17 Jan 2014 by Donna Uning CM –
For 16-year-old Alyssa Rosalyn, it was the first time she flew on a plane on her own. Going to the Ignite Camp in Miri was something to look forward to. It was a time to meet other youths, people who she could relate to, people who shared her faith.
“It was a great experience and it was my first time going to Miri,” said the Form 5 student from SMK Green Road, Kuching. “I had fun with the youths; learning new stuffs from Bishop John (Yeo). He really inspired the youths,” she says. “He knew how to catch our attention and it was a wonderful experience,” she continues remembering the difficult time she had before boarding the plane. With other young people, she could easily open up.
“The best part of the camp was the parade,” she recalls. “It was like one huge family, caroling for 4KM singing Feliz Navidad the whole way and wishing everyone Merry Christmas.” Wishing strangers Merry Christmas from door to door was never easy, but she felt comfortable doing it.
There were 608 youths at the camp from all over Sarawak who gathered for the Ignite camp at St Columba, Miri. Alyssa also met her friends who attended leadership school at St Thomas Cathedral, Kuching at the camp. “It was really nice to meet them and worship together again,” she says.
Apart from the parade and talks, Alyssa led her group in devotion time. “It was nice to take my own charge and continue praying,” she says, remembering how tired they were. “During the camp, we learned how to re-ignite our love for God,” she continues. “It gave me a new understanding hearing the testimonies by pastors and missionaries, how they worked normal jobs before they work full time as ministers at their churches.”
Over 500 youths accepted Jesus at the camp. “God’s really working through them. They really want to know God and most that went to the camp were changed,” she says. As for herself, her own revival came by being with other members who share her faith. “Seeing the other youths, how happy they were, I wanted to be like them,” she shares.
Life has brought her far from calling grandma, reading and sharing her bible knowledge over the phone. Brought up in a Christian family, she had been sharing her faith since she was twelve. “It was a progressive experience. At the camp, I really accepted Jesus fully.”
“I have no regrets coming to the camp. I did it and I accomplished it as a mature girl,” she says, hoping to inspire others saying, “I encourage other youths to join the camp. I can share my testimony and I can’t do this without God.”
“With God, all things are possible. He can do anything and change our lives. He’s molding us like clay. I’m a dyslexic, but with God I can go through this as a normal person,” she ends, with words spoken like a mature believer in Christ.
On the last night of the camp, Alyssa stood with two other girls in front of hundreds proclaiming their faith and taking the step into fulltime ministry. Alyssa Rosalyn attended the camp with 28 other youths from the Bahasa Iban, Bahasa Malaysia and English Parish Youth Ministry headed by Rev Kelvin Jawa, from St Faith’s Church, Kuching.
Rev Kelvin Jawa, who was at the camp, summed the camp as, “Ignited!” “I hope it ignited all of them. Many became FB friends and most are still on fire judging from their posts thus far. The main aim of the camp from what I understand was to ignite the youths to choose voluntarily to serve the church fulltime. Around 25 to 30 youths responded, most being young ladies.” Rev Jawa was pleasantly surprised by the girls, including Alyssa who committed their lives into fulltime ministry.
As for his memorable experience, “I will remember most the Parade as it really got everyone excited about sharing the Christmas spirit with those who don't normally want to hear it.”
The year-end event brought many from all over Sarawak to the camp. “Twenty-eight youths from all languages except Chinese went with me from our church. All except one flew. The one joined me on the bus to Miri. There were five buses from Region 6 and Region 5 (all churches from Lundu to Simunjan) with about 170 youths all together,” he tells of the regional participants.
About 608 youths camped for Ignite at St. Columba's Church, Miri and stayed in the St. Columba's Schools. Sessions were held at the St Columba’s Church and in The Good Shepherd Church, Lutong for the weekend. On Saturday evening, all camp participants joined the Miri City Christmas Parade.
“This was my second diocesan youth camp as there have only been two camps thus far. The first one was in 2001.The next camp has been slated to be held in 2017 but the venue is still undecided,” says Rev Jawa.
The Anglican Diocesan Youth Council hosted Ignite camp at the St Columba’s Church, Miri from December 6-9, 2013. The camp speakers were the Rt Rev John Yeo from the Diocese of Sabah and the Most Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok, the Archbishop of Province of South East Asia. The Diocesan Youth Camp was co-hosted by Good Shepherd Church, Lutong and St Columba’s Church, Miri.