In anticipation of the 2023 East Africa Camp Meeting, a month of prayer services were held asking God to bless the proceedings. In addition, a workers’ conference was held on Friday, March 31, with about two hundred in attendance.
Sunday, April 2
On the opening day of the camp meeting, Sunday school classes were available for all ages and in several different languages. The main class was held in the tabernacle, streamed live, and taught in English. The lesson was on the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and Foot Washing. It was a great time to reflect and prepare people for the ordinance service that would take place during the camp meeting.
About 1100 were in attendance for the morning devotional service, which began with an organ prelude followed by a children’s program. The Sunday school students presented a skit reflecting this year’s camp theme of “Let Us Return unto the Lord.” They depicted people experiencing problems after leaving God but being freely forgiven and receiving peace and joy upon repenting.
The service continued with the orchestra playing “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” followed by a trumpet solo of “How Great Thou Art.” The choir then sang “Back to Bethel.” During the announcements, the East Africa District Superintendent, Boniface Banda, read greetings from around the world. He also welcomed brethren from Botswana, the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zimbabwe.
Before the message, the choir sang in Bemba “Kasuba Kabulungami,” meaning “The Sun of Righteousness.” Then Brother Boniface took his text from the camp meeting theme: Hosea 6:1. He encouraged everyone to search their hearts and fully surrender any areas of compromise to God. The service closed with prayer around the altars.
In the afternoon, the youth service started with the orchestra playing “Calvary, Where Jesus Died for Me.” Then the choir sang “Salvation has been Brought Down.” A vocal ensemble asked in Tonga “Sena Mukwesu Ulalusyomo?” which is “Do You Have Faith, My Brother?” During the testimonies, one sister praised God for reviving her spirit when she became depressed after her business failed. A brother thanked God for healing him of an illness he suffered for two months.
For the last special, Elizabeth Pelekelo sang “Wonderful, Merciful, Savior.” Then Friday Mulopa read from Matthew 14:15-21, the account of Jesus feeding the five thousand, and preached on Jesus being enough for everyone. He said God is the supplier of every need in every situation. A good time of prayer followed.
The evening service started with the choir, accompanied by the brass, singing “Joy in the Camp.” Then a quartet sang “Come Ye Desolate.” The testimonies were reserved for those from Southern Africa. One brother testified that God delivered him fifty years ago on Easter Sunday from the life of a gangster. Another praised God for rescuing him. He was under a car, making repairs, when it fell on his chest. With no one to help, he whispered a prayer to Jesus. Then miraculously, someone lifted the vehicle and pulled him out from under it. He did not see this person, but believes it was Jesus and looks forward to thanking Him in Heaven.
The last special was provided by a male trio who sang “Come Ye Sinners.” The message, given by Validah Chipapa, was titled “Humility.” Reading the account of the Prodigal Son from Mathew 5:5, the minister emphasized that humility is required for one to return to the Lord. Following the service, many rushed to the altars of prayer.
Monday, April 3
In the evening on Monday, a film was shown titled “You are Reported.” It was produced by the brethren from Ibadan, Nigeria, and depicts the Children of God as trees planted in His field. It shows reports of all they do being sent to Heaven and the trees without fruit being cut down. At the close of the film, an altar call was given and many responded.
Tuesday, April 4
The Bible teaching began with an organ prelude and the choir singing “Prevailing Prayer.” Other music included an ensemble singing “Pray the Clouds Away” and a choir number in Tonga: “Kuzilundu zyakulaale,” which is “In the Hills Far Away.” During the testimony service, one woman told how the Lord saved and healed her. In 1966, she had a heart condition and took the CT scan of her heart to the altar of prayer. She asked God to take control and He saved her as well as healed her completely. Another sister testified of breaking her spine in four places. While in hospital, she stopped breathing for nine minutes, but the Lord revived her. Not only that, but He restored her spine, and she did not need rehabilitative treatment. Two people testified to how they used to trust in charms for protection, but now God alone is their strength. A retired minister thanked God for sound health and for keeping him for over forty years.
Before the message, a duet sang “Royal Telephone.” Then Gibson Hambwaza taught on “Prevailing Prayer.” Reading from Genesis 32, he used Jacob as an example. He encouraged everyone to persevere as Jacob did and tarry in prayer until an answer from God is received.
In the evening, an organ prelude opened the service followed by a trumpet duet of “There’s Power in the Blood” medley. A group sang in Bemba, “Ndiwakwa Yesu,” or “I Am for Jesus.” The testimonies were provided by brethren from the Congo and Tanzania. One testified that he received salvation over forty years ago when he went to Zambia for employment. Now, he faces challenges in Tanzania, but God helps him in miraculous ways. Another testified that God changed his life in 2006 when he received salvation. Later, God sanctified and baptized him. Then in 2019, he was asked to be a minister. Though he didn’t feel able, God encouraged him and has been helping him. A brother from the Congo testified that God provides for him in all ways. One time he needed a suitcase and saw one he wanted. He didn’t tell anyone about this, but two days later, someone brought him that suitcase. One sister testified that when she needed an operation, she asked God to do the surgery. Then when the doctor was ready to operate, he saw that there was no longer any need. God had healed her.
The service continued with the choir singing “I Believe Jesus Saves.” The sermon was given by Joseph Tweenda on “Who Will Be Condemned?” He cited the Ninevites, saying they heeded God’s warning and repented, and one day will rise in judgment against those who did not listen and repent. Before the conclusion of the service, there was a rush to the altars of prayer.
Wednesday, April 5
To begin the Wednesday morning Bible teaching, the choir sang “Salvation Has Been Brought Down.” This was followed by an ensemble singing “O Say But I’m Glad.” The testimonies included two from Mozambique thanking God for salvation and the opportunity to attend the camp meeting. The teaching was given by Wackson Lungu on the “Fruits of Salvation.” Taking his text from Matthew 3:8, he admonished the congregation to align themselves with the Word of God. He also encouraged those listening to examine their hearts and determine if the Fruit of the Spirit, named in Galatians 5:22-23, is present in their lives.
Camp meeting has just begun and already many have received blessings as they tarry in prayer with humble hearts. We pray God will continue to bless as the services go forward, should He tarry.