Victories Abound at Portland Camp Meeting
This year’s Portland camp meeting, which was held July 2-16, saw a record number of foreign visitors, and the blessings outpoured during the prayer services were numerous as well.
In the days leading to the camp meeting, guests began arriving from six continents and were met at the camp office with smiles and keys to their accommodations on the campground. Eighty-two delegates came representing our churches in Africa, thirty-seven from Asia, one from Australia, forty-four from Europe, and six from South America. In addition, North America was well represented by seventy from Canada and over 800 from within the United States.
The opening Sunday morning, enthusiastic attendees greeted one another, and then settled down to welcome the sweet presence of the Lord as the meeting began. The prelude set the tone for a Spirit-filled camp meeting as the orchestra played “Morning Praise” and was then joined by the choir for “Where Your Glory Dwells.” For the message, Reverend Darrel Lee, Superintendent General, preached from Psalm 16:6, “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” He spoke of the goodly heritage handed down through the Apostolic Faith organization, including the teaching of sound doctrine, prayer as a focal point of every service, and victorious living for all who are saved.
In the evening, Reverend Isaac Adigun, the Western Europe District Superintendent, took his text from Mark 5:25-29, and said, “Jesus is passing this way.” He urged the camp meeting attendees to be spiritually hungry and determined to achieve the purpose for which they had come.
All of the music was wonderful, and knowing our musicians were lifting their voices and playing their instruments for the Lord made it even better.
The annual Midsummer Concert was held on the first Monday evening. Beautiful uplifting pieces were presented by the orchestra and choir as well as various groups and soloists. Some performances recounted Biblical events and carried inspiring messages, such as when Randy Kaady sang “Shadrach,” reminding everyone of the faithful stand taken by the three Hebrew children. Other numbers had a patriotic theme, including the finale, “America the Beautiful.” All of the music was wonderful, and knowing our musicians were lifting their voices and playing their instruments for the Lord made it even better.
Tuesday through Friday, a Bible teaching was presented each morning. These instructional times encouraged listeners to delve deeper into God’s Word and apply the knowledge gained to their daily lives. The first teaching, given by Reverend John Baros, pastor in Medford, Oregon, focused on “Prevailing Prayer.” Other subjects studied were: Absolute Truth, Power for Service, Apostolic Christianity, The Second Coming of Christ, Forgiveness, Eternal Heaven and Hell, and God’s Perfect Word.
Children’s church was held on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons with the theme of “Exploring God’s Word.” Through skits, interactive songs, object lessons, and sermonettes, the children learned of God’s promises for them. Every child was encouraged to participate by singing in a choir for their grade level and telling something they were thankful for. At the close of each meeting, the altars filled as nearly all the children went forward to pray.
Youth services were held in the afternoon on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. These gave the young people an opportunity to participate in the work and hear messages relevant to their station in life. In the first meeting, a sermon from Philippians 4:19 urged them to seek God first. In another message, they were encouraged to tarry in prayer for their Christian experiences. Heeding these admonitions, the young people prayed earnestly, and God rewarded their faith. After a few meetings, thirteen testified to receiving either salvation, sanctification, or the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Following one prayer meeting in which several received their baptism with the witness of speaking in a foreign language, someone commented, “It was just like in the Book of Acts where several nationalities came together and heard people speaking in their own languages.” A group from South Korea had felt blessed when they heard a young person praising God in their language. Also, a woman originally from India had been delighted to hear a young man from the Philippines praising God in her native tongue of Hindi. And, a pastor’s wife from the Dominican Republic rejoiced when she heard a young English-speaking girl pray, “Cristo me ama,” which in English is “Christ loves me.”
The evening services brought exhortations to victorious living. In one sermon, Reverend Johnny Wyatt, Jr., pastor from Brooklyn, New York, took his text from Luke 5:14-16 and stated that no matter how busy life becomes, time must be set aside for communion with God. In another sermon, Reverend Muyiwa Olamijulo, from Nigeria, preached from Genesis 3:9-10, saying Christians must make themselves available for God’s use. Reverend Michael Anthony, the Eastern Caribbean District Superintendent, urged everyone to “Choose Heaven’s Citizenship,” and Reverend Chris Hewlett, the Canada District Superintendent, encouraged his listeners to obtain “The Peace of God.” Many were stirred by the messages and responded in prayer.
Toward the close of camp meeting, a water baptismal service was held for thirty candidates. We thank God for this glorious camp meeting in which many victories were won.