[Photo courtesy of the Youth Department of Sabah Mission]

Southern Asia-Pacific

Motivation Camp in Sabah Prepares Graduates to Thrive in the Face of Life Challenges

The program attempts to prepare students for their forthcoming move to higher education.

Malaysia | Jason Neil Wong

From April 13–16, 2023, the Sabah Mission of Seventh-day Adventist, which is now a part of the newly formed Malaysia Union Mission, successfully hosted its 12th Motivation Camp. The camp, which was held at Damai Eco Ranch in Ranau, Sabah, one of the region's recreational campgrounds, included a variety of exciting activities, such as archery, fishing, boating, swimming, team building exercises, group challenges, and more. A total of 132 individuals eagerly joined the camp, looking forward to the exciting journey.

The Sabah Adventist Youth Ministry Department organizes the Motivation Camp each year. The program, which is specifically intended for high school graduates who are awaiting the results of their national examinations, attempts to prepare students for their forthcoming move to higher education. It gives these young people a chance to get out of their comfort zones and prepare for the difficulties that await them at college or university.

The significance of this program was highlighted by Pastor Lysoniel, Youth Ministries director for the Sabah Mission, who stated, "This specialized camp caters to high school graduates, offering them a glimpse of the challenges they will encounter as they step into the next phase of their lives outside their familiar environments."

Aside from the exciting activities and challenges, the Motivation Camp allows the Youth Department to introduce participants to pastors, elders, and youth leaders. This relationship allows them to build direct contact channels for seeking aid and guidance throughout their tertiary education experience in Malaysia's numerous educational institutions.

The obstacle course run, done on the final day of the program, remains a highlight for participants. The course pushes participants to overcome physical and mental barriers that need teamwork, coordination, and unwavering effort, beginning with a mentally tough scenario designed to test their perseverance. This culminating exercise represents the participants' progress and togetherness throughout the course of the three-day camp.

Aside from physical and emotional obstacles, the Motivation Camp builds new friendships among participants, forming a support network as they journey out into the world. It provides a venue for inspirational testimonials in which facilitators tell how God has helped them overcome personal obstacles while pursuing their educational goals. These stories cover a wide range of situations, from problems in establishing a religious community to drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, broken relationships, and even unanswered prayers.

Pastor Lysoniel led a dedicatory prayer at the end of the camp on April 16. The prayer expressed the hope that all participants would implement the lessons learned at camp to remain solid in their faith in the face of future hardships. Furthermore, when students embark on the next chapter of their lives, they are encouraged to use their experiences and knowledge as strong tools for sharing God's love with those around them.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia -Pacific Division website.