Camp Meeting 2017 WEDNESDAY REPORT
22nd June 2017
Prayer & Praise
Veronica Williams introduced the second Principle of this year’s Prayer Time as “R” for “Rejoice” (“in the Lord always” - Phil 4:4). Dr. Hamilton led the Intercessory prayer with two quotes from Mrs. White (AA 9.1; 12.1) focusing on the Church and Mission.
The congregation, led by the Praise Team, sang two joyous choruses: “Jesus is All the World to Me,” “In a Little While” and also the Theme Song.
Five people gave testimonies, among which were Veronica son’s Dad, who had gone missing, was found after prayers. Someone lost her handbag with 11 ADRA envelopes containing £209, but after prayers, all 11 envelopes were found intact on a busy London street. A man testified of how his relationship with his daughter was restored.
Pastor Juan Carlos Patrick spoke on “The Battle of the Gods,” in which he said, with pictures, that YAHWEH attacked the Egyptian gods with the 10 Plagues to expose their inability to defend their worshipers and the elements they represented:
- Nile turned into blood – Osiris.
- Frogs – Heqt.
- Lice, Gnat’s or Fleas – Geb
- ‘Arob' Mixture or Swarm – Amon-Ra.
- Diseased Livestock – Apis.
- Boils – Imhotep.
- Hailstorm – Nut.
- Locusts – Seth.
- Darkness – Horus.
- Death of Firstborn – Isis-Hathor.
He concluded his message with three lessons. Firstly, there’s no Restoration without a fight. The gods will certainly fail us. Before setting us free, God might deconstruct our whole world.
[George S. Dadey]
The second day of Camp Meeting saw the members as enthusiastic as the previous day, to attend the Workshop of their choice. The hall was noisy with people going this way and that, which died quickly to just a few voices as the various presenters gathered their students and started their respective workshops.
Pastor Patrick Boyle shared lessons learned from his decades of preaching experience. Preachers must know their congregation, and find a connection between themselves and the the listener. Without knowledge the preacher cannot help others. Across the hall Pastor Simon Martin was telling his Church Growth workshop group that leaders must be focused on equipping fellow Christians to serve. Mentor others by showing them how to serve, rather than just telling them.
The well attended Prayer Workshop heard that “prayer is the engine of the church. The church cannot run without prayer”. Prayer a vital building block of all we have learned today. Many will be looking forward to the next series of Workshops on Friday.
Following on from the Exodus story discussed yesterday, we come to Sinai. Daniel Duda proposed that the law is not about something you do, but something God wants you to be. The story of Sinai is that God is looking for a body to represent Him.
In Exodus 6.28 God is speaking to Moses. In Exodus 7.1 he says I have made you God to the pharaoh.
You – Moses – will be the message – because God is looking for a body.
In Ex 19:10 – God tells Israel through Moses to get prepared to meet God. ‘Moses brought the people out to the camp to meet with God.’ (vs 19) The heart of the Sinai account is that God wants to talk to his people. He says, remember the deliverance experience. Make sure you don’t turn into oppressors who will make people cry to God for help.
The lessons learnt was clear. God always invites people to meet with Him.
You are the message – the story of your experience with God is the message – God does not tell them what to do first, he is looking for a people that are His. At Sinai God answers the question ‘where is God?’ ‘You are the message’ means that God is in those who feed the hungry, who help the oppressed. God asks, how are you trying to help? God says I’m looking for people who will be the message. The message is not what can be learnt by heart, but what is shown to the community.
As long as you live in repentance, your failings make the message authentic. Israelite slaves were full of flaws – ‘Your crap is the beauty of the message.’ The message is not about you, it is about God. If you wait until you are perfect, you will never share the story. As long as you live in repentance, you can have an impact. Our job is not to tell others their problems. Be honest about your failings. Nothing kills community as much as pretending.
Your experience is what God is going to use to change the world.
In spite of the soaring temperatures, a packed house gathered to listen to Pastor Phipps at Camp Meeting on Wednesday evening, as he meditated on the second rung on the ladder of Christian progress from 2 Peter 1: 5 -7. This evening, he tackled the second essential character trait, virtue. ‘Add to your faith virtue’. ‘Virtue’ may seem an old fashioned Victorian word today, yet, if you want to be like Christ, you cannot do without it. It is responsible for the defeat of all that is wrong and twisted in our hearts.
