This section will give you a unique insight into what life is like at RBS. Though it doesn’t come close to capturing the magic of actually being there, we hope it will give you some idea as to what happens up there for a whole month!
RBS is held at Highlands Christian Centre (HCC) in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands, an ideal location to host the school. The cool air provides comfort, and being surrounded by the songs of birds and magnificent scenery of mountains, forest and beautiful tea plantations serve as constant reminders of God and the beauty of His creation – an ideal context in which to study His Word and to listen to Him. The distance from any major city also removes distractions and increases focus on God and the things that matter.
HCC, owned and operated by the Brethren Assemblies, sits on the top of a hill within private and secluded grounds. The perfectly-sized compound has dormitories, rooms, a meeting hall, a cafeteria with attached kitchen and ample space to explore or retreat to during times of personal reflection and devotion.
Tanah Rata, just a stone’s throw away from HCC, is a quiet town that provides all the facilities we need – a laundry, playing field, banks, hospital and post office, as well as internet cafes and restaurants that the students can visit during their designated free time on Sundays.
Also nearby is the town of Brinchang, which you can visit during your Sunday free time if you want a change of scenery.
Life in Camerons is laid back and people are easygoing and friendly, which suits us perfectly!
ARRIVAL & ORIENTATION, AND INTO THE ROUTINE
You arrive at HCC and are given a name tag, booklet and file, and “check-in” to your rooms. That evening we have our first meal together, and then enjoy a night of orientation and icebreakers, where you are briefed on the dos and don’ts of the school, and where you spend some time getting to know your new friends a little bit better. It might be a bit awkward now, but come graduation night in six weeks’ time, you will grow such strong relationships that many of you will be shedding tears! 😊
The next day, the school goes straight into the daily schedule that you will get used to over the coming days.
Sleepy eyes are greeted with breakfast, followed by a time of worship. Then everyone enjoys half-an-hour of personal devotion, where there is just you, your Bible and God.
We meet after that for a time of communal sharing, where everyone has the opportunity to share how God has spoken to them from His Word that morning.
After a short break, you then go straight into your first class. You have two or three class sessions every day of the school, and we arrange for teachers from all over the country to come up to Camerons to teach you on a wide range of subjects, with the aim of equipping you for Christian maturity.
These sessions go hand in hand with the times of devotion and sharing, and along with practical opportunities to give you exposure and get your hands dirty as you put your faith into practice, they form the life-blood of the school, and a whole “package” in which your mind is fed, your heart is moved and your hands are engaged, to the glory of God.
Classes are definitely not like your usual sermons back at church. Lessons are interactive and fun, where you will engage with the teacher and in your groups. Some of our lessons are even times for you to sit back in the RBS “cinema” and enjoy a movie, documentary or even a live music video!
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
The Bible is our foundation for life, but we very often have a very shallow understanding of it. You’ll discover what the big story of the Bible is all about, as well as gain a more in-depth understanding of both Old and New Testaments and the key doctrines taught in the Bible. You’ll learn how to study the Bible more effectively on your own and with others. and live in the light of its truths.
YOUR WALK WITH GOD
Our faith is about relationship – with God and with others. You’ll learn about your true identity as a child of our Father God, how to worship him, and how to pray and maintain spiritual disciplines in your life in order to grow your relationship with him. You’ll also learn how to discern his will for your life. Finally, you’ll discover what the Bible really teaches about what ‘church’ is supposed to be, and what your role should be within your local church community.
YOUR FAITH LIVED OUT
Our faith should inform and shape the way we live our lives in this world that God has placed us in. You’ll look at creative expression and the media you consume, as well as your relationships with your family, your country and your world. You’ll also be exploring issues of gender and sexuality and how to relate in romantic relationships. You’ll also learn about dealing with anger in a godly way.
Our faith is not meant to be kept to ourselves. RBS will help you learn to share your faith with others in a natural and clear way as well as broaden your mind about being involved in local or even foreign missions in some way. You’ll study what people of other religions believe as well as how to defend your faith against objections non-Christians may have. You’ll also learn how to reach out to children in children’s ministry.
Why are there so many denominations and church practices and how did they come about? What actually is the difference between Catholics and Protestants? Where did the Brethren come from and what was important to them? These are some of the questions you’ll get answered as we look at the fascinating story of how God’s hand has moved across history in the past 2,000 years in order to build His Church.
