January 8, 2023

More Testimonies from GYF Retreat 2022

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

Lim Xin Hui

I thank God that this retreat was possible, according to God’s gracious providence. Thank God for all the planning and hard work that went into it since mid-2022. Because of the service of many brothers and sisters, the retreat went smoothly. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn God’s Word together as a fellowship, and to get to know the youths better.

I am thankful for the theme of this retreat, “Laying a Firm Foundation”. I learnt valuable spiritual lessons. One of them was that I cannot stay stagnant in my Christian walk, but instead exercise my faith, build up my knowledge of God’s Word and apply it daily. Love is a commitment to be like Christ because God is love. I must have faith to say, “Yes, I want to walk with Christ.” May God use the lessons I’ve learnt to change me and help me to grow in Christ!

Ron Nathan V. Resuma

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7). First of all, I thank God for enabling me to attend GYF Retreat 2022 on the theme, “Laying a Firm Foundation”. 

From the theme messages, I learnt that as a Christian, I must build my life on Christ and His Word. I must ensure that my faith is well-grounded and firm, like the wise man who built his house upon the rock, as in Christ’s analogy from Matthew 7:24-25. And that as a Christian, I must live in obedience to God’s Word so that I can be fruitful in the work which God has called me to do. I also learned that it is not enough to claim or profess that I am a Christian. I must follow Christ and obey His Word by abiding in Him. And that willingness is not just the lack of resistance, but wholeheartedly following God’s will. I must take God’s will as mine, willingly and cheerfully. Though there are afflictions and struggles in life, these experiences can teach me to endure and become a conqueror through Christ. In the concluding message, I learnt that I should make it my desire to abound in the work of the LORD and do it with thanksgiving, living a godly and faithful life for Christ. 

I also thank God for His grace in enabling Pastor and Pr Cornelius, who laboured to preach on the theme messages, as well as to answer our queries in the Q&A sessions during the workshops. Praise God also for the GYF Committee and Auxiliary Committee’s labour of love in organising this retreat. I thank God that after two and a half years of Covid restrictions, we could finally have our retreat physically. All glory be to God!

Samuel Teo

I thank God for granting me the opportunity to join the GYF Retreat 2022 with the Gethsemane youths. It is truly a blessed time of fellowship and learning of God’s Word with the brethren in Christ – a much-needed refreshing for my spiritual well-being. Most of all, I have been encouraged to follow the high calling of God to do His will, instead of chasing after worldly desires of our hearts that are not pleasing to God and do not bring glory unto His name. Although it takes much perseverance and endurance to follow the will of God in difficult circumstances, it is assuring and comforting to know that, by His grace, He will guide us through the challenges of our lives. May God grant me godly wisdom to do His holy will and glorify Him!

Joshua Nah

Thank God for the opportunity to join the youth retreat. Before the camp, I only knew of 2 Gethsemane youths. However, it did not take long for my brother and me to make friends and feel “right at home”. Praise God for the warm fellowship of the youths in Gethsemane! It was equally encouraging to witness the various committee members working together so well to guide us throughout our stay. The youths’ serious attitude towards studying God’s Word and serving in various roles was also a delight to witness. 

I am especially thankful to Pastor Koshy and Pr Cornelius for their uncompromising zeal in guarding the purity of God’s flock through the preaching of His Word. Through their heartfelt and direct messages, I found little room to mentally excuse myself from the commands of God’s Word. Perhaps, what resonates most with me is an overall impression left from witnessing the truths shared in the sermons lived out in the conduct of godly brethren at the camp. 

I especially give thanks for the clear, no-nonsense definition of biblical love and counsel on courtship given by Pastor in the workshop on BGR. It is a far cry from the general attitudes towards this topic which I had unwittingly imbibed from the world; it is a sound word which I hope to take heed of going forward. Pastor Koshy’s continual reminders that we are called to be victors and more than conquerors in our Christian lives were a sharp rebuke to the occasional helplessness I had felt in my own walk with and service for God. I pray for endurance to not run from my challenges when I return to Melbourne, but bear them faithfully wherever the Lord places me. 

One final reminder tied all that I had heard together: do not be discouraged by your failures. Instead, repent and purpose in your heart to do God’s will now that you know it clearly. I will surely fail on my own to uphold all I’ve heard at the retreat, but I thank God for His reassurance of His unchanging love for sinners such as myself (cf. Luke 5:32).

Jesimiel Lim

I thank God for the opportunity to join the youth retreat, where we could immerse ourselves in learning God’s Word on the theme, “Laying a Firm Foundation”. I thank God for this aptly chosen topic which has moved me to desire to seek God’s will more. Praise God for the many takeaways from the messages preached faithfully by our Pastor and Pr Cornelius. One key thing I have learnt is that we must exercise our faith by acting out God’s Word in obedience, and that biblical willingness is putting God’s will above ours. I pray that God will help me to be obedient and willing to do His will in my day-to-day life, laying aside my own selfish feelings and desires. The long-term blessings God gives when we willingly do His will, far outweigh the short-term struggles we may experience! 

