Here we have four short EXALT21 thanksgiving testimonies given by Candice Lee, Amy Chowdhurie and Raphael Wong
Candice Lee, RCIY Participant
I was honestly hesitant to attend EXALT21 in person as I was afraid that I would feel out of place as a non-Catholic. However, the whole event felt very warm and welcoming. Through the organisers and everyone who served that day, I could truly see how Jesus moves in each of them and that touched me the most. The highlight for me was Mass and the Evangelistic night. It was heart-warming to see everyone come together in worship. God’s invitation to me is to know that Jesus is enough for me and to put my trust in him.
The workshop about witnessing in the workplace by Bernadine spoke to me. She shared about how in the workplace, people chase all these material things such as branded goods, status and power, however, these things will never be enough and it is easy to get caught up in a never-ending cycle of filling our lives with the next big ticket purchase. I see this problem play out in the lives of those around me and perhaps to a certain extent, in my own desire to confirm as well. The workshop prompted me to reflect on our motivations for chasing material things. It then hit me that none of this is important, I don’t need to buy a branded bag to prove to people that I have money, or chase the status and titles at work to be deemed ‘successful’. I came to the realisation that the pursuit of material things are our attempts to fill the void in our hearts – to feed our need to be validated, seen and heard by others.
I now question the necessity of these material things in my life. During the mass at EXALT21, I could not receive communion however I heard “Jesus loves you” from my Catholic friends who also told me that I am enough for Him. I have come to acknowledge this as true and I claim that He is enough for me and that’s all I need.
Amy Chowdhurie, Ngee Ann Poly, 20
I experienced a lot at EXALT21 but my highlight was during Adoration (during the EXALT21 overnight vigil). I received an image of God the Father bringing me to a field. I ran further and further away from God to play but He was always watching me. After playing, I looked for Him and He saw me. He ran to me, picked me up, kissed me and told me how much He loves me. This image brought me to tears because it revealed God’s unconditional love and faithfulness to me. It has become a memory that I turn to when I forget that God sees me and loves me. Now, God invites me to be faithful to Him, turn to Him in good times and bad and tell everyone that He loves you too!!
EXALT21 overnight vigil
Raphael Wong, Uni Student, 22
EXALT21 was a new experience for me as it allowed me to physically be a part of a wider church community. It reminded me that there are individuals from all walks of life journeying towards and desiring God. A major highlight for me was the Eucharistic Adoration after mass. Kneeling and praying on the rocky gravel floor was painful and physically tiring but I was reminded that the suffering Christ endured by dying on the cross was so much more than my short period of kneeling on the uneven ground. It is God’s love that is so immense for us that he had suffered so much more for us.
EXALT21 also gave me the opportunity to bear witness to other witnesses. Being able to see others break out in tears or sing vibrantly as they received God’s grace or healing reminded me how God works in everyone and that no one is unimportant to God. I am reminded that often it is not about how we find God but rather how we allow ourselves to be found by him. Through prayer and reflection, I believe the Lord is reminding me to go against the grain of what is expected in a secular context and to focus on prayer and spending time with him – for it is a struggle for me to remain righteous even in the darkness and to remain Christ-centred amidst the plethora of secular distractions.