Drawing Near To God

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8) This is the verse that best summarises my experience in Trackers. As I committed these three months to God, He showed Himself to me in a powerful and personal way.

The diverse lecture topics, which ranged from church history to social justice and even what the Bible says about contemporary issues like Boy-Girl Relationships (BGR) engaged me on many levels. My misconceptions of a performance-based Christianity were cleared up, my righteous standing in Christ was confirmed and my interest in the Bible was nurtured.

The sessions that exposed us to hearing Gods voice also aided me in seeking Gods Will for my life. I was convicted of my calling in the environmental field through a vision in a session on Power and Presence that exposed me to the charismatic elements of Methodism.

The mission trip phase gave me the opportunity to apply in practice the lessons I learnt hitherto. My team, which consisted of seven other youth and two mentors, collaborated with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) staff in Manila and helped in mercy work through their tuberculosis and day-care ministries as well as a feeding programme for the children living in the slums.

We also collaborated with Oikos Helping Hand to organise a three-day programme for the unschooled children from the slums.Although I cerebrally understood poverty as a concept, I could not internalise it as a situation. Witnessing poverty first-hand certainly changed that. The houses I saw at Smokey Mountains were made from corrugated tin and were demarcated simply by uncoiled bed springs. The roads appeared to be made of tar but on closer look, were actually black sediments of decomposed waste accumulated over the years.

I was humbled by the tenacity and contentment of the Filipinos which breathed life into the verses from 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not  to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

Having the opportunity to intern at my church for the internship phase further prodded me on in my spiritual walk beyond the spiritual high of a mission trip. As I was exposed to the daily realities of ministry back home in Singapore, my spiritual eyes gradually opened to the needs of society and compassion was stirred up within me to meet those needs.

These three months in Trackers were life-changing. I have never been so vulnerable before God, have never cried so much or experienced such joy in my life. My relationship with God has undoubtedly deepened and will only continue to do so with the foundation set by this spiritually enriching programme.

Teh Yi Ying attends Paya Lebar Methodist Church and was part of the Trackers 2012 cohort.