As I look back on the Seven Graces trip to Batam last weekend, it struck me how the trip wouldn’t have happened without God.
You see, with all the security concerns in the world right now, we were wondering if we should call the trip off. But some members met on Thursday night to pray about whether we should go, and we eventually discerned that yes, we should go ahead with it.
Such is the trust that we place in God in all the decisions that we make! Instead of being mired in an endless loop of “what-ifs” (and possibly calling the trip off), we decided to offer the decision to God and let Him decide what’s best for us. (I could learn to do this a lot more in my life!)
With the decision made to carry on with the trip, we had a wonderful spirit-filled weekend, and a time where we could come closer together as a community.
Throughout the weekend, the word that kept popping up in my head was “Togetherness”. Here are three ways where it was manifested:
Together in Fellowship
Living in Singapore, we don’t know of any better ways for us to bond than over a feast of delicious food in every meal:
I think I gained about 2 kg over the weekend. Burp.
Together in Service
At dinner, we each shared our favourite ingredient on each of our dishes. Then we declared to the person next to us, “My brother/sister, I serve you!” and served them that ingredient. It was really apt, because it represented so much about what living the Catholic faith is about: Dying to ourselves in order to serve others.
Throughout the weekend, I loved how various members took turns to take care of the community’s two (irresistibly cute) kids, so that their parents could get a chance to relax and enjoy themselves.
In fact, each of us helped out in small ways – organising the logistics, planning the activities, helping each other carry bags and get food, etc.
Of course, service isn’t just limited to each other. Ultimately, it was for the glory of God. In one of our sessions, we reflected on three questions:
- 3 things that God has blessed me with in 2015
- 3 things I which I could have done better in 2015
- How can I make God a bigger part of my life in 2016
It was an apt reflection for the end of the year, because it helped us think about how we can serve God better in our daily lives – whether it’s having stronger relationships, making a commitment to pray, and deepen our spiritual knowledge.
Together in Relationships
Saturday’s post-dinner activity was Honour Night, when we read out anonymous affirmations for each other. This helped us to express our praises and gratefulness for each other, and helped draw us closer together.
It was interesting, because some of us were relatively new in the community and didn’t know each other very well. But it was evident in the messages that we wanted to make an effort to deepen our friendships and grow closer with each other.
Another session had us split into gender-based groups to share on different topics:
- Guys: Relationships – Joys and challenges
- Girls: Secular vs Christian love
It was a fantastic time for us to come together and share deeply. We went beyond the superficial and were vulnerable with each other, and I personally felt that the session as a whole helped us to understand each other a lot better.
Together as a Community
All in all, it was a beautiful, spirit-filled trip for us to end our liturgical year. We trusted in God to make it happen, and He transformed it into a wonderful experience which drew us closer together as a community.