Well, X-Factor is over, here I am, back in my house, sitting on my computer, typing this.

In all honestly, before I went for the camp, I was thinking ‘omigosh when im back from camp the first thing I do before I reach home, im gonna DOTA and then I shall sleep like a pig’.

Well things didn’t go according to that. Here I am, blogging, because there are things in my heart that I need express, and if you don’t know me by now, I express things best in words. So blogging it is, and strangely enough, I have no urge to dota right now =). I wouldn’t know about the sleep like a pig part though.

I guess when it comes to events, camps and stuff, you would often see my narrative of the events that passed and my thoughts about them, how fun it was and stuff. But somehow today, I realized that I can’t take the X-Factor post in that approach.

Because, X-Factor was an experience that I cannot do justice by such narration. Because, X-Factor is not a series of events but one collective experience, I can’t split it into day one to four because it was as if they were one. I tried to think of something to put on my personal message on msn or my facebook status, but I couldn’t. Because the only thing that could describe X-Factor was itself. There is nothing like it. There was nothing I could compare it to.

So I will just talk about some of the things that really stood out to me, that I felt so strongly about during this camp. This camp really set me thinking about quite a lot of things. It was also a rather emotional camp. A lot of the things I thought about set the emotions in place of course but yea. I’ll say that I may be somewhat an emotional person, but really, it is nothing like this. Even as I write this, I feel that I probably might have forgotten some other thing that really stood out for me and I wanted to blog about and thus am doing injustice to myself but its alright I guess, what I have here to talk about is already enough. Be warned if you are going to continue to read this, if you are doing something else, come back again when you are not busy. This is a really a wall of text.

When we broke camp this afternoon, everyone was hanging around refusing to move and trying to get Andy to do another stand up comedy. It was funny of course but to be honest, I think there was a reason why it happened. Because, I think within many of our hearts, we really didn’t want to leave just yet. Like me, I believe that many people felt like they wanted more. More of the X-Factor camp, and whatever comes with it. Because for me, I was still holding on to the camp as well, though it was over, but not letting go. I just had this feeling that I would rather be in X-Factor forever. Though it was far from a perfect camp and it had share of ups and downs, I would still rather stay on than return to the world. But such is life. I guess if X-Factor was a one month camp I wouldn’t be talking about staying on forever but yes I think you people reading this get my point.

And you know, the camp was awesome, and really, that is an understatement. But it wasn’t awesome because the activities were like excellent or anything. I’ve abseiled and climbed a real rock wall, I’ve done a wayyy higher flying fox, I’ve done a lot of the things that were done in the camp before already. But like I said before, it wasn’t the individual activities. It was the entire experience. You know, I was interviewing some people, and one of the questions was ‘what do you like most about the camp’. I asked myself that question. I thought about it. If someone interviewed me then, I wouldn’t be able to give them an answer on the spot because I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint it. But after much thought, I know the answer. It is God. That is what I liked most about the camp. And its not just God during encounter sessions, but it was God throughout the camp.

From Thursday night’s prayer meeting, I knew God would be there during the camp, I know that his presence would cover the entire camp, but I didn’t know just how much until I actually went through the camp. To be honest, on the first day I didn’t really notice it that much. It was just another camp to me, but after a while, I really began to sense God in the place. Sometimes, it was just so subtle that if it happened to me on an ordinary day I wouldn’t even think about it, but at the camp, I could sense it. God just, being there in everything, presiding over everything, even the littlest things.

God was there through sickness. Some people know, I was down with fever and sore throat on the week of the camp and gradually recovered. I entered X-Factor with the risk of fever and sore throat coming back as well as an ongoing cough and flu related issues. But somewhere along the way in the camp I can’t really remember when, I confessed that God was my healer, Jehovah Rophe. I may not have been struck down with a disease or anything like that, it’s a pretty minor sickness I guess, but I told God that I didn’t want any sickness or whatsoever ruin my experience of this camp, to prevent me from coming to be with him. And here I testify that God was there. It didn’t just go away, but every time it got worse, I just told God that I wanted to enjoy this camp, and it would become better. On the last night, quite a number of people would know that at one point in time it got pretty bad (probably cause I didn’t take medication for the entire day) and so when everyone was celebrating and having fun in the parade square on the day of no lights out time, I went back to the bunks. But then afterwards, I appeared again and was doing things, I could go around and carry out the interviews as well. Some might say ‘that’s because you took the medication’ but I don’t know how to explain it but, I just knew that God was there, and he helped relieve my sickness when I asked him for help.

One of the reasons why I can be confident that it was the hand of God and not just the medication was because it was more than just through the healing that he showed up. There were just so many instances where God showed up in many little ways. I would talk about a few more, and one of them was tiredness. Even as I type this, I assure you that I’m wide awake and my mind is functioning well. I recall how I have totally died from staying up late for some other camps and stuff but throughout the camp I didn’t feel sleepy. Honestly. And some people (midnight jellybean club lul) would know that I so did not sleep early nor wake up late in this camp. For me, I’m someone who gets tired out easily from activities and also someone who would get terrible headaches if I didn’t get enough sleep, but somehow, this time round, I was fine. Again, if I were to tell this to someone, they might give me a weird look and think I’m mad for saying something that was as good as saying ‘God helped me to be not sleepy’ which honestly sounds strange but, I don’t know how to explain it, but I just know when my body is not doing what I would expect it do from past experiences. As odd as this case may seem to be, it had a personal impact on me, for God showed up in the little things.

