NZ Field Youth Camp Meeting
Seaforth Road, Waihi Beach, Western Bay of Plenty
October 6-11, 2015
Waihi Beach is the jewel in the crown of the Southern Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. The range of stunning walks and rides in this region will have you coming back for more. Waihi Beach offers nine kilometres of sweeping white sand with one of the safest surf breaks in New Zealand. It brings people back each summer to just relax or enjoy activities out on the water or along our coastline and bush. There’s something to suit everyone and every budget with a wide range accommodation and dining options.
In one of these particular areas, we chose to hold the camp meeting for the young people, for our friends, brethren, and interested folks. The date was set for October 6-11, 2015, and preparations were made to organise the program. The theme for this camp meeting was “The Challenge Camp”.
We learned the lesson that one of the most important steps to planning a good youth camp, or any Christian event for that matter, is to have an organised team to work with. As we contemplated individuals who are ideal for the team, we remembered that with God’s help we had the opportunity to truly create a youth retreat experience that would bring not only the little children, teenagers but also the adults as well closer to Him.
This meeting was blessed with the presence of two important guests. Brother Rolly Dumaguit, the Pacific Regional Secretary and Second Vice President of the SDARM General Conference; and Brother Csongor Matyas, the AUC Youth Department Leader. Both visitors from Australia had imparted inspiring messages and wonderful instructions for both individuals and churches.
Day 1. Thirty-five people turned out on this day. After organising and setting up ourselves, we all joined together for the evening worship. A precious thought was drawn from Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” NKJV. “No mortal mind can penetrate the secrecy in which the Mighty One dwells and works. Only that which He sees fit to reveal can we comprehend of Him. Reason must acknowledge an authority superior to itself. Heart and intellect must bow to the great I AM” The Ministry of Healing p. 438.
Day 2. What a wonderful day to wake up in the morning. Brother R. Dumaguit presented topics that can be summarised in these words: “Each one bring one”, “Your unknown potential”, “What is the difference between a disciple and a member?” Vital thoughts from this presentation were – “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” James 1:5. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” Matthew 16:24.
Brother C. Matyas also presented the challenges for the youth, family, and the church. Important thoughts for this presentation were – “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace” Psalm 144:12. “Why is it that there is so much corruption among the youth of today?” Signs of the Times, July 22, 1889.4. “If disobedience is allowed in the home life, the hearts of the children will be filled with opposition to the government of God” Child Guidance, p. 550. “…But ministers may do their work faithfully and well, yet it will amount to very little if parents neglect their work” Ibid.
The final thought for the day came from 1 Corinthians 1:27-30: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”
God calls those of us who are weak, those of us that don’t have wisdom. God does call common people, ordinary people. Why? Because Christ becomes our wisdom, Christ becomes our righteousness, and Christ becomes our strength. Jesus uses common, ordinary people.
Day 3. Everyone was so excited. We went out and had our picnic on the beach! But that was after lunch. Before that, it was decided that the youth would be having a separate class from the adults. The main figure to lead the youth was Brother C. Matyas; and for the adults, Brother R. Dumaguit continued to give a lecture on “oikos”, and we ended up dealing with basic doctrinal approach.
After lunch, we all rode to the beach park. Only those who attended the camp would be able to describe the natural beauty of the place. Fresh sea breeze, green grass, trees, blue waters, white sand, trails up and down to the highest peak, overview of Waihi Beach, etc. Just several of the features we enjoyed out there.
Day 4. Every day brought a new set of people to the camp. This day the total attendance was forty-six. This was the preparation day for the Sabbath. In the morning, the two age groups were in separate places. The youth and children decided to go out to visit a gold mining site. Lesson learned was that there are many who are willing to jeopardize their lives to find gold that is perishable. How many are willing to risk their lives in exchange for the life that measures with the life of God?
For the evening worship, we all gathered together to give thanks. Selected individuals were appointed to say what they are thankful for. Brother Abraham Dumaguit, one of the visitors from Australia, led us in this worship and praise. It was shortly followed by a wonderful study presented by Brother Csongor Matyas on the “The Worship.”
Day 5. Sabbath morning. All woke up with the readiness to meet God. The thoughts for the morning devotion were based on Hosea 12:4 – “Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Beth-el, and there he spake with us.” “Through humiliation, repentance, and self-surrender, this sinful, erring mortal prevailed with the Majesty of heaven. He had fastened his trembling grasp upon the promises of God, and the heart of Infinite Love could not turn away the sinner’s plea” Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 197. “Jacob had received the blessing for which his soul had longed. His sin as a supplanter and deceiver had been pardoned. The crisis in his life was past. Doubt, perplexity, and remorse had embittered his existence, but now all was changed; and sweet was the peace of reconciliation with God” Ibid., p. 198, Emphasis supplied.
Our Sabbath School was graced by the total attendance of fifty souls. Brother Matyas directed the study of the lessons. Brother Rolly Dumaguit preached the Divine Service. It was an inspiring message that was based only upon ten, life-changing words of Jesus to Mary Magdalene – “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” John 8:11.
The youth meeting in the afternoon was led by Brother C. Matyas. It was a very pleasing program for the young and also for the young “at heart.” We had singing presentations and a question and answer session about basic doctrines and issues. Our spirits were animated by this wonderful fellowship. Brother Billy Te Kahika brought the closing thought for the evening worship about the role of our family in the success of the church’s work. We welcomed the new week with the taking of photos.
We all gathered together for the final morning worship. We listened to the parting thoughts on Jesus’ resurrection. “And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me” (Matthew 28:9, 10, Emphasis supplied). Jesus replied, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God ’” (John 20:17, NET Bible, Emphasis supplied).
When they were doing their duty, Jesus met them. Every time you do what is right because you know it is right, Jesus meets you. Every time you step out in faith Jesus meets you. Every time your heart thrills through and through to do what seems to be impossible to do, God and Jesus meet you.
Jesus’ resurrection brought the new beginnings to the disciples. The fisherman Peter was transformed into a mighty preacher. Matthew the tax collector became the faithful chronicler of one of the Gospels. Thomas the doubter became a missionary to India. Mary and all the disciples were transformed. This can be a new beginning for me and you. We all need to have a new start today.
~ Arnaldo Pedrosa
Adapted from: http://www.waihibeachinfo.co.nz/