Retelling the story of David’s adultery with Bathsheba, Pastor Phipps noted how in one brief moment of carnal lust, his entire life was changed. David lost the respect of angels, the loyalty of the people, and lost the most valuable prize of all, he lost the favour of God. David could have averted his eyes. He could have halted at voyeurism. He could have drawn back, when someone warned him: ‘is this not Bathsheba…. the wife of the Uriah the Hittite?’ But he did not.
That sin in David’s life happened because of the weakness of one character trait, that of virtue.
Virtue may not be the most difficult rung to climb on the ladder of Christian progress, but it is among the most slippery. Many a soul is won or lost on this rung of the ladder. Virtue is God’s purification system in the heart. It is especially important today, when evil is literally available to you in the palm of your hand.
‘Would you like to know the most powerful way for you to strengthen virtue in your life?’ asked Pastor Phipps. ‘It is through developing the habit of secret prayer.’ Pastor Phipps shared how he learned to pray every hour on the hour, by buying a digital watch which vibrated every 60 minutes. ‘Secret communion with God is what guards and strengthens your character, your virtue’. In the words of George Whitefield, we should ‘converse less with man and more with God’. Pastor Phipps invited those in the auditorium who wished to live a life of virtue and secret prayer to stand. No-one was left in their seats.
The young adults worshipped continued the journey through the letters to the seven churches, found in the Book of Revelation.
Pastor Adam Ramdin, NEC Youth Director, led the worship service and shared how he had been watching previous speakers online. His message more than neatly dovetailed with those from Monday and Tuesday evening.
Pastor Ramdin shared a message based on the letter to the church of Pergamos: the compromising church. Before digging into the meat of the letter, he reinforced the threefold application of the letters to the churches: the first application for the literal church addressed; the second application being a symbolic representation of the church through the ages; and thirdly, he reminded those present that there was a personal application for each person in their lives.
He painted a vivid picture of the armies of Greece, and their fabled great deception of Troy: hiding in a hollow giant horse posing as a gift in order to bypass the perimeter of Troy and take the city. Pastor Ramdin likened this to our lives and our battles with the enemy: ‘When Satan can’t beat you with persecution he comes in with a Trojan horse.’
He issued a challenge for each person to ask themselves if they are fully committed in their faith, or if compromise is creeping in, like the church in Pergamos. He invited everyone to consider whether they are a full-time Adventist or a part-time Adventist, and posed a question that needs a black and white answer:
‘Are you all in or are you not?’
Teens Ministries started their morning service with vibrant praise and worship which led into their theme song: Lord You’re Good.
The teens then commenced a prayer session, led by George Osei-Bonsu, the coordinator. He created an atmosphere of total silence, and then gave the young people cues for personal prayer. Following this, they were encouraged to pray in groups over specific requests that had been submitted via anonymous prayer cards. The requests were varied but heartfelt and sincere.
Kwarme, the devotional speaker, shared a story about an experience from his time studying in Trinidad, where he found his own progress - trying to fill up his car with petrol – was impeded by people who were either time wasting or not doing the thing they should have been doing: fuelling their cars!
Kwarme likened this experience to life. Sometimes young people go to places such as church or school, and need to ‘fill up’ – but their progress is impeded by people around them who may simply be wasting time. The teens were issued a challenge:
“Why are you here? Are you here to waste time or are you here to come and grow?’
HOLIDAY BIBLE CLUB
“Never Too Ordinary” – that was the theme for these five to eight year olds today. Stephen was not a priest or a member of the ruling class. Nevertheless, he was the first to be chosen by the twelve apostles to help with food distribution, so that the twelve could carry on their work of praying and preaching.
Stephen’s qualification was that he was full of faith and filled with the Holy Spirit. That was more than enough.
The children enjoyed watching the story being acted out – especially the bit where a Bible character had a lunchbox with nothing in it! One highlight of these programmes are the Bible dramas by pastors Cliff, Jacques and Wayne. Three men with a real passion for working with children and making faith fun and relevant.
Another highlight was playing outside on what was the hottest day of the year, but up here in Wales it was a comfortable upper twenties. The children seemed happy and all remained healthy at the end of the session, with no mishaps, for which we give thanks to God.
[ - PC: Ligia Buzac]