September 27, 2017
Expecting “Baskets” of Blessings at Australia Camp Meeting
From the Superintendent's DESK
The Australia camp meeting began on Sunday, September 24, in Sydney and is scheduled to continue through October 1. Sam Ajayi, Director of Australia Work, and his wife, Shade, arrived a few days in advance to spend some time in Perth where we have a group led by Michael Chiutare. His wife, Farai, has been seriously ill, but is gaining strength. Brother Sam said the Perth saints are thankful for the answered prayers on her behalf, and continue to look to the Lord for complete victory. His visit was a much needed encouragement. Let’s remember to keep this group in our prayers.
In Sydney, the camp meeting opened with Sunday school, which for the first time featured separate classes for each division of curriculum: Primary Pals, Answer, and Search. The children’s class was held outside under the coolness of shade trees. Meanwhile, the adults met inside for a lesson on faith led by Clement Asogwa.
To begin the morning worship service, the choir and orchestra sang a rousing “Marching to Zion” followed by “Lord I Lift Your Name on High.” A number of visitors were present, joining the Melbourne and Sydney congregations. The sermon, taken from 2 Samuel 24:10-19, stressed that there is no better place to be than in God’s hands, and no better time to be there than now. A Spirit-filled prayer session followed, and then everyone gathered outside for a steak barbeque, which included the celebration of two birthdays.
For the evening service prelude, the choir sang “Let the Fire Fall,” and Brother Sam reports that the fire did fall; God’s Spirit could be felt strongly throughout the service. Several gave inspiring testimonies and then the message focused on the woman who went to Elisha for help when creditors threatened to take her sons. The preacher exhorted the congregation that, “When faith goes to market, it always takes a basket.” Everyone was encouraged to approach God during the camp meeting seeking “baskets” of blessings rather than handfuls, and many prayed fervently following the sermon.
On Tuesday morning, a teaching was given on “Understanding Trials and Tribulations.” The saints were told that God’s children are not immune to life’s difficulties. However, for those who follow Him, He makes all things work together for good. The preacher encouraged the saints that God could use the most adverse situations to perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle them.
In the evening, Emmanuel Tshuma took his text from 2 Kings 4:8-22. He said the Shunammite woman almost missed a blessing because she was content with what she had. However, she eventually received the child that her heart desired. He admonished the saints not to miss out on the blessings the Lord has reserved for them. In the prayer meeting that followed, many poured out their hearts to the Lord.
Wednesday morning’s teaching was given by the Sydney pastor, Ernest Akerejola. He spoke on the three basic Christian experiences of salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, saying they are essential to a firm foundation in the Lord. A good prayer meeting followed, in which many prayed intensely.
Many inspiring testimonies have been given at the camp meeting. One brother told how he came across The Apostolic Faith magazine during a time when his life was in disarray. Later, he visited the Apostolic Faith Church in Lagos and felt the presence of the Lord. He prayed, confessing his sins, and God saved him. He also received sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When he and his wife moved to Australia, they had only two suitcases, but the Lord has abundantly blessed, providing them with good jobs and giving them four children.
In another testimony, a sister said she fell and dislocated her ankle. She had faith that God would heal it, and He gave her a quick recovery. She said she didn’t even notice when the pain stopped until God reminded her of it. One brother thanked God for protecting his daughter. As she was returning home from school one day, she felt in her spirit that something was wrong, so instead of going in the house, she went and called her father. He in turn called a neighbor who found the house had been burglarized. A young boy also testified, thanking God for saving him a year ago and keeping him.
Brother Sam reported that the camp meeting has started well with each prayer meeting better than the one before it, and many blessings outpoured. He said the saints in Australia give glory to God as they look forward to more wonderful blessings in the remainder of the week.