Next, I learnt that we are “running towards Christ-set goals”. It gives me much assurance and comfort to know that God, the Author and Finisher of our faith, has set perfect and victorious plans for us. So, our duty is to trust Him and endure our peculiar trials, and to “walk, even as he walked”. I also thank God for the time to “unwind” through the fellowship and fun we could enjoy, in a special natural setting! I pray that we will continue to build on our spiritual foundation in Christ, not lose our fervour for Him. “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7).

Parousia Chan

Praise God for the blessed time spent at the recent youth retreat 2022 held in Sinar Eco Resort in Malaysia! I learnt many lessons from the theme messages on “Laying a Firm Foundation”, preached by Pastor and Pr Cornelius, and the two workshops held on the last day of the retreat. One lesson is that our faith should lead to increased knowledge of the Bible, and finally, obedience to do the commands in His Word. I have also learnt that we are to rise up with hope and expectation of victory, always enduring and persevering in our Christian life.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to fellowship with fellow like-minded youths, and for the good weather that allowed us to enjoy His creation amongst the many animals and plants at the resort. Finally, thank God for granting the GYF and Auxiliary Committees the ability to plan well, such that the programme was still able to run smoothly despite some changes in the schedule along the way. All glory be to God!

Hadassah Wong

I thank God for the opportunity to attend the youth retreat 2022. Thank God for the messages preached by Pastor and Pr Cornelius. I have learnt much and have benefited much from this youth camp. In particular, I have learnt that every step of endurance in trials is a victory in itself, and to give up is equivalent to admitting defeat. But if we put our trust in God, God “causeth us to triumph in Christ” (2 Cor 2:14). I pray that I will endure and triumph in my trials. 

I am thankful for the fellowship that we had during those 3 days. Thank God for good weather so that we could record the music videos. Finally, I pray that I will stand firm in the Lord and not be influenced by the world in the days ahead.

Gabriel Teo

Thank God my brothers and I could join this youth retreat to study God’s Word with the youths in Gethsemane. I have learnt a lot about the importance of laying a firm foundation in our spiritual lives, from the messages preached by Pastor Koshy and Pr Cornelius during the retreat.

Steffi Tan

Thank God for the blessed time of learning and fellowship at the youth camp! Thank God for sustaining & enabling Pastor Koshy, Pr Cornelius, the YF Committee, the Auxiliary Committee, as well as the young adult helpers to plan for and organise this camp.

As I stand on the threshold of 2023 and consider my plans for the new year, the camp messages are a much-needed reminder to align myself with God’s will & obey it. Walking the “strait and narrow” path presupposes that our lives are built on a firm foundation. Having Christ, the solid Rock, as our foundation goes beyond understanding basic doctrines. Our faith must lead to a knowledge of and obedience to God’s will. We must be loving & cheerful in our service, desiring for others to benefit. Indeed, this is a high calling, but God has promised us victory over our struggles and trials. Thus, we must endure. I realise that as a student at University, I am first a student of Christ. None of my physical achievements will contribute to my spiritual growth; I must not forget this, especially when I face the temptation to chase after worldly accolades and neglect spiritual duties. 

I pray that these lessons learnt in camp will be remembered and applied by me and all the youths. May we have a dogged persistence in fixing our eyes on Christ and resisting the distractions of the world.

Hannah Wong

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7). I thank the Lord for enabling and providing for my siblings and me to attend the GYF retreat at Sinar Eco Resort. I have learnt much from the 5 theme messages preached by Pastor and Pr Cornelius on the theme, “Laying a Firm Foundation”. One of the lessons learned during the retreat was that we ought to walk as overcomers and victors, not to be weary in well doing or give in to weariness. Even as Christ who had “endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2), we also must endure to the very end - to be more than conquerors.

Praise God also for the GYF Committee and the Auxiliary Committee for their planning in making this retreat possible, and for their unity in Christ, despite certain changes in some of the events. I am very thankful for the blessed time of learning God’s Word, the fellowship with friends and brethren from other churches, as well as the safety for all participants. Thank God also for the opportunity to get close to nature (God’s wonderful creation), and away from the city! 

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Andrew Lee

Thank God for the messages which made me reflect on the need to build a strong foundation before trying to understand doctrines and build up my faith, which would be easily shaken otherwise. We had good fellowship and enjoyable activities at the farm resort, such as playing with the chickens. Pr Cornelius reminded us that they, together with the other animals, are God’s creation over which man is given dominion.

Nehemiah dela Cruz

I would like to thank God for the bountiful blessings that He has showered upon me, especially in letting me attend GYF Retreat 2022. I thank God for the safe travel and good health He has granted us in and out of Singapore / Malaysia. Thank God for some key spiritual lessons I have gathered from this retreat.

Firstly, I learnt that we need to have a firm foundation in our Saviour and His Word, and that we have to constantly build upon His Word to bear forth much fruit. Secondly, we have to walk closely with our Saviour and have charity. Thirdly, we must have the willingness to accept challenges, evangelise, give and live as a Christian. I also learnt we have to strive to achieve the goals that Jesus has set for us, so as to be victorious over the world and Satan. Lastly, I learnt that we should be firmly rooted in our faith, so that we will not crumble under the pressures of this world.

