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Living Simply, Living Collectively

My Reflection on the WSCF AP’s 19th RCM

by EechiaEechia

“I’m inviting you to participate as an observer to come and learn more about the SCM,” said Necta, the Regional Secretary of World Students Christian Federation, Asia-Pacific (WSCF AP).

Such was the welcoming words of Necta as I joined the 19th Regional Committee Meeting (RCM) last July. Indeed, my perspectives had widened as I learned more about the life of the Student Christian Movements (SCM), of how our faith can be transformed into action, throughout my 7-day stay with the wonderful people from all over the Asia-Pacific region, in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

One of the most impressive outing in the RCM agenda for me is the “Exposure Program”.

We were divided into four commissions: Women and Men Partnership, Inter-faith, Climate Justice and Migration. Each commission has a bible study session and its own exposure program. For example, the commission of Climate Justice was taken for a visit to an illegal logging site, so that the members can understand more about the current situation of this issue. Those from the Migration commission, on the other hand, had the opportunity to speak to a group of local migrants who have resettled in some parts of Manado.

I find both the bible study and the exposure program are complementary. We had some very serious bible study discussions and more discussions during the commission meet-ups and then finally, an exposure trip. This exposure trip connects what we learned in the Scripture to the current reality, and deepened our understanding of these themes. Another notable observation from the RCM meeting is how the delegates who are the student representatives of SCM from the Asia-Pacific region have a voice in the future direction of the Regional office.

These delegates are encouraged to voice their opinions to collaborate with the Regional office in charting the game plan for the near future. I find this to be very helpful in building leadership as students learn and make important decisions for the movement they are a part of. Indeed, WSCF will cease to exist without the SCMs.

Perhaps, the most precious experience for me during the RCM is the friendship formed with all the participants. I was a part of the worship sub-committee for the first two days. We spent our nights discussing and planning the “worship liturgy” for the following morning. We had fun bouncing ideas, brainstorming, and waking up early the next morning to share the “workload” in preparation for the morning worship.

Conversations I had with fellow SCMers from different countries had truly opened my eyes to how the SCM and WSCF have impacted the lives of these individuals.

However, I recognise that not all the SCMs are the same, each are unique on their own, yet similar in their struggle to live out the Christian faith through their actions, as they try to fill the gaps of the nation’s needs.

I’m really inspired by my fellow friends from the SCM Philippines. Some of them have dedicated their lives to the movement, working for the SCM without pay. With a surprised expression, I asked Tin, “How do you survive then?”

And the reply?

“We adopt two simple principles. First is to live simply. And second is living collectively.”

Her answer blew my mind away. These youths, they are willing sacrifice so much in order to educate their society and to fight for a better Philippines.

However, I recognise that not all the SCMs are the same, each are unique on their own, yet similar in their struggle to live out the Christian faith through their actions, as they try to fill the gaps of the nation’s needs.

I am grateful to God, the Creator and the Sustainer of Life, for giving me a chance to see and taste the alternative side of Christianity, interpreted through a different theological understanding. A heartfelt thank you to Necta, for inviting me to the RCM, and everyone, for welcoming me and making me feel like I’m part of the WSCF family.