by Mark Lucas Yeo Jia Rui, 21
Being in a PES C vocation for NS, my life was a relative breeze in terms of the physical training I had to go through. For me, the biggest struggles were never about getting through the outfields or the route marches, but more about the battle within myself, both spiritually and mentally. Having a vocation that was so mundane, it was easy to lose myself in the repetition of daily life and to attach my self-worth to the job that I had to do, which I felt was mostly boring and meaningless. The sin of sloth became evident in me as I didn’t have a sense of purpose and direction in life. Maintaining an active prayer and faith life would’ve been way harder too if not for the countless blessings that God sent my way. And the first of many to come was being able to attend the Awaken retreat the year I enlisted.
Subsequently, joining the CAYA community has given me many opportunities to grow my faith even deeper in so many ways. It was a place where I could just be myself and come to chill out on a Saturday morning. I was also really impressed by the deep knowledge that our leaders had about the faith. Sessions by the leaders were my favourite kind of sessions because the topics that we discussed were always topics that drew a lot of my interest.
For more testimonies by our NSFs from CAYA you may want to check out:
There was a good mix of praying together as a community of brothers, as well as learning more about the faith from a theological aspect. This helped me to stay rooted in Christ and challenged me to grow my faith in many different ways. Also, having a group of brothers to hold me accountable has helped me tremendously in the battle against sin. Being there for me not only in prayer but also in the very moments when I feel like giving up, to pick me up whenever I fall, to encourage me to persevere on this journey to Christ, and to continue striving for holiness. Even after I had completed serving my time in NS, brothers from the CAYA community are still supporting me in my daily struggles. Fighting these battles would have been a lot harder without them.
Being immersed in such a prayerful environment also encouraged me to keep up with my own personal prayer life as well. Prayer is now more like a lifestyle for me and I often enjoy spending alone time with Jesus, either in the adoration room or just in the main hall of the church, especially on my days off or even after I book out. Regular journaling has also given me many precious conversations with God. It has opened my eyes to the lies that cloud my mind and helped me to claim the many truths which God wants to share with me, the truths that I am loved, forgiven, and free. However, walking the path as a disciple of Christ hasn’t necessarily been smooth-sailing throughout. Trials and difficulties still come my way and the battle against sin is still a very real and continuous one. But I know that, whatever the season I am in, I can truly trust in Him to lead me along the path He has planned for me, to provide for me, to watch over me and to lift me up in times of need. Life now has so much more purpose because I am not living for myself, but for Him instead.
And so if you’re afraid of what the next two years of your life is going to be like, I want to encourage you to invite God into your hearts so that He can be with you on this journey. Step out in faith and let God lead you into deeper waters with Him. He can do so much for you in this season, if only you let Him 🙂