Camp 2014 Report
Sunday Morning, first service: a general superintendent, pastor, and true friend stands and tells a people he has been called to lead, “This is no time to go wobbly!” (Quoting Margaret Thatcher when calling President George Bush about Operation Desert Storm) He speaks of our day when many are losing their stand and grip on long- held, tried and true convictions and principles of the holiness way
Early every morning before breakfast: many men and women of God gather while the dew is still on the ground and early birds furiously attack the ground for their nourishment. The little tabernacle reverberates with their heart-felt prayers for the God of today to come and help them as He did in the years past.
Morning and Evening Services: God comes and blesses, filling cups, convicting sinners, calling hungry hearts to the mourner's bench. Saints shout and run while preachers preach and singers sing the glory down. Smiling faces arise from the altars and embrace love ones while wiping away tears straight from the fountain of a happy heart connected with the God of love.
Every service: the Gospel trumpet is lifted and with lips pressed to the mouthpiece the beautiful strains of the message of holiness and a burden for souls stir the crowd to high living and aggressive outreach.
From conference reports: A lady preacher rises to tell of how God is helping her and her husband to be faithful and to reach a group of people at an abandoned post. A grieving, rejoicing preacher rises to thank the people for their friendship and how God is sustaining him following the recent loss of his precious companion in the ministry. Another man of God tells of how during one revival, though dry for several days, a lady finally minds God and from that she proves to be key to many finding God and the church growing at an unprecedented rate. This pastor also tells of volunteers stepping in to carry much of the load he and his wife had carried for years. He took in 12 new members, not "re-treads" or "move-ins" this year. God is blessing! HE is not Dead! Still another preacher stands and thanks the gathered friends that he is present and part of that group due to many in that congregation that prayed for him and loved him and welcomed him as a friend.
Nightly Bible-School Groups come through and bless the services with their singing. Daily Bro. Harold Taylor and Bro. Steve Oliver perform an exemplary job that keeps the children and young people talking and wanting them back next year.
What happens between services and conference business is just as important. Little groups of people catch up on the past year's burdens and blessings. Young people who have not seen each other for a year drift across the camp together, laughing and joking. Every year they get bigger and some are even headed off to Bible School and other colleges to spread their wings. Never will the memories of camp be forgotten. Stalwarts of various local churches mingle with each other, happy to feel a part of something bigger than their struggling little congregation. Parents from across the movement share burdens over their children and raise their hands to pledge support to next year's camp. Preachers and laymen meet new friends or renew old acquaintances, share phone numbers, and leave much more encouraged than when they came. Friendships are made that will last a life-time. Questions are asked of those who could not or chose not to come. Some of these in question are getting older, too decrepit to attend. Others have seemed to have lost their way. Some are not able due to physical maladies. All these various parts are a piece of a larger puzzle, called the family of God.
On the final Sunday morning, youth and children compete with voices the sweet songs they learned during the week. Parents and grand-parents laugh at their antics. Sunday afternoon is filled with a Skype conversation between a missionary establishment half-way around the world and the little camp gathered that support their labors. In the last service, Bro. Stetler calls the crowd to assemble by families. These families embrace each other and with hugs and running tears tell each other they will make it to the other side together.
Camp- the Reunion of the Family of God! Monday morning they travel off to their remote posts of life. The recording angel picks up a feathered quill and with a glad flourish remarks on the reunion of such a happy band of holiness people who love God with all their heart, mind, strength, and money! Progress was made that only eternity will reveal on that happy morning!
Michael Yancey Pastor Wesleyan Bible Church, Tulsa, OK.