February 22, 2018
As Chile Camp Meeting Concludes, God is Still Touching Lives
From the Superintendent's DESK
The Chile camp meeting concluded Sunday, February 18, with the final few days including an ordinance service and a farewell lunch. Shade Ajayi and Jayne Ortiz sent this report of the weekend’s activities:
On Friday we had the last teaching of the camp meeting, and the topic was evangelism. The preacher expounded on our individual and collective responsibilities to proclaim the message of the Gospel. He said the Lord gave us a commission in Matthew 28:18-20, which comes with blessings for obeying it (Daniel 12:2-3) and grave consequences if we do not (Ezekiel 33:7-9). He said that individually, we have the responsibility to live upright Christian lives and not be shy or passive about our testimonies. Collectively, as the church body, we need to engage in a deliberate and planned evangelistic push to fulfill our commission.
In the evening Josephine McElveen used 1 John 4:5-6 to encourage us to know who we are. She said people identify themselves many ways, such as by nationality or profession. But if one is saved, his or her real identity is as a child of God and a joint-heir with Christ. She also said that in order to enjoy a relationship with God, we need to know that we are a peculiar and chosen people and that our citizenships are in Heaven. Camp meeting gives us a wonderful opportunity to make sure we are citizens of Heaven.
By Saturday, we were feeling that camp meeting was coming to an end. However, God was still talking to us and touching lives. What a wonderful day we had! The first part of the morning meeting was devoted to a report of church business. Sam Ajayi gave a general outline of evangelistic efforts and also announced upcoming events should the Lord tarry. He said combined meetings are scheduled for February 25 at our church in Rauco, Chile; next year’s Chile camp meeting is set for February 10-17; and the Peru camp meeting will run from July 29 to August 6. Three from Chile (Eladio, Diego, and Sofia Retamal) hope to represent Chile at the Peru camp meeting.
Following the report, an ordinance service started with praises sung to the Lord. The choir opened with “I Will Praise You with All My Heart,” and the congregation praised indeed! Bringing the Word on the Lord’s Supper, Brother Eladio read Mark 14:18-24 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-34. He reminded us of the seriousness of this observance, and admonished us to examine our hearts before partaking of the emblems so that we might be blessed and not condemned. He said that if we find in ourselves anything that would not be pleasing to God, we should reconcile it with the Lord before continuing.
After the Lord’s Supper, we proceeded into the ordinance of Foot Washing. Israel Monardes took his text from John 13:3-17, emphasizing verse 17: “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” He said obeying God makes us happy people. He also pointed out that foot washing is a demonstration of humility, and if Jesus could wash His disciple’s feet, we could wash each other’s feet.
After the sermon, the men and women parted to separate areas. In each group the Holy Spirit came down and blessed as we washed each other’s feet and prayed for one another, unable to hold back tears. It was a sweet moment with our Master! As the ladies rejoined the gentlemen afterward, we continued to feel the presence of the Lord and His love among us. Before the closing of the service we were singing the lyrics, “Happy day when Jesus washed my sins away,” and one of our brethren cried out, “Yes, I am happy with You Lord!” We all felt the sweet presence of the Lord and can really say that God spoke to and touched us.
On Saturday evening the young people had an informal get-together over snacks and soft drinks. They talked about some of the benefits of being saved such as not feeling alone and having stability, hope, and purpose. Some of the invited guests acknowledged not being saved and said they would like to be. Please pray that the Lord will help them to seek salvation.
We concluded the day with a two-part informal get-together later in the evening. The first part was a presentation of the Chile work, which had been given at the Portland camp meeting. The night concluded with a time of worship as we praised the Lord with hymns. We can truly say that Saturday was a day of a sweet communion with the Lord and great fellowship with the saints.
The last day of the camp meeting started with Sunday school. Sister Josephine taught the adult lesson with Sister Jayne interpreting, and Elvido Ortiz taught the young people.
There was much anticipation for the morning service. It began with hearty songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for the amazing things He has done during this camp meeting. Brother Sam preached from Matthew 13:3-9. He said this passage and the one in Matthew 7:24-27 show the importance the Lord places on hearing Him speak and then taking action to apply the message. He said if we are not only hearers of the Word, but doers also, we have a promise that God will bless our efforts. We had a beautiful final prayer session and then a farewell luncheon followed by an opportunity for group photos.
The Lord has really blessed us at this camp meeting. One person indicated during the week that they had received salvation. But only the Lord knows the actual depth of the blessings that have been received during the week. We are so thankful to the Lord for your prayer support.
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