Camping chairs and blankets covered the campground front lawn as people began arriving for the sing-a-long on Saturday, July 9. After a welcome from Gary Riler, Deborah Brenner led the audience in several Sunday school songs. One highlight was singing “Rise Up and Walk” as Elliot Voreis and Russell Millard (of Richmond, California) acted out the roles of Peter and the lame man who “went walking, and leaping, and praising God!” Sister Deborah recruited many more little helpers to lead an upbeat call-and-response version of “Oh, How I Love Jesus,” and other songs as well.
Brother Gary returned to lead a few more participation songs, including a rousing rendition of “Hallelu- Hallelu- Hallelu- Hallelujah” and “Glory, Glory, Glory,” which gave audience members the opportunity to stand on the day of the week that they were saved. Then a blue-grass Serenaders’ group led everyone in a few favorites like “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
This year’s tiki torch lighting ceremony recognized visitors from thirteen countries: Botswana, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Slovakia, South Africa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zambia. It was so nice to have visitors returning from all over the world for camp meeting this year!
The evening also included several ensembles. Five Portland middle school girls and one of their friends from Chehalis sang Lauren Dagle’s “Trust in You,” and a Nigerian quartet sang the somewhat silly “Old Camp Meeting Days” which says, “I like the old-time preaching, praying, singing, shouting . . . I like to hear those old-time hallelujahs glory!” A United Kingdom group taught everyone “I’ve Got My Mind Made Up,” and with little sunlight remaining, Azaria Charles and some friends introduced the group to “My Lifetime.” It provided a sweet final note with the words: “If I give God my lifetime, He will take care of me, He will never, never let me down.”