WRITTEN BY: Ambrose Ng, Social Coordinator UTCCF
Photos by: Grace Chong
This is my 5th year as a student at U of T and my 5th year attending University of Toronto Chinese Christian Fellowship (UTCCF). Although officially speaking, UTCCF is a school club, it has meant so much more than that, to me and to many other people who regularly attend. If you have never heard of UTCCF, here’s a quick description:
“The University of Toronto Chinese Christian Fellowship is a community of students seeking to connect: connecting with God, with believers, with themselves, and with the community around them. Come and be connected through Jesus Christ.”
The description above states that UTCCF is a community that seeks to connect with God. This connection with God gives us all a shared identity as children of God. By definition then, we are a family of brothers and sisters. This means that as a community we strive to be loving and caring to one another as a family would. And you can see this in the relationships that are formed. For many, UTCCF is a place that people can open up and find support from one another. We can be vulnerable knowing there is no judgement. It is definitely a community rooted in love.
Throughout my years at UTCCF, I have come to see this love. I have brothers and sisters who have invested a lot into my life. In many instances when I have felt lost, stressed, sad, I was able to find support and prayer through my friends at UTCCF. In many instances when I have felt joyous, happy, grateful, I have been able to celebrate with my friends at UTCCF. This love I have received from this fellowship has allowed me to understand God’s love for me.
So this year, stepping into a position of leadership was something that made a lot of sense — I wanted to give back to a community that gave so much to me. This step into leadership has been different than any other type of club leadership I have taken part in the past. The biggest difference, I believe, is the fact that I love this fellowship and I know the fellowship loves me. This helped in 2 ways: it gave me extra motivation and it allowed me to find support during the stressful moments. The extra motivation helped made doing “leadership stuff” a lot easier. It seldom felt like a burden. I have never had more fun doing “work” than when doing stuff for UTCCF. Even things like putting together a speech or attending a 3-hour long weekly meeting was fun and exciting. (Although, this level of excitement might also be because the alternative to doing UTCCF stuff was always studying or doing assignments…) Things did get overwhelming throughout the year, especially during the planning stages of our annual winter retreat, which aligned very well with a lot of my deadlines for various courses. Although the process was still very exciting, I became very tired very quickly and I’m sure this was also the case for the entire exec committee. It was during this season of fatigue, when I were able to experience, once again, the love that my fellowship has for me and the entire committee. The support we received from everyone helped a lot. It came in different forms: encouraging words, prayers or even people not on leadership roles stepping up to take on some of the work. Seeing different members taking ownership of the fellowship in order to serve and love each other better was a beautiful sight. It really showed UTCCF as a family in motion.
Last week, our committee came together and reflected on our experience. We all shared the same sentiment of how rewarding it all was. The goal of UTCCF is to inspire ourselves to love God more and love each other more. Seeing all the opportunities that we were able to do this in the past year made the entire experience worth it.
I’m writing this two days after the exec committee for next year has just been elected. So I’ll leave a message for them here:
I’m super excited for you all and what God is going to do at CCF next year! It’s gonna be really challenging and stressful but it’s gonna be worth it. Remember to rely on each other and pray! So have fun and God bless!
Social Coordinator, UTCCF