Truly, I am very thankful for this retreat, and may the Lord continue to sustain and preserve us in our walk with Him.

Grace Ho

A 3-day spiritual retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, packed with rich biblical lessons on “Laying a Firm Foundation”, is truly something I praise the Almighty Lord for! Thank God for Pastor Koshy and Pr Cornelius, who were the speakers for the theme messages and workshops! The theme messages were instructive, and taught me on various ways to build a firm and strong foundation amid the shaky, treacherous worldly surroundings about us. I learnt much about Christian values, such as obedience, humility, willingness, and endurance, just to name a few. 

One specific theme message that spoke stirringly to me was on the topic, “Willingness, Cheerfulness”. Through the various texts expounded on, I realise the need to demonstrate willingness in different ways, such as through evangelism and cheerful giving. Willingness in the Christian life should go beyond just a lack of resistance, and instead moving forward to experiencing great joy when the LORD’s purposes are fulfilled, which should also resonate with ours, as God’s desire must be our desire too. Thank God also for the two respective workshops on “BGR” and “Ambitions and Contentment”, something new and fresh to me in the retreat. I thank God for Pastor and Pr Cornelius who answered our numerous questions, thus enabling me to glean new truths. 

Thank God for the GYF Committee, Auxiliary Committee, young adults and all others who helped in the smooth running of the retreat. Praise the Lord for good and timely weather, even the cool and refreshing rain! “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:9). May we youths always remember all such God-given spiritual refreshment, and apply what we have learnt to our lives. All glory be to God!

Lorraine Yong

I would like to thank God for letting me join the youth retreat this year. Thank God for Pastor and Pr Cornelius’s preaching on the theme, ‘Laying a Firm Foundation’, and for giving them the wisdom and strength to expound God’s Word to the youths. Through the messages, I have learnt to trust in the Lord without wavering, no matter what obstacles may come our way. Pray that all the youths will apply the lessons they have learnt from this retreat in their lives, and be a good testimony to others. Also, thank God for the time of fellowship with other youths and for helping me make new friends there. Praise the Lord!

Jored Ballega

Thank God for enabling my family and me to join the GYF Retreat! Indeed, it is a gift I received before the year ends. It serves as a spiritual refreshment and revival for me to be more responsible in my Christian life. As a young youth, I realise that I ought to be grounded and rooted in all the doctrines and truths of God’s Word, and that I should lay a deep and firm foundation through Christ. 

My prayer is that the 10 virtues (faith, knowledge, obedience, humility, love, service, willingness, cheerfulness, endurance, and hope) which I have learnt during the youth retreat shall take root and grow in my heart, so that I would be a wise youth as I walk closely with the Lord. I learnt that I should also be mindful of the worldly things that can hinder us in building on this foundation. I pray that every youth would be committed to these virtues in their hearts so that we may be grounded and rooted in Christ, and that we may not waver from the truth. The blessed 3-day programme was fully packed with spiritual feasting of biblical and practical lessons from the Bible, physical feasting of the tasty food, making new friends, and having a wonderful time of fellowship. Thank God for the blissful experience of interaction with nature and meditating on God’s Word. 

I thank God for blessing the GYF Committee and the Auxiliary Committee with strength and spiritual knowledge in planning and executing all the camp programme. Likewise, thank God for the provision of a peaceful resort, with kind staff who happily served us good food and assisted us in using all available amenities. Moreover, thank God for granting good health, wisdom and knowledge to Pastor Koshy and Pr Cornelius, as they both faithfully expound God’s Word to us. All glory and praise be to God.

Mehetabel Lim

I thank God for the opportunity to attend the youth retreat 2022. I thank God for Pastor and Pr Cornelius, who took time to prepare the sermons to be preached. I thank God for granting me many lessons that I could learn from the messages. 

Firstly, I have learnt that we cannot just listen to God’s Word being preached, and do nothing about our lives. Secondly, I learnt that we must build up our knowledge on God’s will for us and act on God’s will for us. Lastly, I learnt that we must not reject God, no matter how God tests us or how difficult our life may be. I pray that I will be able to know God’s will for me, to do it with submission, readiness and willingness! I also pray that I will be an obedient Christian. All glory be to God!

Gan Chien Huey

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).

All praise and thanks be to God for the blessed time of studying God’s Word in the GYF Retreat 2022. The messages were a timely reminder that we must lay a firm foundation on God’s Word. Not only must we lay a firm foundation, but we also must endure and build on this foundation, so that Christ may be glorified. 

Thank God for the great comfort and counsel through the preaching of God’s Word. These are indeed perilous times, considering the corrupt environment our youths are living in. I praise God for the many youths who have grown in the Lord, and were seen serving Him in many ways during this retreat. It was also a great joy to see the then young youths growing into older youths and taking on the responsibility of caring for the younger ones in our midst. 

The Lord has been truly good to provide all who have laboured in the preparation and running of this youth retreat. May the Lord’s name be greatly and continually praised. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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