Camp Waratah Bay was chosen for the Victoria/Tasmania Conference Camp this year, which was held from the 17th to the 21st of April 2014. “Light Your World” was the theme discussed.
A small number gathered together on Thursday evening, 17 April 2014, for the start of the camp. The Elim Missionary College students were able to share the message of lighting the world before Christs Second Coming. David Dumaguit opened the camp with a study outlining “The Great Commission”.
Friday the 18th April, numbers in the camp started to swell, making fellowship more enjoyable. Rise and Shine at 6am every morning was difficult for some but enjoyable for others whilst walking along the beach across the road from the camp grounds. Other studies and workshops for the day included: “The Light of the World” by Leonardo Rojas, “Being A Missionary in our Sabbath Schools” by Paul Chapman, and “Your Evangelistic Potential” by Nathan Tyler.
On Sabbath, the 19th of April, about 70 were present for a full program. The morning worship, “A Place for You” by Denise Gutierrez, outlined the importance of being involved in lightening the world. The Sabbath School review on Gideon was discussed by Sam Batger. “All who would be soldiers of the cross of Christ, must gird on the armor and prepare for conflict. They should not be intimidated by threats; or terrified by dangers. They must be cautious in peril, yet firm and brave in facing the foe and doing battle for God.” The Signs of the Times, June 30, 1881. After the review, classes were divided in five different groups to study the new lesson on Samson. “Our first work is to put away sin; but in order to do this, we must come so close to God that we can understand His character and requirements, and thus measure our sinfulness and our need of a Saviour.” The Review and Herald, March 4, 1884.
The bread of life was shared during the Divine Service by Paul Chapman on “Light Your World”, how God will enlighten the world through us. The message of His character needs to be made known. If we have Christ within, we can exhibit Christ and not be ashamed of the gospel. God is calling us to wake up. “Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Ephesians 5:14.
After a delicious lunch we all came together again for the afternoon Young People’s Meeting led out by Peter Szabo, and the theme covering the subject “We Are His Light”. Items of praise in song and instruments from all represented states of Australia were presented giving thanks to our Heavenly Father.
After the Young People’s Meeting, some went for a leisurely walk along the beach and closed the Sabbath under a spectacular pink sky while others stayed at the camp. Dinner was next on the menu and was enjoyed by all. Fresh fruits, bread and spreads, cakes, and not to mention the pumpkin seeds, which were a hot item, kept us going for the evening. The young people and children spent time together playing games, running around and enjoying one another’s company, while the not so young enjoyed catch up chat time.
On Sunday, 20th April, studies on the topic of “Earthen Vessels” by Melissa Mota, “How Jesus Worked” by Nathan Tyler, and “Why Are We Here?” by Geoff McCucheon, were presented and discussion workshops followed. These were enjoyed by all participants.
Sunday afternoon we all headed to Wilson’s Promontory at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia. It offers spectacular scenery of huge granite mountains, open forest, rainforest, sweeping beaches and coastlines. We all went to the camping site known as “Tidal River” for a beautiful 3.4km walk/hike up to Mount Oberon Summit.
On Monday morning, the 21st of April, the worship service by Ryan Belu was very captivating on the topic “Peter’s Challenge”. Then Nathan Tyler shared some encouraging words to close the conference. Everybody said their goodbyes and headed their separate ways, sad to go, but blessed by the time spent in fellowship and spiritual encouragement. Many young people joined in playing games on the beach for the last time before leaving.
I pray that everybody was blessed by all the messages shared, and that they may have a closer relationship with our Heavenly Father as a result. We are all looking forward to the next spiritual gathering.
~ Reported by Veronica and Kiara-Shaye Hake
The following are highlights from the presentations given at the Victoria Camp 2014, held from the 17th to the 21st of April, 2014.
David Dumaguit – “The Great Commission”
- We are to be channels
- “We are to be consecrated channels, through which the heavenly life is to flow to others.” Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 20
- Members are to become disciples
- Church member does not always equal disciple
- We are not to just “make members” but “make disciples”
- Jesus’ promise is “Lo I am with you alway”
Leonardo Rojas – “The Light of the World”
- the light shines from the cross
- the Christian life is one of increasing light (Prov 4:18) and improvement
- when you have the light and others do not, you understand things differently and may relate to the same situation in different ways
- We are unable to comprehend the fullness of even one promise of God, yet we could walk in much more light than we do
- the most important element is conversion – without this a lot of knowledge is not beneficial
Paul Chapman – workshop
- Review of the experience of the Advent movement in the time known as the “midnight cry”
- There was deep searching of heart and unreserved consecration
- We are the executors of Jesus’ will, in which He has bequeathed to the world the treasures of eternal life
- it is the job of the executor to contact the beneficiaries to notify them of their inheritance
- We are not to wait for the people to come to us, but we are to go to them.
