From the Superintendent's DESK
Our churches in the southeastern region of India held their annual camp meeting February 24-26 at the headquarters campground in Kaikavolu. We were thrilled to hear that during the three-night campaign thirty-two were saved, twenty-six were sanctified, and sixteen received the baptism of the Holy Ghost! Following is a report sent by Rayudu Raju, the pastor of the India headquarters church and District Superintendent of the work in his state.
First of all, I give glory to Father God, the Son Jesus Christ, and to the Holy Ghost. I am Pastor R Raju from India. It is my privilege to share our annual camp meeting praise report with you.
On February 23, after the Sunday morning service, all the saints here gathered at our Apostolic Faith Church campground, forming a big circle and holding hands together to pray to the Lord and ask Jesus to draw many people to the campground, that the campground should be filled with the Lord’s glory, and that people who are on the campground would be saved, sanctified, receive their Holy Ghost baptism, and receive healing also. We sang songs and had a prayer walk all over the campground. After the campground prayer, all men and women started cleaning the campground and removed all unnecessary small plants.
We conducted our 13th Annual Apostolic Faith Church camp meeting on February 24-26, with evening services only. I am so glad to say that by the grace of God and by all your holy prayers, our Apostolic Faith Church annual camp meeting in India went so well.
Day 1: Monday, February 24
We enjoyed and experienced the presence of the Lord in each service. The first service went so well and nearly 800 people attended. We started serving food for campers at 6:00 p.m., and we started the service at 7:00 p.m. and concluded by 11:00 p.m.
My mother prayed the opening prayer for this service. We heard nice Gospel songs sung, then we had a praise and worship time, and then I welcomed all the saints to the annual Apostolic Faith Camp Meeting and read Sister Deanna Moen’s Greetings. Then Pastor P. Augustine prayed for the Word and then Pastor S. Yesu Ratnam preached the Word of God. He preached from Luke 18:18-22 about the rich young ruler and from Luke 19:1-9 about rich Zacchaeus. Afterward we all stood up and prayed and then I led the whole congregation in how to respond to Jesus like Zacchaeus and how not to be like the rich young ruler who rejected Jesus. Then Brother Jaya Raju prayed the final prayer and we concluded the service. I prayed for the people returning to their villages. God gave them traveling mercies and people went back to their houses safely. We are thanking God in a special way for traveling mercies because reaching home safely at midnight is one of the biggest miracles.
Day 2: Tuesday, February 25
Nearly 1000 people attended the second day’s meeting. Glory to God. We started serving food at 6:00 p.m. Pastor M. Samuel Raju prayed the opening prayer. Then Nissy, Jessy, Suvarna, Santhi, and I sang Gospel songs. Pastor P. Augustine prayed and then we had a special song sung by Santhi. I preached about sanctification from Exodus 19:10 and Joshua 3:5, noting the benefits of entire sanctification. Following the sermon, I asked those who had not yet been sanctified to stand up for prayer, and many stood. All the ministers prayed for them to receive their sanctification. Then many people stood to be led in the sinner’s prayer, and they invited Jesus in with tears in their eyes. Then Pastor S. Raco Raju prayed to conclude the service.
Afterward, I went to each vehicle that brought people to the campground and prayed for safe trips back to the villages. All the saints left for their villages. I remained awake and kept calling all ministers to know if they made it to their homes safely or not. Glory to God, all made it home safely after the second service.
Day 3: Wednesday, February 26
Nearly 1500 people attended that last night’s service and the campground was almost full. On the last day, February 26, we started serving food by 6:00 p.m., started the service at 7:30 p.m., and concluded by 11:30 p.m. Pastor S. Yesu Ratnam prayed the opening prayer and we sang some songs. Then Pastor P. Yesu Ratnam preached the Word of God using John 5:1-14, the account of the man who had been at the Pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years. He preached about how Jesus heals. Then Jessy sang a special song before I preached a sermon on “Household Salvation,” telling about Rahab the harlot and how she saved her household (Joshua 2:13), about Lydia from Acts 16:15, and about the jailer from Acts 16:33. I also spoke of how the rich man from Luke 16:27 cried in Hell over his five brothers who were not saved. The message emphasized the importance of salvation reaching one’s household.
We spent a lot of time in prayer. We saw people crying, shedding tears for the salvation of their husbands, wives, parents, and children. I prayed the final prayer and then people went to their homes safely.
After Camp Meeting
Last Sunday evening I received many calls from our ministers and they were so happy. They told me they had many saints testifying that they were sanctified and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Glory to God. According to our records, during these three nights of services thirty-two people were saved, twenty-six were sanctified, and sixteen received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The ministers who called said the testimonies took a lot of time during the services last Sunday. Glory to God.
As Sister Deena (wife of Pastor K. Salmon Raju, who died just over one year ago) was suffering from fever, she could not attend the camp meeting. However, all of her congregation attended the meetings. All of our other ministers and their wives and their congregations attended the three days of the camp meeting as well.
We had very nice food served to throughout the camp meeting. The men from our Kaikavolu church did such great work in serving the food. We hired a cook and a team, and a few of our young women helped chop vegetables. Our young men served the food to the people who came to the meetings under Suvarna’s supervision. Many of our church people did much work for these meetings such as cleaning the grounds every day, providing water, placing mats on the floor, placing chairs in rows, and directing the vehicles to park appropriately. The camp meeting was a grand success.
We thank all the saints around the globe who prayed for these meetings. I thank all of the headquarters church saints who have been praying for me and my family and for our churches and ministers.
Thank God for His faithfulness in providing good weather and for all other things that caused such successful meetings. Thanking you all.
Love and prayers,
Pastor R. Raju and Suvarna