From the Superintendent's DESK
The 2023 Western Europe Camp Meeting began on July 23 and will continue through July 30. Rev. Mark Mfandarahwa, the UK District Superintendent, sent this report of the progress so far.
At the start of the UK camp meeting on Saturday, July 22, attendees were greeted with “showers of blessing” type weather at the Cefn campsite in Wales, England. The rain, however, did not dampen feelings as attendees reunited with old friends and family, and met newcomers. There was warmth in the greetings exchanged in all languages! After delegates arrived, a lovely dinner was hosted by the campsite.
Camp meeting opened with Sunday school on July 23. After congregational singing, attendees went to their different classes to learn about “Worldly Care and God’s Providence.”
For the morning service, the orchestra opened with a wonderful rendition of “My Faith Looks up to Thee,” followed by the choir singing “Walk by Faith.” This set the tone for the rest of the service, which was on the theme “Have Faith in God,” brought by Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa. He took his main text from Mark 11:12, 19-24 and explained what faith is and why it is important in order to receive answers from God.
The first youth service was held in the afternoon and began with beautiful instrumental and vocal renditions by young people from different branches. Hearts were encouraged by uplifting testimonies. The sermon was given by Uyioghosa Akioya from Manchester, England, who preached on “An Appointment with God” and encouraged all in attendance to make full use of the opportunity of meeting with God during this camp meeting. He said God is more than able to change situations and make a definite transformation. The altar service was blessed, and the presence of God was felt.
The orchestra opened the first evening service with a classical piece followed by “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” and the choir gave a moving rendition of “Where Your Glory Dwells.” Testimonies of victory lifted hearts to Heaven, as did the last special, “Speak to the Mountain,” by Emah Itang. The sermon was given by Reverend Felix Panganayi from Harare, Zimbabwe, and continued the camp meeting theme of “Faith in God.” He admonished all on the correct way to approach God in prayer in order to see mountains removed. Many were blessed as they tarried at the altars of prayer.
The day began with early morning prayer at 5:30 for those who were able to make it. At the morning service, the northwest orchestra started off the first Bible teaching with a beautiful classical piece, followed by the choir giving an uplifting rendition of “Showers of Blessings.” Later, hearts were encouraged as the youth choir presented the first special, “God of the Mountain.” Following this were testimonies of victory that uplifted souls the more! Uyioghosa Akioya gave the last special, “Redeeming Love.” The teaching was given by Ola Balogun, pastor of the Bexley church in London, England. The topic was “The New Birth: Salvation.” Using 1 Corinthians 15:22 and Romans 5:12, 8:7 as key texts, Brother Ola explained what the new birth is and why it is needed. He went on to draw parallels between physical and spiritual gestation and birth. He said that spiritual birth marks a transformation that makes one a “new creature in Christ,” and emphasized that it comes through faith in the complete work of Christ on the Cross, not through religiosity. All in attendance were encouraged to pray to have this experience for themselves, and a blessed altar service followed.
The afternoon was free for most while a meeting was held for pastors, group leaders, and their spouses. In the evening, the orchestra opened the service, followed by the choir singing “God Be Praised.” The sermon came from Toyin Emitola, pastor in Manchester, England, who preached on “Faith Through the Valley.” He said that no matter the valley we are in, faith can bring one out. Using 2 Kings 4:15-26, he spoke about the faith of the Shunamite woman. When faced with the most difficult case of her son’s death, she had faith to say, “It shall be well” (verse 23), and, “It is well” (verse 26). Many were moved to go to their knees and tarried at the altars of prayers, and God blessed mightily.
The early morning prayer meeting was a sweet time of fellowship, where all present raised their voices in supplication for personal victory and for the prayer requests that were read.
The second teaching began with a lively rendition of “Trumpet Voluntary” by a brass ensemble. This was followed by the choir singing “Mighty Power.” Testimonies of victory encouraged the hearts of all present. The choir presented the last special, “This World Is Not My Home Medley,” before the teaching from Reverend John Baros, pastor in Medford, Oregon, United States. Using Mark 11:20 -22, Hebrews 11:6, and other Scriptures, he spoke on having faith in God and the authority in His Word. Brother John shared an example of his son losing a tooth at age six. The son was scared and really had to trust his dad in order to let him help with the tooth. In a similar way, oftentimes we must have absolute trust and dependency on God in order to receive His help. Brother John assured the congregation that God, as a loving Father, only wants to help . The altar service was blessed as many spent time tarrying before the Lord in prayer.
A children’s service was held in the afternoon. It was a blessed time even for the adults, who enjoyed church through a child’s eyes.
A woodwind ensemble opened the evening service with a lovely rendition of “Londonderry Air” and “A Shelter in the Time of Storm.” This was followed by the choir singing “Just a little Talk with Jesus.” Later, a men’s choir sang “Yes, I know” for the last special. The evening sermon on the topic “Jesus Saves” was given by Adenike Adeyemi, group leader in Dublin, Ireland. Using Acts 16, she spoke of the account of Paul and Silas in prison and the fact that God positioned them there for the salvation of the jailer and his household. She said salvation is not for individuals only, but for others. She identified different “prisons” one could be in and encouraged all that Jesus is able to set free and deliver. The presence of God was felt as many tarried in prayer.