From the Superintendent's DESK
The South Africa camp meeting began this past Sunday at the Bapsfontein campground with a full schedule of services. John and Rodica Musgrave are there representing the Portland world headquarters and sent this report, which tells of great altar meetings sure to bring God’s blessings.
The camp meeting activities began on Saturday with a minister and spouse brunch. It was held under a large white tent out on the front lawn of the campground. The meal was organized by the Johannesburg pastor and his wife, Toinda and Rofhiwa Gono. They had attended our 2022 Portland camp meeting and participated in the minister meetings there, and they did a great job with the one in South Africa.
Following the brunch, everyone gathered inside the tabernacle for a workers’ meeting on the subject of “Loyalty to God’s Service.” There were about 250 in attendance.
The next morning, Sunday school was held for all ages, and in several different languages. The classes took place at various locations across the campground. There appeared to be good participation in the classes.
For the morning service, which began with an organ and piano prelude, more than one thousand were in attendance. Confidence Nemaungani, the South Africa District Superintendent, welcomed everyone and invited the congregation to stand and sing the National Anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika,” which means, “Lord Bless Africa.” Then Frans Kekana of Tembisa led in several more songs. Throughout the service, the music varied by language and was outstanding. The orchestra played “Modimo Re Boka Wena,” which is “Mighty God, We Thank You” in Sotho. Then the choir sang “Khumbira Nhasi” in Shona and “O Worship the Lord” in English.
The announcements included greetings extended on behalf of the Superintendent General and world headquarters, as well as the Portland pastor and congregation. Then the Scripture reading was taken from Acts 12:1-16, and the last special before the message was a duet of “Open My Eyes.” The text for the sermon was taken from Luke 10:1-9 and 17 and the message focused on “A Gospel Light that Works.” There was a rush to altars as the sermon was concluding and earnest prayer followed.
In the afternoon, a youth service was led by Desmond Khunwana of Johannesburg. It began with the orchestra playing “Khothalang,” followed by the choir singing “God Said You’re Gonna Make It.” During the testimony portion of the service, a young man thanked God for salvation, saying he had prayed through during the morning meeting! The sermon was given by Bakang Gaogane of Botswana, who preached from Genesis 35:1-2 on going “Back to Bethel.” There was a great response from the youth, and another tremendous prayer meeting followed.
The evening service began with an orchestra prelude of “Great Is the Lord. Then the choir sang “Ntanzwe Nga Isopo.” We have enjoyed hearing the different languages represented at this camp meeting in the songs and sermon interpretations, including Sotho, Tsonga, Venda, and Zulu. Following testimonies and a last special by Agostinho Cassinda of Namibia, Chris Nkhata, the Malawi District Superintendent, brought the evening message. He spoke on “Choices” after opening with Joshua 24:15 and Ruth 1:16. It was a fiery message that ended with a rush to the altars and another great prayer meeting.
The next morning, the orchestra opened the first Bible teaching with “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus.” Then the choir sang “Somlandlela,” or “Follow On.” The congregational singing was led by Mulalo Mapfumo of Johannesburg. After the announcements, testimonies, and last special, Oniyas Gumbo, the Southern Africa District Superintendent, gave the message. Opening with text from Acts 11:26, he used several Scriptures to teach on the subject of “A True Christian.”
We are enjoying our time with the saints in South Africa and especially seeing the fervency in prayer. We know God will certainly bless as the week progresses.