Empower21: Thanksgivings #1

Before Empower, my life was mundane and boring: It revolved around school projects, grades, my high expectations of myself. I was stressed by school constantly, and outside of school I was absent. Nothing interested me – I got bored with everything easily. I started asking myself the big questions like “What is my purpose/goal in life”. In the recent years, this lack of drive slowly ate away bits and pieces of my soul. I felt lifeless: Life was meaningless. I came into Empower because I was done with this purposelessness. I was tired of the fatigue. I came with an open mind: I was ready and willing to receive Jesus more than I did in my other retreats. It was in this little openness that God had worked wonders: many words and phrases moved me deeply, and it felt like God was giving me a lecture about Himself through others. During outpouring, I was blessed with this overwhelming kindness and love of God that left me tearing up uncontrollably. I could feel His love and passion for me, His desire to chase after my heart. I was consoled also by the image of this crack being opened for the first time. And in that image, I felt a release of freedom – for the first time in my life, I felt free – Free in Him. I am amazed that He had truly softened my heart and I have faith that He will continue working wonders in my life. Today, I proudly proclaim that I am His daughter – a beloved child of God! – Gabrielle Lee, Participant, Temasek Polytechnic

My heart was quite hardened coming into Empower – hesitant because I thought “Hey I already know Jesus, what more could this retreat bring to my walk with the Lord?” How wrong I was in saying that because throughout this retreat he was revealing to me baggages and wounds that I was trying to bury, suppress and hide. During the outpouring, the Lord revealed to me that I am struggling to let go: Loneliness was the baggage I was carrying. The session on loneliness the day after that was a very tangible call to move out of the darkness and towards Jesus. At the end of this retreat, i want to claim the truth that God is a God of surprises – He is alive and active, and I desire to be alive and active in Him too! – Russell Tan, Participant, Republic Polytechnic

I came into Empower struggling with spiritual dryness and a search for meaning in my relationship with God. Despite the burdens I carried, the Lord met me where I was and spoke to me through the various sessions. He uncovered my wounds and helped me to begin to heal. He also gave me direction to move forward in my walk with Him. Although I know that I will still face struggles after Empower, I hold onto the truth that the Lord continues to pursue me, that He sees past my scars and still continues to love and heal me unconditionally. — Shaianne Hoo, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

 

As a service team member, I entered Empower in a ‘meh’ state as soon as I found out that I was an Logs/Intercessory IC. I joined to serve but found myself just going through the motions. However, sitting through the sessions, praying for the participants and seeing how they opened up more each day, I was able to see the beauty of Christ’s love again. The beauty in united prayer and community, and how each and every role played a part in building up the participants. I was also able to unpack and grow in awareness of certain barriers that were holding me back in my faith. I praise the Lord as I realise that I would not have discovered them if I had not been in the right disposition throughout the retreat. The Lord truly never leaves his work unfinished and constantly reveals new paths for us everyday and every season. I’m thankful to have journeyed through this retreat with the Logs/Intercessory team and all the people in the retreat. — Miguel Canlas, Nanyang Polytechnic

Coming into Empower, I was facing a dry patch in my spiritual life. I didn’t really hear God or I didn’t really know where He was in my life. Most importantly, I didn’t know how to move forward in my spiritual journey. During Empower, I was able to once again find God during the prayer ministry, outpouring and Adoration sessions. In the outpouring and prayer ministry, the Lord affirmed me and reminded me that I was his “beloved son”. This really comforted me as I knew that even when I didn’t feel God, He saw me and He was with me. During outpouring I also experienced the warmth of the Holy Spirit, something I haven’t experienced got a long time, giving me the joy in knowing that He is always with me. Adoration was a time the Lord revealed the blocks in my spiritual life. He showed the areas in my life that are preventing me from deepening my relationship with him. Empower has really helped me re-establish my identity as an adopted child of God and allowed me to find spiritual direction after a long time of uncertainty and feeling lost. — Shawn Yip, Singapore Polytechnic