The Lukers had their first Luke 18 San Antonio Summer Camp last May 29- 31. The focus and theme of the camp was “Being Salt, Light and Yeast for the World.” Below is the talk given by Bella Murga to the other Lukers regarding her experience and reflections from camp. (Introduction by Yenyen Chan)
Last Saturday, 25 of us had to embark on an adventure to Bataan. Each of us participated in the first ever Luke Camp. It was an opportunity for all of us to bond and get to know each other. I’m sure that all of us had a great time and we were all able to create many new memories. I had a truly amazing experience at camp. I was able to make some new friends, as well as get closer to some of my older friends. I really enjoyed and this camp made me very happy because I was able to spend the weekend with the people who I consider my second family. My favorite part of the camp was probably when we swam in the pool and the falls because everyone was just very active and the positive energy was very contagious. It was also my first time to swim in a waterfall so it was a very good experience for me.
At camp, I learned that all of us have a mission, and that is to spread God’s love to everyone. I believe that spreading God’s love is by choosing to do the right thing instead of just doing what is easy. It is choosing to reach out to others instead of ignoring them, etc. Spreading God’s love is when we act selflessly and do good deeds with out expecting anything in return. All of us are learning to be like three everyday objects, and that is salt, light, and yeast.
The first object is salt. Salt is very important. It is very valuable because it’s known as a popular spice. There is a Bible passage that says, “You are salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Salt may be small but it can make a big difference by adding its own taste and flavor. This can also be applied to ourselves. At times, we may tend to feel small and unimportant. I can actually relate to this. Here’s an example. When I joined the 62nd Luke Weekend, I didn’t know a lot of people and I felt left out because everyone had their own group of friends already. I struggled for a while, but after several meetings, I was able to make new friends and feel more comfortable with myself. I had to go out of my comfort zone and reach out to other people. In the end, it was all worth it. I also realized that I am never alone. God is always there to look out for us and He showers us with blessings. We are all special in our own way. You may not feel it all the time, but we must all remember that God loves each and every one of us and we are all unique in His eyes.
Next is light. Light is what brightens up the dark and it helps us see more clearly. There is a Bible passage that states, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Many of us have suffered from our own problems, struggles, and obstacles in our lives. One way or another, we find a way to move on from them or find the courage to face them. That is through the help of God. He helps us become brave and He continues to give us hope. We are not the only ones who come across darkness. There are many more people out there who have a lot of problems, specifically, the needy. There are people who have no food and clothing, people who are poor, sick, homeless, and abused. These people feel alone and hopeless. They are lost and they don’t know what to do. They just want to find their way out of the darkness. You can spread your light to them, the light from God. You can do this by participating in charities, donating the stuff you don’t use anymore, joining immersions and organizations that promote social justice. One time I felt like I acted as a light to someone was when my Lola was suffering from cancer. I would visit her in the hospital and as she lay in the hospital bed, I would talk to her so that she would feel more relaxed. We would also get her some pastries. When we weren’t with her, we would call her to make sure she was okay. Before her operation, we all visited her and wished her well. We should all spread light to others because everyone needs a little bit of hope.
Lastly, there is yeast. Yeast, when mixed with other ingredients, helps pastries grow and form a better shape. We need yeast to help build up the Kingdom of God. There is a parable that says, “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with 3 measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” In order to be yeast, we must mix with other people, even if we don’t know them, so that we can enlighten one another and create a better community. As Lukers, maybe we can plan a day where we could spend time with orphans or plan a family day for the families of the homeless. We should never focus on the negative, but instead look at the positive sides of people so that we can establish peace and harmony among each other. We all have to help build up one another, not bring each other down. Earlier I mentioned those who are in need, such as the poor and the homeless. Our mission is to spread God’s love and we can only do that by treating them as equal individuals and help make them feel that they belong in God’s Kingdom. We must make them feel loved and let them know that God is with them by helping them in any way that we can. We should give our best efforts and do some of the actions that I stated earlier. We can only build God’s Kingdom with the help of each other.
Before I end this, I want to challenge you to try your best to become salt, light, and yeast. Remember that God loves us and we must share His love to everyone we meet. Since summer is almost over, I know that most of you will be returning to school in the upcoming week or the week after that, so I want you to spread God’s love to your fellow classmates because nobody deserves to be alone in this world. God is there for us and he guides us, and uplifts us. That is why we must give back and do the same to everyone. Let’s all work together to fulfill our mission here on earth as one loving community. (By Bella Murga)
Pictures by Rocky Chan and Victor Roman