the respective camps is so that the respective language speakers can be comfortable in the respective environments where only either English or Mandarin is written, sung, prayed and spoken.

I hope that with all the above in mind, each of you will realise that it is God’s will for Christians to assemble together at a setting such as a camp, and so let us set time aside and make it a priority to attend the Family Camp this year. Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Yours in our Lord’s service