Written by Joshua Low
The past five months have truly been a grace filled experience. Working in the Office for Young People(OYP) has been one of the most eventful periods of my life. This community of Christ centred individuals has helped me to realise the immense need for God among young people. In my time working here, my spiritual life has grown tremendously and I would like to share 3 key points that I have internalised in my time here.
1. A Community of Love
When I started my time here, I felt odd, everyone here was so loving to each other and not in the casual ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ kind of way, more of a ‘I really care about you and your wellbeing’ way. I came to realise that the individuals working at OYP really saw each other as family and really loved each other as brothers and sisters of Christ. Beyond that, it also helped me to realise that if a house is divided it cannot stand and that the house of OYP stands because of its unity for the love of Christ. This is what I think many people need in their lives, to be in part of a community united in their love for Christ.
2. Love for Yourself
As I served in the retreats conducted by OYP, I grew to realise a reoccurring obstacle many people faced, which was a struggle with self-worth and esteem. I too had this obstacle and I realised I found my self-worth in titles, accomplishments and the opinions of others and in the past whenever one of this was affected, it would have severe consequences on my self-worth. This was dangerous and unsustainable, as I knew that these things would eventually fade. Therefore, I decided to recommit myself to allow my identity to be shaped by the life of Christ and build a stronger relationship with him.
3. The Mission of Christ is Continuous
“Let us remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm, and look forward to the future with confidence.”
— St. John Paul II
One of the most challenging task I was given was to organise and carry out a street evangelisation program. For me, this was a great challenge. I am an introvert and tend to keep to myself, to have to go out and speak to random strangers about God was totally out of my comfort zone.
Though it was daunting at first, I soon came to realise that it was not as bad as I had imagined. I was very surprised that many young people were keen on having a conversation on the street about faith and some shared very beautiful testimonies about their faith. I learnt that the mission of Christ is something not to be taken lightly and that we are truly called to be salt and light to the world wherever we may go.
Similarly, I came to realise that this yearning for God was very strong in the universities as well. Being attached to the Yale-NUS community and James Cook University(JCU), I saw many young men and women desiring to come closer to the Lord and develop a relationship with him. Many times, I felt unworthy to be the instrument of the Lord, I thought to myself “How can a sinner like me fulfil such a role?”. Then it dawned on me that the many men and women who served the lord throughout history all had their flaws but allowed God to take control of their life.
What lies ahead?
Enriched with my experiences, I return to school to finish my final term in Singapore Management University determined to keep moving forward in my faith. To continually grow in relationship with Christ and to make real and tangible changes to serve the Lord more completely. To any considering taking that leap of faith, I urge you to trust in his plan and ask if your actions will take you closer or further from the Lord.