The bright and sunny morning at the Christian Convention Centre, Batu Ferringgi (CCC), on the 19th of July 2014 saw the gathering of the youths from the Penang Assemblies for the annual Inter-Assembly Games (IA Games). The annual event is one of the major occasions for the Penang Assemblies to build bonds, link faith, share encouragement and spur love for one another as they gather in the name of Christ.
This year’s theme for the Games – The Gathering in Fellowship (T.G.I.F), magnified the importance of the gathering of Christians, with the theme verse Hebrews 10:25 emphasizing such gatherings are vital for Christians to ‘spur’ one another towards love and good deeds, all the more when Christ’s return is more imminent than ever in these last days.
The participating assemblies were Island Glades Gospel Centre (IGGC, the organizing assembly), Burma Road Gospel Hall (BRGH), Sungai Nibong Gospel Hall (SNGH), Sungai Ara Gospel Centre (SAGC) and Taiping Gospel Hall (TGH). When the SNGH and SAGC joined teams as usual in occasions like this, the BRGH was split into two teams due to their large and encouraging number of participants. On the other hand, the brothers and sisters from over the mainland was divided and assimilated into the four teams to make the teams more balanced in all aspects.
After the commencement by the heart-warming singpiration and the “Get-to-know-each-other’ ice breaker, the Games was kicked into high gear when the old favorite Captain Ball and the new welcomed Sit Down Volleyball were introduced. All the four teams competed vibrantly in the field and in the hall of the CCC, each striving to get more points in healthy competing spirits. Although as almost always expected, both the BRGH teams were the leading teams and IGGC ended up being the last, however, with the aid of Taiping people and some brothers from SNGH/SAGC IGGC managed to put up a good fight against the other teams, making themselves a proud number four. SNGH/SAGC strived hardly to climbed to the top of the ladder but alas was still unable to match with the BRGHs, ended up being sandwiched between the BRGHs on the top and IGGC on the bottom.
After a hearty chicken rice lunch the teams were recharged and ready for a second round. At 2pm sharply, the bell was rang and the teams were sent to their respective stations to complete their task. The second round was undoubted the familiar station games, with each team being further split into two teams, going into various stations to complete the task assigned. There were interesting tasks such as hidden Bible, the Transporter awaiting the participants. Each task requires teamwork, good organization and coordination, and even sacrificial spirit from the teams, taxing the mental and physical capacity of the members. The result was less predictable as the first round, with BRGH team 1 on the top, IGGC the second, SNGH/SAGC the third and BRGH team 2 the last. Thus IGGC and SNGH/SAGC showed that not only were they catching up with the BRGHs in sports, they were capable of outperforming them in other games that tax not only the physical and strategy but also the mental and determination.
Finally, after a long and exciting day, it was the time for the prize-giving ceremony. BRGH team 1 was crowned champion, defending the no.1 title from last year, BRGH team 2 was placed no.2, with SNGH/SAGC and IGGC at the third and fourth respectively. One thing worth noting is that SNGH/SAGC were just behind the tail of BRGH team 2 by 2 points and IGGC had the same points with SNGH/SAGC, being ranked the last only due to the weightage of the morning and afternoon games.
After the prize-giving, Youth Leader from IGGC Mr. Lim Sey Yen exhorted the believers to spur one another into great deeds and love for Christ, reminding each and every one that, just like a football team, we have a Coach. But unlike them, our Coach is incapable of making any mistake, by following His lead, we are bound on achieving much, though for Him and not for ourselves. The event was then closed with a word of prayer by the IGGC deacon, Mr. Chen Choon See.
Post written by Wei Sheng