A New Beginning (Yin Jing, Sichuan)
In LA Camp, I deeply experienced the frustration and the longing for help from others under the pressure of poverty. I heard many stories of bitter struggles behind those who now live with successful accomplishments, and witnessed they have quietly endured their sufferings. I was just shocked! While I kept thinking about their perseverance, what excuses could I find for not to start over? In LA Camp, I had so much difficulties and fear in the adventure activities, but my teammates encouraged and motivated me with their love. When I completed the challenge and showed off my prize, I realized that I could unexpectedly gain so much and I could influence others positively in time of failures and struggles.
有夢想，但夢想什麼？ (余柏康 香港)
在過去的一年，我從福音營，四川之旅，LA 2011及川港交流活動中不斷思索這個問題。在尋索自己夢想的過程中，不期然發現社會的理想與自己的夢想不一定重疊一起。到底有多少人妥協了自己的夢想，跟著社會的標準走了？把賺錢或社會地位作為目的地，那是我們自己渴望的嗎？我很高興在LA CAMP聽到一句”There is a leader in you!”，好像從我心深處呼喚著我的夢想；營會也讓我結識了一群伙伴，彼此承托追尋夢想的壓力，一路同行。
What Our Dreams Really Are (Ricci Yue, Hong Kong)
We clearly know what our society likes, but we are unsure what we like. Our future is shaped by what our society expects us to be, but we do not know what we dream to be. Do we really find our dreams from the worldly values, the standard for success, and the ranking in our society?
Throughout last year, I kept thinking about this question in gospel camp, Sichuan trip, LA2011, and Sichuan-Hong Kong exchange program. While I sought my dream, I have discovered that the expectations in society and the dreams I have were not the same. Yet how many people have compromised to follow others’ footprints? Like them, do we really long for financial success and social status? From LA Camp I was so glad to hear the saying “There is a leader in you!” It calls me to seek my dreams from the bottom of my heart. What LA Camp has actually given me is the opportunity to meet my companions. We walk together and support each other in fulfilling our dreams.
Let’s Bring Love to Our Community (Poki Chan, Hong Kong)
In LA 2011, I reflected on the meaning and values of life. I thought about my past and my connection with my own self, my family, my friends and my community. I then discovered I have actually been “disconnecting” from all the people and circumstances. So I decided to pay close attention to global issues, and walk into community to pursue my dreams and connect with others. My companions from LA Camp and I want to bring our love to the community and care for those minorities neglected by the society. We therefore organized “Give & Care” movement in which we bought daily necessities from small local shops and, gave them with our blessings to scavengers on Christmas Eve. Although all of them were strangers to me, a friendly smile, a warm hug and a few caring words put me much closer to those bag ladies. What a wonderful relationship was to me. Despite our action seems very little, we believe “we first change ourselves before we can change the world”. Moreover this movement can possibly influence and change ten to hundreds of others. As long as we are connected, our impact will be greater than what we could imagine.
If I decided not to join…
The relationships with diverse individuals are the most valuable experience that I gained from LA camp—at the end of the day, those are the most essential, no? We all intellectually understand, and perhaps have personally experienced the disconnection in today’s postmodern society; however, our souls are interconnected by love and compassion deeply within. In just those few days during LA, I encountered many people with unique cultural backgrounds, career paths, and personalities which I never would have known otherwise. Those seeds of love eventually blossomed into valuable relationships, and I am grateful that I still keep in close touch with some campers today.
In addition to the authentic fellowship and encouragement we felt as a community, campers had the opportunity to truly enter suffering and to listen to phenomenal speakers. We were then able to learn about and practice the admirable virtue of compassion, which was reinforced with Dr. Choi Yuen Wan’s lecture. The relationships we formed have enchanted my personal life in many ways ever since. If I decided not to join the camp, I wouldn’t have met such great brothers and sisters; if I decided not to join, I would not have opened my eyes to the unseen aspects of the world; if I decided not to join, I would not have confirmed the pursuit of my dreams; if I decided not to join, I would not be who I am today.