- the ability of the early church was due to the power of the Holy Spirit
- disciples: 120 to 300 million is a 1 to 2.5 million ratio
- today: to reach the world with today’s population with the same ratio as above would require 2,600 people.
- if 1 person shared the gospel with 2 people every 15 minutes and all of those did the same, the gospel could reach the entire world in less than 8 hours
- the point of the above is that under the power if the Holy Spirit, impossible things can be accomplished
Nathan Tyler – “Your Evangelistic Potential”
- If we owned the world’s fastest printing press it would take more than 170 years to print enough copies of The Great Controversy to give to every person alive today
- It would take several of those presses running 24/7 just to keep up with the current birth rate across the world
- A witness is someone who knows something – we are to tell what we know, have seen, heard, felt and experienced
- Your circle of influence is those people who you are connected to in some way
- Jesus says to let your light shine (Matthew 5:16) – this does not mean to work hard to shine, but to allow the light of Christ which we have received to shine out
- All heaven is waiting for channels through which to be a blessing (see Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 419)
- There is no limit to the usefulness of a person who will make a full surrender and be available for the Holy Spirit to take control (see Ministry of Healing, p. 159)
- The Formula: Consecration + Power of the Holy Spirit = Unlimited Potential
- Challenge – are you available for God to use?
Melissa Mota – “Earthen Vessels”
- Theme: 2 Corinthians 4:7 – we have this treasure in earthen vessels
- God is the potter, shaping vessels out of human beings
- God has committed the gospel to weak human beings
- when we receive power to help others, we also receive the power to help ourselves
- SOP: God takes men as they are (with human elements) and trains them for service
- We should show compassion on those who are in need
- God uses the truth to mould us
- the greatest danger for us is selfishness – only thinking about ourselves
- time is short – the time for us to decide to serve the Lord wholeheartedly
- God has promised that He will be with us unto the end (Mat 28:20)
- There are vessels to honour and dishonour (2 Tim 2:20) – let us be vessels to honour
Paul Chapman – “Light Your World”
- Name on the church roll – an obligation to represent Christ
- What God wants for us as a church: “Christ has made every provision that His church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Emmanuel. It is His purpose that every Christian shall be surrounded with a spiritual atmosphere of light and peace. He desires that we shall reveal His own joy in our lives.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 419:3.
- In Matthew 5:15, the house is the world
- We are slow to learn and ready to forget: “In ourselves we are incapable of doing any good thing; but that which we cannot do will be wrought by the power of God in every submissive and believing soul.” The Desire of Ages, p. 98:3.
- No man can empty himself of self. We can only consent for Christ to accomplish the work (see Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 159).
- All good works are dependent on a power outside of ourselves
- Our purpose: “At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy, and truth.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 415.
- We cannot come into possession of love by trying to love others
- Through the church will eventually be manifest the final and full display of the love of God
Denise Gutierrez – “A Place for All”
- Encouraging one another
- Everyone took the name of someone else in the room, with this verse as inspiration, committing to pray for that person through the day: “And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.” 1 Chronicles 28:20
Nathan Tyler – Workshop, “How Jesus Worked”
- Jesus went around seeking to do good
- He healed more than He preached
- Christ’s method alone will give true success:
- Mingle with people as one who desires their good
- Show sympathy
- Minister to needs
- Win their confidence
- Bid them “follow me”
- “Let the world see that we are not selfishly absorbed in our own interests, but that we desire others to share our blessings and privileges.” The Desire of Ages, p. 152
- “When those who profess to serve God follow Christ’s example, practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then will the church have power to move the world.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 340.
Geoff McCutcheon – “Why Are We Here?”
- Does your heart burn for souls like it did for Jesus?
- responding to their worldwide commission, the disciples did reach the whole world
- God allowed persecution so that His people would spread out and do the work that He gave them to do
- those who would be successful in winning souls must carry with them the influence of the Holy Spirit – yet how how little has been said of the importance of being endowed by the Holy Spirit
- every church member is to represent Christ by catching rays of light and reflecting them to souls around
- a revival of true godliness is our greatest need
- in a crisis character is revealed – the final test will come when it is too late for the soul’s need to be supplied
- “nothing to do” is the reason for trial among the brethren
- are you letting your light shine for Jesus?
Ryan Belu – “Peter’s Challenge”
- the condition of service (John 21?) is “lovest thou Me”
- Jesus first challenge to Peter was to “Feed My Lambs”
- if you feed the lambs, they will grow
- You can’t expect growth from them when they haven’t been fed (example, someone brand new comes to church and immediately starts getting rebuked for their appearance – how can we have those expectations?)
- We need earnest, persevering prayer, in order to have success
- saving others depends on cooperation with divine power
- Peter’s fall had been caused by pride – this is the most incurable of all sins, there for we need humility and dependence on God
- lambs refers to the young both in physical age and spiritual age
- three questions: 1) is God always with you? 2) do you have anything to fear? 3) then what is holding you back?
- let’s allow the Holy Spirit to work through us