March 28, 2016
Rejoicing Together in Our Risen Savior
From the Superintendent's DESK
The Scandinavian camp meeting concluded yesterday and Brother Ed Habre has sent reports about their last two days. He said Saturday’s activities included morning and evening church services and the annual Ognatun Games. The morning service began with a children’s duet of the Ogunleye boys playing the violin and clarinet. Brother Ed commented, “It was nice to see children in the early development stages of their musical skills using their talents for the Lord.”
During the testimony portion of the service, two from our Portland congregation, Jennifer Buss and Kim Habre, shared how the Lord transformed their lives. The morning message was given by Francis Odudu of our Bexley church in London, England. He took his text from Revelation 20:4-6 including, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection,” and focused on the topic of “Life after Life.”
After the service, everyone enjoyed soup and homemade bread as they looked forward to the afternoon activity: the annual Ognatun Games. This year’s theme centered on the life of Paul the Apostle. Eight groups reenacted scenes from his life, stopping after every other one to play competitive games. Brother Ed wrote that everyone was involved at some point in acting out the dramatic scenes, and though the role of Paul was played by four different men, there was enough costuming to make each narrated drama easy to follow.
The competitive games required such skills as running, stilt walking, jump roping, and sewing. Eventually the scores of each group were tallied, and it was announced that the four winning teams would be served at dinner by the four losing teams. Brother Ed said it was an exhausting experience, but great fun, and everyone enjoyed the fellowship.
The day concluded with an evening service that had a slightly unusual format. The time allotted for the sermon was divided into three parts, each including a different theme highlighted by music, a Scripture reading, and a sermonette.
To start, the congregation sang “Shine, Jesus, Shine.” This was followed by a reading of Romans 12:4-5, which includes, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Then Stella Adigun of London offered thoughts regarding being part of the body of Christ. The second theme was introduced by a vocal solo of “There Is a Candle,” followed by a Scripture reading from Ephesians 5:20-25. Brother LeRoy offered insight into how submission to God and showing respect for fellow Christians is important. The last theme began with the song “Love through Me.” The Scripture reading was taken from 1 Corinthians 13. For the sermonette, Daniel Nketah of Norway pointed out that showing love to God and others is the foundation of the Christian experience.
At the conclusion of the service, Dave Andersen of Portland gave his testimony and Lene Kinnari spoke briefly, posing this challenging question to the congregation: “Are we shining God’s light in this dark world?”
Brother Ed sent this report about the final day of the camp meeting:
Our Easter Sunday service began with a trumpet solo medley featuring “He's Got the Whole World in His Hands.” The congregational singing included the Danish song “Christ Arose in Glory.” Although it was new to most of us, the words were powerful and certainly familiar to the saints from Denmark who have been such a blessing to our gathering this camp meeting.
Sister Tove gave the Scripture reading from John 20. The text for the Easter morning message was John 10:17-18, centering on this declaration of Jesus concerning His life: “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” It was brought out that our hope is in the One who proved His words to be true and who gives us this same hope of life after death. In closing, the words of hope from 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 were read and “No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus” was sung. Then we all went to prayer, rejoicing together in our risen Savior and Lord.
The afternoon session featured a presentation previously shown in Portland entitled “Faces of Nigeria.” At the evening service, the congregational songs ended with Brother Keijo leading us in a heartfelt prayer that truly voiced the feelings of the congregation on how thankful we were for the Lord's presence in our camp meeting services. Those who testified included a young mother, an elderly sister, and an eighty-five-year-old man, all of whom have found the Lord to be close in every time of need. Don Paulsen of our Portland congregation also testified, telling us how he was raised in the Gospel and has served the Lord nearly all of his life.
For the last special, Sister Jennifer and Sister Glenda sang “Jesus Loves Me” acapella, and asked all of us to join in for the final chorus. It was simply beautiful and had such a sweet spirit on it. Isaac Adigun (District Superintendent of Western Europe) brought the message from Titus 3:3-6. The topic was that we are now in the “Dispensation of Grace.” He helped us to understand what an advantage we have, as the Gospel is “a small amount that we do for a great reward.”
Prayer followed the service, and then our last evening of the camp meeting was spent in the activity room, once again enjoying hot buns with butter and jelly, hot tea or coffee, and sweet fellowship with the saints. As we said goodbye to the many we have known for years and some we have just recently met, we rejoiced in the unity and blessing we enjoyed together. It was difficult to part, but we know the Lord will go with us all until we meet again.
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