And there’s so much more! You will also learn many lessons outside of your classes, in your times of personal devotion with God, your experiences at RBS and your interactions with your staff and fellow students.
Note: For those of you have attended 3HC, rest assured that any similar topics will be covered at a more in-depth level at RBS. 3HC was just an appetiser before the main course! 😊
MOVING YOUR HANDS IN SERVICE
During the school you will have practical opportunities to serve God. You will move out of your comfort zone, enjoy new experiences and new cultures, and you will begin to put into practice all the new knowledge and skills you have been learning through your lessons.
There is a time of street evangelism, where you will go and talk about your faith to strangers (and be completely surprised by just how receptive people are!).
There are also the two missions trips you will be taking.
The first is where you are all split up into groups and you will visit a church in an Orang Asli village one Sunday morning to attend the service with them, after which your group will conduct the Sunday School children’s ministry in that church. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know people who are so different from you in so many ways, but yet united with you through a common love for Christ.
The second missions exposure trip is towards the end of the school, the groups will be sent out to different small churches scattered all over the country for a few days. Here, you will take on various meetings and activities, get to mingle with the local church and community and find ways in which you can serve them, and ultimately serve God. You will also have a little time to explore the area where you are in. For many of you, it will be a place you have never been to before!
This is an intense and focused opportunity to put into practice all that you have learned during the school, and a chance to interact with the “real” world again in a more mature and spiritually-equipped way.
It is also a time of close bonding with your fellow group mates, as you take on projects and resolve problems as a team, and a wonderful opportunity to get to know others and to observe how different churches operate in different parts of the country. It would be pretty boring if every church was just like yours! 😊
But though the primary focus of the school is the lessons, the time spent one-on-one with God, the sharing and the opportunities to use your hands in service, we also know how to have fun!
There are plenty of times throughout the day for you to laugh and get to know each other well, and from time to time you are given the chance to go and explore the local town with your friends.
We also have some pretty fun organised activities. From regular sessions of indoor and outdoor games, to a jungle trek up to the summit of a mountain and an exciting and engaging treasure hunt that takes you all over Tanah Rata, you will not be short of fun stories and experiences to share with your friends back home when you return.
CAN I SURVIVE AWAY FROM HOME?
Don’t worry about being away from home for a whole six weeks – we have all the corners covered.
We run regular trips to the laundry so that you will always have clean clothes to wear. Even though you will have to surrender your phones for the duration of the school, we have shared public phones for use only during free times so that you can stay in touch with people back home. We run a mini-bookshop, where many current and classic Christian titles and Bibles are sold. We have a box full of medication for common ailments to help you if you get ill, and the town has a hospital which we will take you to if necessary. We even run a mini post-office and you can send and receive “old-school” letters while at the school!
And best of all, the food is so good you won’t have any cravings to visit your favourite food stall back home!
After four and a half weeks up in Camerons, you go on the five-day mission trip described earlier, and then you will go travel from your mission location to Petaling Jaya Gospel Hall, where you will spend the final five days and where you will graduate. Classes resume, and at the same time you begin preparations for your Graduation Ceremony.
The stage is set. Your parents and friends have come, some of them from far away, to see you graduate and to testify to God’s work in your life while you were away, and then you go back home to the bed that you haven’t slept in for six weeks!
And then, just like that, it’s all over. But in truth, your Graduation Ceremony is only the beginning.
WELL, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
It is our prayer that RBS will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you, and one that you will treasure for the rest of your life. It is our prayer that each and every one of you will grow to be faithful men and women of God, and that you will be able to look back and say that RBS played an important role in your spiritual maturity and growth. It is also our prayer that you will form close and lasting relationships with your fellow brothers and sisters that you journeyed with, and that you will support each other as you take on the “real world” as a disciple and servant of Christ.
So, what are you waiting for? Opportunities like these don’t come very often. Start making plans to come for RBS! Follow in the footsteps of hundreds of our alumni who testify that the experience was a significant chapter in their lives. Come and grow closer to God, and get in better spiritual shape. Come feed and engage your mind, and get your hands dirty with His work.
Come and tune your life to the frequency of His perfect will, and catch a taste of the feast that He has prepared just for you.
Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)