From the Superintendent's DESK
Following the Australia camp meeting in Sydney, the blessings carried over to a weekend of Melbourne special meetings held October 7-9. Two days of evening prayer meetings preceded the weekend, which had a theme of “Lord, Send Us Your Word.”
The opening meeting on Friday began with an organ prelude of “Love Divine, All Love Excelling.” Then the choir stirred hearts and souls with “Hold the Fort” and “The Old-fashioned Meeting.” Sam Ajayi, Director of Australia Work, welcomed everyone, including those joining online from various parts of Australia and overseas in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He praised God for the old-fashioned camp meetings and the blessings they bring.
Throughout the service, there was a feeling of revival evidenced by hearty singing, praises, and amens. During the congregational songs of “All Hail the Power of Jesus Name,” “The Solid Rock,” “Revive us Again,” and “Cleanse Me Oh Lord” some sang, some wept, and some prayed.
The testimony service was filled with praise. A brother from Queensland thanked God for keeping him in the Gospel since the fifth grade when he received salvation. A little boy praised God for the Gospel in an unusual way for his age. One man told how God helped him pass a job interview after he had failed the interview questions. A minister testified about how God changed his perspective dramatically at salvation.
The sermon was taken from Romans 10:16-17, which includes, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The minister said people who enter the house of God are impacted by many good things such as inspiring music, uplifting testimonies, and fellowship. However, the greatest blessing is the Word of God because it draws people to pray, imparts faith, transforms lives, and gives victory over temptation. Everyone was encouraged to further expose themselves to God's Word and open their hearts to it, so God’s purpose could be accomplished in their lives.
Though unplanned, the message coincided with the focus of the three days of prayer that had preceded the special meetings, so many felt the Lord had already prepared hearts to receive it. The spark of prayer that followed continued for some time and God blessed tremendously.
On Saturday evening before the start of the service, a surge of prayer went up that brought to mind the account of John 5:1-9 where an angel stirred the waters of God’s blessings at the Pool of Bethesda. The testimonies were reserved for mothers, and several told of miraculous answers to prayer during childbirth. In addition, one mother thanked the Lord for intervening during her pregnancy when sickness struck her home and for divine healing following childbirth. Another sister praised God for giving her children when medical science deemed it improbable.
The sermon was taken from Mark 9:17-27, the account of a father who was beset with anxiety over the health of his son. When the disciples could not heal the child, Jesus said, “Bring him unto me.” The preacher said these words should incentivise everyone to take all their troubles to the Lord who has unlimited power. He said Jesus encouraged this and promised that all things are possible for those who come in faith. The prayers that sprang up afterward from various points of connection made the service feel as if it were not a virtual meeting.
On the concluding day, all ages participated in various Sunday school classes. The adult lesson was taught by Janet Akerejola of Sydney on “The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.” Then everyone came together for the morning devotional service. It began with an organ piece followed by choir selections that drew hearts toward Heaven. Then the congregation joined in the singing with several hymns. Before the message, “Do Lord Remember Me” was a suitable selection considering it would be another year, should the Lord tarry, before Melbourne special meetings are held again.
The message came from Matthew 10:16, which records Jesus’ commission to His disciples to go and preach with the power to heal the sick. It was noted that Jesus did not equip the disciples with physical amenities, such as weapons, money, or food. However, they were successful because they were “charged up” with the Word of God and the Spirit of Christ. Using a car battery for an illustration, the minister said a fully charged battery can be used to recharge a dead battery. Likewise, Christians who maintain a strong connection with God can be used to reach lost souls around them.
Before closing the service, the leader of the Melbourne group, Frank Igweonu, thanked God for His presence felt in every service and evidenced by fervent prayer afterward.
As with previous services, the farewell and concluding service started with a palpable Spirit of God. During the testimonies, a brother who has had numerous health challenges thanked God for helping and healing him throughout the past year. Like other testimonies heard during the Sydney and Melbourne meetings, it showed that God is the same today as in Bible times and still works miracles.
The sermon, taken from Psalm 73:23-28 had a theme of “I Am Continually with Thee.” The minister pointed out that life’s circumstances may change, but God is constant. He is there even when it doesn’t feel that way, and His love and keeping power are unchanging. Abraham was given as an example of one who walked by faith and not feelings. It was brought out that the Bible records only eight instances of God speaking directly to Abraham over a ninety-year period, yet He was always present.
The service concluded with the traditional song “God Be with You till We Meet Again.” Just as in other meetings, a time followed of intense prayer and the assurance that God is always on the giving hand.