Let me share with you of our recent camp had in N.Z. Invitations were sent out to a Family Youth Camp to be held at the Eltham Presbyterian Campsite from 2pm Tuesday 21st January – Sunday 26th January 12:30pm.
New Zealand membership, friends and associates are scattered from the top part of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island. Also a mother and daughter joined us from Australia. The joy of seeing all together in one place was really very special. Some had not been seen for years. Much rejoicing and gratitude to our heavenly Father for the visible outworking of the written WORD abiding in the heart lived in the life.
￼I remember in the planning for camp we did not think we had enough members for all the duties a camp require. We knew it was the will of God to have a spiritual gathering so if people for positions were going to prove difficult we would make it a matter of prayer and see how our burden Bearer solved our perceived difficulties. Praise His name. All pitched in to fill the lack for kitchen and cleaning especially. It was great to experience.
The purpose of the camp was to connect youth (all) with Christ, that they fulfil their God given duties in the home, to prepare them for work with the church, to take the gospel to those around them.
- Connect with Christ – John 15
- Choosing Christ – Matthew 6:24-33
- Trusting in Christ – Proverbs 3:5, 6
- Living with and for Christ – Matthew 5: 16; Phil 3:13, 14
After morning worships we would break into prayer groups, also after the morning study again we had prayer groups. God blessed us tremendously as non-members were far in the majority to baptized members.
A question box was put out for any questions and at Young People’s meeting on Sabbath these were answered.
There was a treasure hunt for the young and youth plus with the clues written carefully it taught not to rush off on your own with selfish motive but work as a team and support one another caring and being considerate.
There were glitter paints and boxes for craft classes for the children, youth and a few adults that were young at heart with the spiritual theme ‘Building Homes for Eternity.’
The studies were:
- ‘The Power of the Word’
- ‘Overcoming Temptation’
- ‘Righteousness by Faith’
And then the worships were on:
- ‘Psalms 133:1 – How good and Pleasant it is’
- ‘The Ministry of Jesus’
- ‘The Rest of Grace’
- ‘Reaching Out’
- ‘The High Destiny of God’s Redeemed’
- ‘Closing the Door of Apostasy’
- ‘To know God is to Choose Him’
- ‘God is Love the character of His Law’
- and ‘Christ’s by Adoption’.
Everyone contributed to camp, members and non- members to make it a wonderful success for the 3yr to the 86 year old.
We thank and praise our heavenly Father for the edifying effect and leave encouraged to intercede for each other till we meet again.
I guess no camp would be complete without a day trip which the weather held out for till we were walking back to get in the cars for home. The wonders of nature and a waterfall with lunch together as a picnic added to the family firm as a joy from our Benevolent God. Activities at camp included horse rides, a flying fox, and the hilarity of a water slide satisfied the thrill seekers, the energetic and those who just enjoy good clean fun.
Much input by many with lots of prayer and phone-calls went into camp and what a blessed time we had. But let me pass the pen to Sr Micah Bayne who put much effort into finding a place to have camp.
– Contributed by Sr Winsome
The theme of our camp was The Christian Family home.
Tuesday began with the bulk of the campers arriving this day and the rest on Wednesday and Friday. We settled in after travelling to the venue, took the time to greet old and new friends, have dinner, be welcomed into camp and then attend worship taken by Brother Pedrosa. Prayer bands followed after this with free time and then off to bed.
Wednesday was the beginning of our camp program. As usual we started off with worship taken by Sister Winsome and prayer bands then breakfast. After breakfast we separated into our various groups. Sister Anneli Kingston took the classes with the children and Sister Alison Swan with the adults and youth. The children started their special object lesson shoe boxes and specially prepared devotions for the duration of the camp. Sister Alison presented the first of a series of studies she had prepared to share with the adults, youth and visitors throughout the camp taken from the Bible and the book Lessons on Faith.
Lunches were prepared throughout the camp by Sister Richel Pedrosa and various helpers. They did a wonderful job and the meals were very much appreciated by all. For the rest of the day there was free time to explore the camp grounds, socialize with one another. Before we knew it dinnertime was upon us. Worship was taken by Brother Pedrosa and prayer bands concluded our first day at camp nicely for most of the campers. Those of us who waited up till lights out at 10pm enjoyed fellowship together encouraging one another.