Then I think everyone knows about the weather on the third day of the camp. Well, before the camp begun, I had been thinking about what would happen it rains on the day of the high elements. It was appropriate then that during encounter, Si Er talked about speaking away the rain by faith. I think we all know that on two separate occasions, it started to rain, but God cleared the skies for us when we about to have our activities. When it happened, I was telling God silently in my mind, to help me not forget this. For it would be easy to dismiss it as a really lucky (though highly unlikely) coincidence in the future, but at that moment, I just knew that God showed up once again. Combined with the sickness, the tiredness, and so many more things that happened, I find it hard to just proclaim that it was but sheer luck. It was God’s provision.

The song ‘nothing is impossible’ was played many times during the camp, and though I talked about how it was amusing that the song kept coming on, in all honestly, I liked it. And it wasn’t so much because P.E. band was really good (not that they aren’t), nor was it mainly because the song sounded nice (though I think the ‘deep down I, know that you’re here with me’ part is sounds very cool). It was because in the lyrics of the song, I found something special. Sometimes, I hear inspirational songs like ‘no boundaries’ and I think ‘wow, this is a really encouraging song’. But when I listen to a song like ‘no boundaries’, I know that even though the song tells me ‘there are no boundaries’, in reality in this world, there probably is. Though the song tells me that with perseverance and my own strength I can do great things, I realize that though it does help, in truth sometimes it just doesn’t happen. But ‘nothing is impossible’ was different. It simply stated what was a fact, a truth in the Bible. That nothing is impossible with God. And I realized that ‘nothing is impossible’ wasn’t just another motivational song, it wasn’t just another song to empower us to do our best to chase our dreams. It was a song that tells us that God WILL fulfill our dreams. I have my own visions (that’s the correct word, cause only the old men dream dreams but young men see visions =D), nothing too elaborate I haven’t exactly planned out how my life would go (I haven’t even decided on my subject combination next year and maybe I have a sad life but I don’t exactly have an ambition), they are but small, perhaps short term visions, but they are visions that mean a lot to me and I do believe that they will come to pass, because God is the all powerful God, the beginning and the end, the one who created all things, the one who speaks things into existence, and if HE says I can do it, then I know I can.

During the last time we sang the song, I was reminded of the previous Thursday’s prayer meeting where God’s presence was so strong as well. It reminded me of a thought that came to my mind during that night. In heaven, we will worship God forever and ever. I often tell myself that yea, when that time comes it will be wonderful. However, I couldn’t really imagine myself doing that though I do believe that it would be so. Yet that night and this afternoon, when I lost myself in bringing him praise (yey ‘from the inside out’ reference), I realized just how wonderful it would be like in heaven, especially since what we had on earth is but a small glimpse into all that it would be.

When I think this post is abit jumbled and random, I don’t know, I’m just typing down whatever comes to me over here. Things that God really spoke to me about during the camp. Throughout the camp, I could feel a fire burning for God within me. I admit that I’m usually not as hyper for God as I hope to be, but perhaps this time round in the camp with nothing else to bother about but to just fix my eyes upon God and just enjoy myself, it kinda helped to stir up that passion, within me, as I believe it has for many. To be honest, im afraid that as the days go on after this camp is over, the ‘high’ runs off and I might lose that flame, but I pray that God will keep this fire burning within me.

And on a random note because I don’t know what category to put this under, I think morning QT is pretty cool haha, waking up before everyone else is and to just find a nice place to seek God, and to be able to just commit the rest of the day into His hands. And no I usually don’t do this at home it was more of a ‘oh noes I don’t think I have time at night so I better do in the morning’ thing, maybe a good habit I should pick up =).

Oh and haha, the encouragement notes were great. I mean not the ‘joke’ ones though those provided good entertainment imo but the real encouragement notes. It kinda goes in line with what im doing for Christmas. Oh and for those who don’t know, I enjoy randomly observing a random person sometimes (not in a stalkerish manner) so seeing as there was plenty of free time where I had nothing to do as well as times that I couldn’t sleep, I had more time to do this little ‘hobby’ of mine and I think I learnt quite a few things. In particular, I think I watched the Sophia people quite abit (and before you say anything as I predict some will, no, im not trying to check out the girls its not my fault their bunk is opposite ours, that they always have people hanging around even late at night when the other cells are already asleep and the fact that they are so loud they draw attention in all situations so don’t think so much) and if it serves as any form of encouragement, I would say that I think if anything stands out among them, its their unity. Let’s face it haha half or more of the encouragement notes were from Sophia to Sophia and for a few nights I’ve been seeing them writing away when everyone else is asleep. That is but just one example of course I don’t really have to go into details about the rest im sure people can tell. For me, I feel that perhaps this and more is something that the entire DI should strive towards (though I admit maybe as guys we don’t exactly have a habit of writing sweet little notes to one another or crying together). After all, we are supposed to be heart joiners. But uh now that I said this your heads don’t become big big uh =p. This is an encouragement to do even better =). Eh coming from someone from Kairos ok, the cool dudes, feel honored please ^^. Especially I this kind don’t usually praise people one lor. Anyway, on the individual level, there were people that I weren’t quite sure what to say to for my Christmas stuff but I think now after the camp, I’ve got a pretty good idea haha. So yups. Observed some of the leaders as well and I just realize that I’ve got a lot to learn.

Well I’ve come to the end of this post. I will forever remember those funny things that happen, the inside jokes like those Avatar based ones or the I LOVE LE FA and stuff but really, even as perhaps in the future we laugh and joke about these stuff, I hope that I will never, ever forget all these that I have learnt from the camp.. Im rather amused at how long this post is right now haha. Almost three thousand words and a couple of hours. Wow. But it feels good to put everything down, at least in the future I can look back and reflect, at least this way I won’t forget God’s faithfulness throughout the camp. Recounting it all does help to really commit it into memory. Anyway, I’m putting this up on facebook as well seeing as it has a wider reach there and I hope that it will truly bless someone.

What about you? What are your thoughts about X-Factor? I know I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way.