sorry about that title, i just couldn't resist! =)
ON Institute (from Orientation course for New staffworkers) was a great experience. about 33 of us, from all over east and west asia - malaysia (obviously), indonesia, phillipines, cambodia, laos, myanmar, vietnam, hong kong, korea, kyrgystan, and mongolia.
it's one thing to know in my head that the church is a united body consisting of just about every tribe and tongue in the world, but it's another thing to know it in experience. worshipping together with new friends from diverse nations was a profound experience. it's really something to know that, although you can hardly communicate with the other guy because you don't speak the same language, you already agree on all the things that really matter.
i think that one of the things of greatest value that i take back from ON is the relationships that have been built there. i do hope that they will continue, but based on past experiences (various camps, international students' camp, regional conference 2006) i know that most contacts won't be kept up. most people are just too busy to keep up long-distance friendships. i did meet a couple of people at ON that i'd first gotten acquainted with at the regional conference though, so i was glad for this opportunity to renew those bonds. =)
apart from that, i guess most of the classroom-learning was more reminders than new stuff; but some of it remains mere head-knowledge and needs to be internalised. especially stuff like SU's aims, objectives, and working principles. oh, and one question which stays with me from the youth ministry modules is, how can we be more incarnational in our youth ministry? which, to cut out the jargon, means how can we better reach out to, and be with, and love the youth wherever they are?
besides classroom learning, we also had field exposure times. we did a church deputation in cameron highlands on 12th august, a bible rally in ipoh on the 18th, and were sent in teams to more than 10 churches in ipoh on the 19th. after which, the vietnamese group went up to penang to minister to a vietnamese migrant community there, some delegates went to our (as in peninsular malaysia's) SUPA - Scripture Union Primary Age - camp, other delegates went to young writers' camp, and the majority went for a Sunday School Teachers' Conference in PJ.
next post - young writers' camp. if u wanna know more about ON, feel free to ask in the comments; don't wanna bore the average reader with too much information (hope i haven't already done so). =)