Friday night, CY heads up to the famous KCC tin shed along with another 2000 or so Christians; and so begins the first of 6 sessions where we, individuals united in Christ, sang songs of praise, prayed together, read from God’s word and had His word spoken to us through the speakers Damien Whitington and Sam Low.
The KCC tin shed is one of the places where God works so evidently in the lives of everyone present, Christians and not-yet Christian alike. The tagline for KYCK this year was The Narrow Road, where we read from the book of Matthew, looking at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Talk 1 with Sam Low starts pretty mellow and hard hitting – reading the beatitudes, we were reminded that the Christian life, the Narrow Road, is full of temptation, suffering and persecution. But, Sam reminds us that we are to fix our eyes on Christ; we are to take heart because of what Christ has achieved for us through his death and resurrection; and we know that whatever suffering we face, we can’t lose because every trial we go through takes us one step closer to Heaven – one step closer to Jesus.
And there was evening, and there was morning – the second day. Saturday morning, breakfast at Katoomba High School – cereal and pancakes? No meat, so I wasn’t interested…
… Back at the tin shed for sessions 2 and 3! Session 2: more singing, more prayer, more reading of God’s word and a talk from Damien on anger management. What should we do when we’re angry? Get to the source of our anger, and pursue reconciliation quickly. Why? Because we are to be like God; God is a god who pursued reconciliation with us - people who deserve death and punishment.
Session 3: more singing, more prayer, more reading of God’s word and a talk from Sam on the issue of the heart. Sam challenged us by reminding us that God cares about what’s in our hearts, because what is in our hearts will eventually show itself in the way we live our lives. The narrow road is a hard road to travel because we are to live lives that are transformed by grace. This means that, practically, our actions need to reflect and be motivated by the change that has happened in our hearts. Jesus says in Matthew 5 that when we pray, we should go into our rooms, close the door and pray to our Father who is unseen, but sees what is done in secret. If we pray (or act) in a way that gets us recognition from other people, then that is our reward - a crummy reward in comparison to what God has in store for us. As Christians, we are reminded that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also. If we want to change our hearts, we need to shift our treasure. How this applies to us individually will differ, but in every instance Christ should be our treasure.
KYCK Saturday afternoon is unofficially known as ‘compulsory fun’ at CY. Compulsory fun was had. Dan Marr devised a game which was a combination of Fresh, Capture the Flag and Dodgeball. For the readers unaware of what these games are, I don’t have the word count to explain… refer to the photos from Saturday afternoon for a picture of the ‘compulsory fun’ session (pun sort of intended). The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent in the hallways of KHS, exercising, studying, talking about boys and doing things that high-schoolers do when you’re at school. Despite the brevity of this paragraph, I don’t want to understate the fun and value that being couped up in a school has for CY. Staying at KHS is fun. Let no man (or woman) say otherwise.
Session 4: more singing, more prayer, more reading of God’s word, but this time, more people saved into God’s kingdom. The Saturday night session at KYCK is brilliantly planned as the ‘evangelistic night’. Damien presented the Gospel of Jesus to the not-yet Christian friends of attendees, and called people to make a decision to follow Jesus and start walking the narrow road. Damien shared about his adoption into his earthly family, and presented the offer of adoption that God gives us through Christ to 2000 high schoolers, both believers and non-believers. 59 kids decided to accept this offer of adoption and sonship, and hundreds decided to re-commit their lives to Christ (including a few from CY). So good!
After the session, we headed back to KHS for cup noodles (typical Asians) and late night shenanigans involving giant remote-controlled tarantulas and a manly, squealing year 12 boy whose dignity shall remain intact for the moment.
And there was evening, and there was… Sunday morning, and breakfast, session 5 and session 6 were to come. A congee breakfast did nothing to deinforce (opposite of reinforce, right?) the typical Asian stereotype, but it was tasty. Post breakfast, CY was assigned the task of cleaning the toilets which were used by 200 kids over the weekend. Golf claps to the year 10 boys who were amazingly servant hearted and cleaned the boys’ toilets by themselves – doing Jesus proud.
For the final two talks, Damien and Sam continued their talks on the Narrow Road. Coming off of the decision to follow Jesus that kids had made the previous night, Damien challenged all of us with the ugliness of sexual impurity, and the beauty of doing sexuality God’s way – sex in a covenant relationship is beautiful and satisfying, because God made it that way. Good talk: straight to the point, but waaaaay more challenging than Flappy Bird.
The final talk from Sam was probably the most challenging, and brought all the previous talks and everything else to a focal point. If we are to follow Jesus, we need to be prepared to walk down the narrow road which is full of temptation, suffering and persecution, but the Narrow Road ultimately leads us to an eternity with Christ. Jesus wants more than fair-weather followers; he wants commitment. But, God also knows that we are sinful people… and the beauty of salvation by grace is that we are called children, not employees, of God. When we fail, we don’t get fired; we get forgiven. What a beautiful and profound truth!
So, that was KYCK in a really, really small nut shell. One thing I’ve omitted from this article until now is the power of music and song. Over the weekend we sang a song called ‘Christ is Enough’, and it perfectly captured the theme for the weekend. Part of it goes…
Christ is my reward, and all of my devotion.
Now there’s nothing in this world that could ever satisfy.
Through every trial my soul will sing
No turning back, I’ve been set free.
Christ is enough for me; Christ is enough for me,
Everything I need is in you, everything I need.
I have decided to follow Jesus,
No turning back, no turning back
The cross before me, the world behind me
No turning back, no turning back
Not going to lie, this song is beautiful in what it says, and challenging to sing. But as Christians, we should say with an assured hope that when we’ve decided to follow Jesus and walk the narrow road, the world is behind us; Heaven and the cross are before us; and there’s no turning back.
No turning back.
(The manly, squealing year 12 boy was Cameron. Moment over.)