world report

Namibia Camp Meeting Uplifts with Music, Messages, and Personal Accounts

April 22, 2024

From the Superintendent's DESK

After leaving Zambia, John Musgrave and I continued traveling with Onias Gumbo, the District Superintendent for Southern and Eastern Africa (SEAR) and Isaac Adigun, the District Superintendent for Western and Central Africa (WECA). We went first to South Africa where our team was joined by Country Leader Confidence Nemaungani. Then we continued to Namibia for the final four days of their annual camp meeting, which took place April 14-21 in Windhoek.

As the Thursday morning teaching began and the choir sang “Praise Ye Jehovah,” there was an atmosphere of expectation. Following the song, Country Leader Zacchaeus Oyedokun greeted everyone with “Hallelujah” and the congregation immediately responded with a hearty, “Amen.” He welcomed everyone to the continuation of the camp meeting, including our team, and we received the warm response of another hearty, “Amen.”

The service continued with the congregation singing joyfully, such songs as “The Old Camp Meeting Days” and “Stand Up for Jesus.” Several gave victorious testimonies, including one woman who praised God for healing her since the camp meeting began of a pain she had been experiencing for six weeks.

Before the message, a ladies’ duet sang “How Big Is God.” Then the opening text was read from 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, which begins, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.” The teaching, titled “Sanctification,” brought out that to be holy means to be set apart for God’s purposes. The final song urged, “Take Time to Be Holy.” Then Lordick Motshidisi, the Botswana Country Leader, led the closing prayer, and many went to the altars seeking a closer walk with God.

In the evening, the evangelistic service began with the choir singing “Why Not Tonight?” Later, Brother Zacchaeus gave the first testimony praising God for providing for all his needs. He said he received his three experiences as a young man and God helped him through school, working at university, finding a godly wife, and raising children. He also said that he came to Namibia with the intention of staying a year or two, but has stayed many years in the service of the Lord and has no regrets.

For the last special, a brother sang a solo of “If You Want Joy.” Then Brother Isaac took his text from Isaiah 61:1-3 and spoke of the Gospel having power to bring beauty from ashes. He said the beautification that takes place in a salon is superficial, but the beauty God gives is real and lasting. Following the closing prayer, many were seen praying earnestly.

God’s presence was felt strongly during the Friday morning teaching, which included familiar Portland camp meeting songs such as “Bringing Back the King” and “Send the Fire.” Also invoking God’s presence was a moving harmonica solo of “He Leadeth Me.” During the testimony service, a sister thanked God for not only saving her, but taking away her depression and high blood pressure. Another sister praised God for healing her instantly of tuberculosis when she was very ill.

For the message, Brother John took his opening text from Acts 2:1-4 and spoke on “The Baptism of the Holy Ghost.” He used various Scriptures to answer the questions: What is it? What is the purpose of it? When can we receive it? How is it confirmed? Why do we need it? Upon receiving this instruction, the congregation immediately went to prayer.

In the late afternoon, an evangelistic service was highlighted by praise. Among the congregational songs was “Magnify the Lord with Me,” and following it, several stood to tell what God had done for them. One young man said he was at home studying for a test on Wednesday, but couldn’t concentrate. He stopped studying to pray, and God sanctified him! A woman said she was an unhappy person after her parents died, but God became her Father and provider, restoring her joy.

The Angolan choir sang “The King Is Coming,” and then Antonio Castilho, the Angola Country Leader, took his message from John 1:38-39 and spoke on “How to Follow Jesus.” He used the story of Ruth to illustrate that when we desire to follow God, He will make it possible.

In the evening, the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and Foot Washing were observed. Both messages were delivered by Evans Mhlanga, the SEAR Director for Angola. He first noted how the Passover anticipated Christ’s death on the Cross, but now we look forward to His Second Coming. For the second message, he focused on the blessing of following Christ’s commands. The ordinance service was a wonderful time of reflection and fellowship.

During the Saturday morning Bible teaching, a vocal ensemble sang exuberantly “Hear the Tramp, Tramp, Tramping of the Army.” During the testimonies, one brother said he had been a gangster, but when God saved him, he traded his weapons for a trumpet. Before the message, Salomao Yofina sang “Don’t Turn Around to the Things You Left Behind.” Then Brother Onias took his opening text from Galatians 4:4-10 and gave the teaching on “Replacement of the Old Man.” He said salvation transforms those who repent, making them new, and this state can be maintained by obeying God and resisting the devil. The service closed with prayer and the altars were soon filled.

In the early evening, a water baptismal service was held for nineteen candidates. It was a joyful occasion that began with the congregation singing “Thine Forever.” Following the opening prayer, a brief message of encouragement was delivered by Brother Evans. Then the candidates were baptized surrounded by the support of the congregation.

The evening concluded with an uplifting concert that featured a variety of vocal and instrumental renditions. Among the choir songs were “The Blessed Gospel” and “Happy.” A female quartet sang beautifully “Jesus Is Alive in Me,” and a male choir sang “That Is Why I Sing.” The instrumental numbers included a violin solo, piano solo, and an inspiring “That Glad Reunion Day” performed by the orchestra.

The final service of the camp meeting on Sunday morning, April 21, began with an organ prelude followed by the choir singing “Blessed Jesus, Hold My Hand.” Then the Sunday school children came in singing a goodbye song while waving the flags of the thirteen countries represented at the camp meeting. For the middle special, the choir sang “God Be with You ‘til We Meet Again.”

Brother Confidence read the selected Scripture from Daniel 1:1-7, and before the message, a sister sang “He Looked Beyond My Faults.” The sermon was taken from Daniel 1:8 and focused on the subject of “Purposing to Serve God.” It brought out that a Christian can stand firm by purposing to follow God and exercising faith. To illustrate this, the example was given of the Hebrew children who were taken captive to Babylon and refused to compromise their faith. The service closed with prayer and the song “Dare to Be a Daniel.”

Brother John and I greatly enjoyed our time of fellowship at the Namibia camp meeting. We have now begun our long trip back to Portland and expect to arrive home tomorrow.

occasion / dates
Namibia Camp Meeting
April 14-21, 2024