From the Superintendent's DESK
The 2023 Western Europe Camp Meeting concluded this past Sunday, and UK District Superintendent Mark Mfandarahwa sent this report about the second half of the camp:
The day began with a sweet hour of prayer and fellowship early in the morning.
Since this day is the midpoint of the camp, it is usually set aside for campers to rest. Campers were given a packed lunch and then enjoyed the day as they pleased. At 11:00 a.m., a welcome reception was held for first timers at the camp. The event that included music, activities, food, and fellowship. For the youths, a film titled “Overcomers” was shown. Later, there was a report shared from a recent pilgrimage to Israel.
The evening service opened with a beautiful violin solo by Joanna John, and the choir singing “I Saw the Light.” The last special was a men’s quartet singing, “Jesus Is Passing this Way.” Reverend Delight Nyoni brought the sermon, which focused on “The Faith of Bartimaeus.” Using Mark 10: 46-52 as his key text, he spoke on how Bartimaeus exercised faith to receive from Jesus. Brother Delight spoke of the specificity of Bartimaeus’ request—he knew exactly what he wanted Jesus to do for him, and believers today also must be specific in prayer. Bartimaeus eliminated all obstructions that would prevent him from getting to Jesus, and the congregation was encouraged to do likewise.
At the early morning prayer meeting, Solomon Akano read Mark 17:20 to encourage the congregation to activate their faith. The Bible teaching began with an organ prelude and then Naomi Mfandarahwa played a cello solo, “Cello Suite No.1 by Bach C” and “People Need the Lord.” Later, a quartet sang “Living by Faith” in both French and English. The teaching was given by Mark Mfandarahwa, District Superintended of the United Kingdom, and the topic was “The Foundations of Our Faith.” Using Deuteronomy 32:1-4 and 2 Timothy 3:15-16, he explained that Bible doctrines are the foundations of one’s faith. He concluded by emphasizing the importance to stand against anything which seeks to destroy the foundations.
The last children’s church began with a variety of music, including songs led by Stan Nyakhuwa. There was a skit depicting the faith of the Roman centurion described in Matthew 8:5-15, and then Uyi Akioya gave an object lesson about how Jesus saves people who often do not realize they need to be saved. The meeting closed with a time of prayer.
The evening service began with an organ prelude, followed by the orchestra playing “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and “Seeking the Lost.” As the last special, Solomon Akano sang "Keep on Believing,” and then John Baros, pastor from Medford, Oregon, preached from 1 Kings 17:8-9 on “A Call to Zarephath.” He made a parallel between Elijah’s service and a Christian’s service, explaining that three key locations where Elijah was called to minister—Cherith, Zarephath, and Mount Carmel—respectively represent preparation, consecration, and victory. The congregation responded by rallying around the altars for a time of prayer.
The final Bible teaching opened with a brass ensemble playing “The Fight Is On” and “Just a Little Talk with Jesus.” Lazarus Simbanegavi gave the teaching on “Christian Forgiveness.” He mentioned that an unforgiving heart hinders prayers being answered, and that forgiveness must be extended even if the offender does not apologize. However, forgiveness does not mean there will be no consequences for the offender.
The afternoon youth began with music from the orchestra and choir. For specials, the Scottish youth group sang “Kumbaya, My Lord” and Presley Chawanda sang “Thank You Lord, For Your Blessings on Me.” During the testimony portion, many young people spoke of God’s protection, healing, salvation, and more. Then Tosin Olayisade preached on “Religion vs. Relationship.” She advised the youth to focus on building a relationship with God, not merely performing religious acts of worship. The youth rallied around the altars, earnestly petitioning the Lord in prayer.
At the evening service, a ladies’ string quartet and the choir presented beautiful music. Francis Odudu gave the sermon titled “What Shall We Do?” based on Acts 2:37. In that text, a crowd heard Peter preach the Gospel and were pricked in their hearts by the Word of God. They asked, “What shall we do?” In accordance with the text, Brother Francis encouraged all to seek God earnestly. Many responded to the altar call by praying fervently.
The last morning prayer time was truly blessed as campers approached God together in faith. At the morning service, the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and Foot Washing were observed. It was a blessed and refreshing time as everyone reflected on Christ’s death and resurrection, and then honored His commandment to wash one another’s feet. Then at an afternoon baptismal service, twenty-nine candidates publicly declared their decision to follow Jesus. May the Lord keep them as they continue their spiritual walk with God!
To start the final evening service, the orchestra played “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord” and the choir sang “Salvation Has Been Brought Down.” Victor Idowu brought the message, focusing on Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine, recorded in John 2:1-10. He encouraged the audience that just as the best wine, which was the miraculous wine, was provided last, so God would give the best blessings at the end of camp meeting. God’s presence was felt as seekers poured out their hearts to God around the altars of prayer.
With all the packing and activities going on throughout the campground, campers felt the reality that camp meeting 2023 would soon be over. In a few hours, everyone would be returning to their homes in the United Kingdom, as well as France, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, the United States, Canada, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.
The Sunday School lesson on “Judging vs Spiritual Evaluation” taught that God forbids judging one another—believers must judge themselves—however, people can look at the fruit in another’s life to discern if that one can be trusted.
The final service of camp began with music from the choir and orchestra, as well as a trumpet solo from Seyi Sodipe, “God Will Make a Way Medley.” Francis Odudu gave the Scripture reading from Hebrews 11:24-27 and the last special was a solo of “May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You,” sung by Seun Owamokele. For the sermon, Brother John Baros preached on “Spiritual Discernment,” using Hebrews 11: 27 as his key text. He spoke on the importance of having clear spiritual vision, which he said comes through faith—through a deep conviction in the authority of God’s Word. He emphasized that faith sees the invisible God and keeps following Him! There was a special time of prayer as campers committed the message to heart.
Western Europe Camp Meeting 2023 was a blessing and a time of spiritual refreshing for all. May the blessings received be permanent!