Testimony of Sarah Chng

I thank God for the opportunity to come for this camp, even though certain things at work had left me feeling unprepared for it. I thank God even more that I could be in this camp with my grandparents. The extended time that I had with them during the church camp taught me things that I did not know such as allowing me to view them as my brother and sister in Christ (and not just merely as my grandparents). It is pure joy to be able to study God’s Word and praise God with them and it is a joy deep down in my heart.

Hearing their prayer requests, especially those that were shared by my step-grandfather, and how the Lord led them by His hand to True Life BP Church and then to Tabernacle’s Church Camp, I found myself deeply touched by the love of the Father. He does not forget me and He did not forget them.

It was also the message on God’s love that moved my heart. I kept thinking that I wanted to use this camp to learn how to love God and my neighbour more. However, being reminded that I am chosen by the Father, purchased by the Son and sealed by the Spirit made me realise that what I needed to understand and believe first, is that He loves me. I knew I struggled with that, I just didn’t realise how intense the struggle was.

He loves me to an extent that I cannot comprehend and I see it in my life. I first needed to understand the deep reservoir of God’s love and then having been given a capacity to love, even though it is not all it should be, to increase in my love to the people around me. It really is because I am well loved that I can love and I want to love. That love, is not my power and if I could even just catch a glimpse of just how much He loves me, I would find loving irresistible.

The next thing I learnt is how little I love God and thus, the people around me. In a helping profession, it is often easy to think and believe that I have paid my dues even though I know it’s wrong. Even though I have heard, “love is the duty which when done is never done”. Yet, in some seasons of my life, I had decidedly put a limit to how much I love. Sometimes out of fear of getting hurt, sometimes out of anger, sometimes out of complacency. But charity suffereth long, charity vaunteth not itself, seeketh not her own, beareth, believeth, hopeth and endureth all things. It was a lesson I needed to learn again and a lesson I know I need to keep learning.

Each night left me evaluating my life where sparks of effort to keep 1 Corinthians 13 could only be seen. I know the truth, yet, it is not constantly marked in my heart, not constraining all I do and say. Not as an excuse, but in the wounds and fatigue of life, the more selfish and unbiblical thing would be to lock my heart and not give it to anyone or anything. But there it will be unbroken, unbreakable and irredeemable.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17

I thank God for His firm rebuke to open my heart, for it is only then that I am loving. And it is a scary thing to continue in this life, to be doing this job void of any love, any true love. I can’t believe how upset God must be and how hardened I must be to be confronted with evil everyday but yet choose to close my heart, to protect myself. I thus, thank God for the camp because it encouraged me to persevere in courage. It also taught me how to love God and His people more, in a way that is biblical and in a way that is true.

So I am thankful first to be comforted to know how much He loves me which moves me to love others, so they too can taste of His goodness. I am also thankful to see how little I love Him, so that I know how much more needs to be done.

I remember the words of the song we sang during thanksgiving night, “Herein is love not that we loved but that God loved us so”. This is the essence of the camp for me, not that I loved God but that He loved me (1 John 4:7-10). To give to Him what He deserves, to give to others what they need.

_Simul Justus et Peccator_

Testimony of Gracious Ong

I thank God for a blessed time of learning His Word and for fellowship with church brethren. This is my first time attending the church camp at Tabernacle and I was honestly apprehensive but nonetheless I would say that God’s love for me was ever present each step of the way in all aspects, whether it was the traveling, lodging, the privilege of learning about His Word and His work or the fellowship etc.

I have always been intrigued by this topic on God’s love, as it’s honestly difficult to fathom how God would grant sinners such great love despite the fact that we fall short all too many times.

I thank God for the teachings on God’s love as well as on loving God, which truly encompasses so much more in comparison to the world’s traditional view on love. For example, how loving others does not equate to transcendental niceness according to the world’s definition, for instance in shunning away from rebuking each other in the face of sin. I learned that true biblical love should be discerning, as God’s love is not in isolation of His holiness, truth, wisdom and justice.

Another lesson coming out of this camp is an important reminder on loving God – Of how men cannot serve two masters, both God and mammon at the same time – and This love for God has to precede even our closest ties with friends/family and also our self interests like our earthly comforts or discomforts. It is an important reminder to constantly check my own priorities in life.

I am indeed reminded to strive to love God more as I ought to, with a wholehearted love as instructed in Mark 12:30 – to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is a verse many church goers hear very often but I’m also thankful for how Pastor did a breakdown of several terms in this verse to help us gain a better appreciation into the meaning of the different words within it. (p34 of the supplementary notes).

Following the above verse is Mark 12:31, which reminds us also to love our neighbors as ourselves. As the saying goes, it is indeed easy to love when all is well. However, it is inevitable that at certain points in our lives we may offend others and vice versa, even if it may be unintentional. I am also reminded in this camp through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, of how love for our fellow brethren ought to be, very importantly in conclusion that it beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things and endureth all things and that it never fails. We love, because God first loved us and that God is love.

Indeed, I thank God for the opportunity to learn much on God’s love and loving God and also for rebuking me from falling short of “loving God with my all” many a time. Thank God for this reminder to always check my priorities and actions, whether in thoughts, deeds or words.

In addition, I thank God for granting me the opportunity and strength to attend this camp and for seeing me through it. I’d like to conclude this testimony with the following verse – indeed, we cannot fathom how great God’s love for us is –

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1