Christian Life Skills – 3-6 April 2015
Despite a sad-looking weather forecast, the opening day for camp was a beautiful warm sunny day. No doubt many were relieved as the weather near Melbourne can be proverbially cold. As midday approached, the campground began to fill with people from as far afield as Queensland, Perth, Sydney and Coleambally.
This year’s camp was held in a new location, Alexander Adventure Resort. This quaint but beautiful campground sits on top of a knoll, surrounded by large majestic hills, overlooking a large peaceful lake with a little island in the middle.
The little children enjoyed watching the elegant swans on the lake, while mums and dads set up house in bunkrooms.
The camp cooks had already arrived and were working their magic. The kitchen was a hive of busy activity, and there were delicious smells wafting out to tease our appetites. After getting our appetites teased by the wonderful aroma of cooking food, our noses and palates were not disappointed in the evening meal.
After a wonderful satisfying dinner, everyone headed down to the small chapel just above the lake. Here our camp officially started with the first meeting. It was entitled “Getting in the Door.” Bro Tyler took us through the different characteristics of the wise and foolish virgins. The necessity of being ready before it is too late really was impressed on us. We learned that a form of godliness will not save us, but we must be in earnest, and our focus needs to be Heaven centered. We read the statement that only 1 in 20 are ready to close their earthly history. Put in practical terms, only a couple from the room would make it that was the case. We were encouraged to not allow this to happen and make sure we all would be right with God. I know I left that meeting wanting to make sure I was one of the wise.
Sabbath morning dawned cold and foggy. As everyone made their way to the chapel, swans could be seen on the lake. Morning worship was taken by Sis Rachel Araya. She took an inspiring message on “The Sowing and Reaping of Life.” The message took us through the life of King David and the many consequences this mighty man of God paid for his mistakes.
The youth Sabbath school lesson was presented by Bro Stelios. As the youth gathered outside to study the lesson, the sun had finally come out. The Sabbath school lesson stirred up a fascinating discussion on health, sickness and prevention of disease.
After a short break, it was time to head back into church for the divine service. The chapel was quickly very crowded with ushers trying to find more seats. Bro Paul Chapman shared a solemn message with us entitled “The Real Deal.” A key point of the message was that it is much easier to be saved than lost. This was compared to the reality that it is easier to eat food/drink water than it is to starve/die of thirst. So too, it is easier to accept the gracious privileges and blessings of God then to reject them and lose out on eternal life.
Once again, Sr. Ecaterina Szabo and her team of cooks did a wonderful job on providing an excellent, healthy meal. The campground surroundings inspired many to wander about and take in its beauty. Almost too soon for many the bell rang, and it was time for Young People’s. We were treated to a wonderful afternoon of lovely and inspiring items. Truly God was praised through music and song.
The Sabbath evening meal was a real surprise and delight as the cooks outshone themselves in providing tasty dishes for the coeliacs/ gluten intolerant attendees. This was particularly nice as the Sabbath evening meal seems to be traditionally tasty desserts. As those who cannot consume gluten know, this is especially challenging to provide healthy options for.
The closing Sabbath worship was taken by Jade Wales – “Your Case Coming Up.” He shared with us the importance of being prepared for when our case comes before the judgment seat of God.
Sabbath night daylight savings ended, and many had the opportunity to see a full lunar eclipse. Sunday morning Adriana Stefanescu took worship on the theme of “No Time to do the Devil’s Work.”
Through the morning we shared in some practical workshops. The first one was taken by Bro Nathan Tyler on the importance of Bible study along with practical tips of how to do it. We had some good discussions on how to make sure we do it. These included making sure we spend that time first thing in the morning when there are few distractions. Some complained that they spend up to 4 hours in travel to and from their work. These were encouraged to spend that dead time of driving in listening to God’s Word.
After that Bro Paul took another practical workshop on moral dilemmas one might face in their life. The congregation was divided into groups and each given a dilemma to discuss. There was a lot of interesting discussion, and it was fascinating to hear the different ways each person suggested in dealing with the various situations. At the conclusion Bro Chapman shared how God had answered the prayers of the people who had had to deal with the issues in real life.
After lunch we had fun activities such as canoeing on the lake. Many people were out in a canoe for the first time in their lives. It was beautiful to see mums and dads with their children enjoying the tranquility of the lake together as a family!
Sis Susanna led out in some excellent team-building activities. It was really good to watch cooperation between the groups to achieve the group goal.
Bro Geoff led out in worship, and then some people retired for the night. Many others enjoyed the camp fire while fellowshipping with friends. The young people enjoyed many lively games in the hall which included very little ones and older young people. It was really nice seeing the inclusive spirit between them all. Lots of laughter rang out through the hall as different people were blindfolded and had to figure where someone in the circle was who was doing all they could to keep out of their way.
Monday morning brought the conclusion of a wonderful camp meeting. Too soon it was time to pack up and head home.
~ Reported by: Adriana Stefanescu and Danica Tyler