From the Superintendent's DESK
The first Dominican Republic camp meeting was held August 24-27. Although national gatherings have been held there in the past, this was the first time a location was provided where attendees could remain on site for the entire event. District Superintendent Deivys Pichardo reports that the presence of God was evident throughout the weekend, with several praying through to salvation and their deeper experiences. Following is the full report sent by Brother Deivys, with details of the blessings received. He expressed great joy for the success of their first camp meeting, and we are rejoicing with him!
The theme of our camp meeting was “The Path of Faith,” and from the start the campers were presented with the challenge to make spiritual progress. They embraced the challenge, and during the weekend a spirit of prayer and seeking God was notable among all ages. Children, youths, and adults received blessings of salvation, sanctification, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, spiritual gifts, and renewal.
Brothers and sisters were present from different locations in the country, including our churches in Haina, Maquiteria, La Romana, Nagua, Nigua, San Cristobal, Bani, Altos de San Pedro de Macoris, Residencial Romana, Quisqueya, Brizal Boca Chica, and Los Alcarrizos. We were able to enjoy fellowship and unity in seeking God together, strengthen our bond of Christian brotherhood, as well as receive encouragement to continue walking on this path of faith.
On Thursday, August 24, the first group of campers arrived in the late afternoon. After settling into our rooms, we had dinner and then some introductory activities. There was also a time to pray for the site, that God would pour out His richest blessings during the special weekend.
Following breakfast on Friday, a welcome ceremony was held in the church. After a time for congregational singing, prayer was given by Haina Pastor Andrés Pichardo Richards. The morning Bible teaching was entitled “Personal Growth and Development (Time Management).” During the altar service, a desire to draw closer to God was evident among the congregation.
In the afternoon, a session was held on the topics of “Christian Values,” “Christian Disciplines” (daily devotions), and “Christian Fellowship” (activities). At the evening service, music was led by Ruth Polanco King. It was a powerful time of praise, including the hymn “Standing on the Promises.” Prayer was led by Pastor Noemi King of Nagua, and as brothers from different locations worshiped God together, His divine presence was made manifest. Brother Pichardo Richards brought the sermon, entitled “The Path of Faith for Revival and Restoration.” He read Romans 10:17 and Jude 3, “. . . earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” He encouraged the congregation to walk in faith, seek God, and receive by grace. That night, several made the decision to serve God. Souls were saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Spirit and fire, motivating the others to seek God too.
A number of activities were carried out simultaneously on Saturday. At a pastors’ and ministers’ meeting, our spirits were strengthened to continue the work of God. At the same time, a morning devotional and prayer time was held, where God continued to sanctify and fill hearts with the Holy Spirit.
In the afternoon, groups had time to rehearse for the evening concert. The concert was led by Ruth Mills and included participation from various locations. It opened with “Gathering Beautiful Sheaves.” As the combined youth and children’s choir sang, the Spirit of God descended, and adoration and praise flowed powerfully. Pastor Héctor Guillamo of La Romana brought the sermon from Acts 1:8 on renewal and the decision to seek God. A special time of prayer followed. One child said that he would not leave until he obtained the blessings of sanctification and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Several stayed and prayed with him until after midnight, when the glory of God descended on him and he received God’s promises.
Sunday school was held on August 27, followed by the morning service. Yanirys de Girfillan led the congregation in singing, and prayer was given by Pastor Heriberto Martínez of Residencial Romana. Then, all the pastors and ministers present prayed over a box containing the prayer requests that had been submitted during the camp meeting. We also held an installation for three new national leaders: Nelson De la Cruz, Jr. as the national youth leader, Fiordalisa Demóstenes de la Romana as the national women’s leader, and Laura Yicel Pichardo as the national Sunday school leader. Members of the Board of Trustees who were present laid hands on them as everyone prayed for God to help them in their new roles.
During the testimony portion of the service, we heard about the blessings received during this camp meeting, and already people expressed their desire to be at camp again next year. The youth and children’s choirs then presented music, as well as Sister Ruth Mills, who sang “Yes, Amen, the Lord Never Fails.” The sermon was from Hebrews 11:1, encouraging the congregation that unwavering faith in God brings supernatural results in the lives of believers. The meeting closed with a final opportunity to pray.
As we closed the Dominican Republic camp meeting, we felt grateful for the tangible presence of God in our midst, working miracles and wonders on behalf of His people. God was with us mightily. About twelve were saved, three received sanctification and the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and several also received spiritual renewal. There is joy, gratitude, and rejoicing to God for the success of our first national camp meeting!