Thursday saw us up bright and early. Today was the day we were going to Dawson’s Falls, Mount Egmont/Taranaki. Worship was at 7am on the dot with a good attendance. More campers had arrived the night before which was a blessing. Organized prayer bands saw us all enter the day with God’s blessing. Breakfast was next on the list. 9am saw us all meet together for a sing song, prayer and then separating into our groups. The youth program officially started with the arrival of the youth from Auckland. This was taken by Sister Winsome and me in an informal setting. We introduced ourselves then all took turns reading a verse each from the chosen passage of scripture in the Bible. We spent time discussing it with one another and sharing experiences then closed with prayer.
The weather for our outing did not look promising but it cleared by the time we had planned to depart. After sorting out the transport we all headed to the Mountain with our picnic lunch. When we arrived we had lunch then headed off on our walk to see the waterfall. Photos were taken and the more adventurous of us headed over the rocks to be closer to the waterfall. It started to sprinkle with the promise of rain so we headed back to the cars. When we got back to camp we had free time to socialize as dinner was being prepared. With the rain passed the children rode their bikes, played on the obstacle course, worked on their shoe boxes, till it was time for the much anticipated treasure hunt prepared by Brother Jonathan and Sister Anneli Kingston. That night we were all tired and were very happy when dinnertime arrived. Worship was taken by Sister Alison who presented another study and prayer bands followed with early bedtimes and a quiet evening of conversations till lights out.
Friday the preparation day started with worship taken by Brother John Bayne and then our prayer bands. It was very encouraging to see some of the children that had been quite shy take part in the prayer bands this morning after observing everyone else the previous days. Breakfast was served then a tidy up followed. After breakfast we separated into our children and youth groups. Later that morning Sister Alison presented another study to the adults while the children and youth with a few adults went out to ride the horses.
Lunchtime arrived swiftly with some very hungry children eager for something to eat. After lunch the children were keen to start the water activities (boating and water slide) and the flying fox while the adults socialized and prepared for Sabbath. After the day’s activities dinner was much anticipated and greatly appreciated. With the last minutes preparations done it was time to begin the song service in preparation for worship and then the opening of the Sabbath. Brother Pedrosa took our evening worship. We ended the evening with prayer bands then to bed for an early night.
Sabbath morning arrived with the promise of a beautiful day. Worship was taken by Sister Jessie Paddison and prayer bands started our day off nicely. We had a few announcements then breakfast was served. We began Sabbath school at 9:30am with an item from the children then separated into our classes. At 10:30am we came together before having a short break. Our visitors arrived then Brother Pedrosa took the sermon. It was nice to have visitors to share our lunch and Sabbath with. In the afternoon we had young people’s meeting and took the opportunity to answer some of the questions that were put forward by the young people, share musical items and a few testimonies.
Sister Richel presented a very important message for the youth on the use of the mind and things that promote or hinder the minds spiritual growth. The afternoon saw some of us head out for a nature walk and the rest of us staying at camp to attend the last of Sister Alison’s studies. When we were all back at camp again we took time to enjoy the Sabbath together while waiting for dinnertime. After dinner we came together and began a song service before Brother Pedrosa presented a study and an opening music item. The close of Sabbath along with the prayer bands saw the end of our last day at camp. Most of us had an early night in anticipation of the cleaning up and departing from camp the next day.
Sunday began with our last worship together taken by Sister Richel and prayer bands of thanksgiving. Brother Pedrosa and I expressed our thanks to all who attended and helped out at camp, had a few last minute announcements and then said farewell with the closing of camp. We had our last meal together then started the clean-up. Everyone worked so well together just like a family and helped one another. With our work done we headed home to our various destinations. We had 30 consistent camp attendees (10 children and 4 youth and the rest adults). On Sabbath we had around 10 visitors which increased our number up to 40. Praise God for the blessed time we had at camp.
– Contributed by Sister Micah Bayne.