25th Youth Development Programme Theme: Growing Up

by Khoo Kay Yeow

Glory to God for the recent successfully concluded YDP. Another milestone achieved.

Being the 25th in the series brings special significance for all of us. YDP started out with the simple idea that “Our Youths will be Our Future Leaders” and therefore we need to develop (train) them. After 24 years with various milestones achieved along the way, the 25th was in danger of being another same old one.  Time for a BIG change and BIG ideas. By the providence of our God, the 25th YDP had achieved just this.

We are glad that bro. Lawrence Ng with the support of Jurong church leadership took up the challenge and with his team organised a most wonderful and memorable 25th YDP of all. This is the second time that YDP was “outsourced”. The first time was to Lim Ah Pin Church in 2009.

There were some anxious moments about the participation as LAP could not give their full support as some of their youths had signed up for a Mission Trip (Praise God! They still had 16 there with us). Quite a number of youths were still having examinations during the YDP week and we noticed that there were less children/youths in some of the churches of Christ; something that we have to pray about.

Although participation was less than the last few years, we still had 97 participants, including 5 “Grown Ups” who had nothing to do. There were about 20 involved as organisers, group leaders and facilitators doing 99% of the work. We give thanks to God for bro. Lawrence and these 20 heroes that their commitment and selfless sacrifice has contributed to the great success of this year’s YDP. It is about sacrifice in action, they had paid to be there and to serve, apart from taking time off from study and work. It took the team about a year of planning for this to happen.

The theme was “Growing Up” and the main programme was a series of 6 mini workshops for the Christian youths. The 6 mini workshops were “pray more, talk more, do more, sacrifice more, study more and love more”.  The workshops were very well facilitated, the subjects well thought out and much sharing, discussion and learning followed. The 6 groups, 3 all-girls and 3 all-boys, were also given 50 tasks that they had to complete during the YDP. Some of the tasks were to be done as a group and some on their own, with support from their group members and leaders.

There were the usual Singspirations, warm fellowship but no water games. Instead they had fire games (raised eyebrows) … just as well we had a doctor in attendance. The wonderful singing brought the owner and her daughter into the hall just to listen.

As I was one of the “Grown Up” and not a participant, let me now quote (copied from Facebook without their permission) from some of the participants and organisers:-

“YDP 2012 at El Sanctuary.. one of the best camp I ever had in my life! :)”

“… had so much fun in this camp, and we are sure everyone brought away much learning, friendship and energy!”

“All of us have grown up, both spiritually and physically. In many of you I see maturity of thought, a caring and sacrificial spirit, and a willingness to interact with each other. The bonds that are formed during YDP will always tie you together, transcending congregations or countries.”

“… it was about giving back and paying it forward. I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to do just that this year! “

“Most memorable, much bonds tied, much laughter, much sadness, much learning, much love…”

“ …those who persuade me (you mean twisted your arm) to go .. thank you guys”

“BEST FOOD ever among the last few YDP”

“YDP 2012 was a blast. Every moment of it was precious. To God be the glory!

Thanks be to God for watching over the planning process of the camp, for the safety of every participant during the camp, for the fantastic weather, for the fellowship and bonds that were created or strengthened, for all that was learnt, for the YUMMY FOOD, most importantly, for making it possible for all of us to be part of His FAMILY.”

“Personally I feel the workshop was too successful, everyone opened their heart’s deepest regret/mistake/flaw on every discussion and I think this is where change starts. I can tell how much external tears (ladies) and internal tears (guys) were flowing during the whole camp.”

“I just miss everything (except the dogs & ants).”

“I survived on maybe a total of 15+ hrs of sleep for 3 nights and was still energetic everyday … YDP magic …”

There were many in the last 25 years who walked into YDP unsure and timid but they left a different person … more matured, new bonds, renewed bonds, happier, more energetic, tougher, bolder …

I would like to express a big “Thank You” to God, and to all for the support that I had received over the years, the names, both adults and youths, of which are really too numerous to mention. You have responded positively when I had asked of you and had unselfishly contributed your part to serve. Your action will not go unnoticed and your reward will indeed be in heaven waiting for you. I ask for your continued support and prayer for such a great thing that the Lord had blessed us with, the YDP.

Looking forward the 26th YDP, God willing there will be another milestone to achieve.

In Christ’s Service,

Kay Yeow

P.S. The weddings arising from the YDPs are the bonuses from God.