NEC Camp Meeting 2019 Ends on Spiritual High
12th July 2019
The North England Conference's (NEC) Camp Meeting launched at the Southport Pontins with more than 800 people attending the services. The opening ceremony saw the Pathfinder Drum Corps go on a prayer walk around the encampment culminating with the introduction of speakers from the adults, youth, teens and children. Pastor Richard Jackson the NEC President introduced the speakers and asked them to give a synopsis of what they were covering in their areas.
The adult speaker was Pastor Mansfield Edwards, from Canada. In his inaugural address he alluded to the passion he shares with his friend Pastor Richard Jackson of enhancing the cause of Christ for the finishing of the work and heralding the return of our Saviour and King Jesus Christ. His messages were motivational and powerful and relatable. One of the notable messages from Pastor Edwards were on the lesson from a pencil. He spoke about his childhood habit of biting and chewing a pencil resulting in him finishing his writing implement before his siblings and friends. This also got him in trouble with his mother. He had to endure the use of half a pencil. On reflection he said a pencil is of utmost importance to a child than the art of writing. In his lesson he quoted the philosopher Ambrose who says, "A pencil without lead is pointless." He drew out the parallel to us as Christians that, it is what is within us that matters most. He said the world emphasises the external at the expense of the internal. He also drew from the apostle Paul in Colossians 1:27, "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." To be impactful in extending God's kingdom it has to start within us. God has to renew us thus rendering us useful to Him.
The prayer team help back the winds of strife through consistent prayer as 2 Chronicles 7:14 mandates: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." The early morning prayer programme which was led by Pastor Victor Marshall along with the Area Prayer Coordinators and other members of the prayer team gathered momentum each day as pastor and sister Beckles spoke passionately around the theme of nurturing each other and winning another. Some of the riveting morning topics were 'saved to serve', 'reclaiming the lost' and 'missing members'. The campers expressed their interest in the programme indicating that they were truly inspired to pray more. Pastor and sister Beckles also conducted workshops one of which was Prayer and Anointing Healing Ministry which was attended by many people. The prayer team spent many hours ministering to campers who visited the prayer room, which was opened from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm daily. Campers brought their children for special prayers, to post their prayer requests in the prayer box and to receive personal prayer support. Several campers requesting to be anointed for health needs, were served by Pastors Marshall and Beckles, with assistance from the prayer team members. The team gave special attention to the many requests for prayer from the prayer box and allocated protected time to intercede for the Conference leaders and workers, Camp Meeting speakers/programmes, and for the campers' safety. However, the main highlight for intercessors, was to share precious moments when campers visited the prayer room to reconsecrate and renew their commitment to the Lord.
This year's Camp Meeting focus The Methuselah Factor‘ was a great hit with the Camp Meeting attendees. After Health speaker Dr DeRose's presentations, the book was sold out at the ABC so was his other book 'Thirty Days to Natural Blood Pressure Control'. The 'Methuselah Factor' provides practical, life-changing insights into the cutting-edge science of hemorheology or blood fluidity. Dr DeRose walked the attendees through a step-by-step 30-day programme that puts them in the driver's seat when it comes to revolutionising their health.
'The music was inspirational' was something that was heard more than once during the Camp Meeting. There was a cappella singing every morning as voices joined in praise during the prayer sessions. A wonderful praise team of four singing sisters, Marie Rattray-French, Sonia Mills Johnson, Annmarie Herbert and led by Zena Taylor; outstanding young musicians, Joel and Joshua Robinson, Simon Facey, assisted by Kendoll Bacchus, who also led and conducted the ministerial spouses in a truly beautiful moment during the Friday evening Communion Service.
Of special note must be the welcome and providential addition of the Chitans gospel family group to the music during the power hour and commitment services. This gifted and humble family of young people allowed God to minister powerfully to all day after day and wonder at the nature of family harmony both musically and in the way they allow God to help them work and grow together.
Camp Meeting for the youth hall began every morning with a thought-provoking sermon. In fact, each morning began with a local preacher with Eric Walsh and Taj Pacleb joining the youth for the midday and evening services. Their powerful, Spirit-filled, Jesus-centered messages were soaked up with a number giving their life to Jesus for the first time. The inclusion of the youth in the preaching rota is part of the NEC Youth Director Pastor Adam Ramdin's vision of equipping young people with the skill set to share Jesus and also a training platform to build their preaching muscles.
The youth programme was packed with not just spiritual activities, but also social activities, which included sports games, socials, BBQ, a men's and women's night, and much more. We're grateful to God for what He did that week. His glory shone through, His love was manifested, and the youth went home filled with the Spirit of God.
The Teens were treated to the inimitable style of Dr Eric Walsh. He engaged and challenged the young people to stand for something and to be prepared for the trials of life. He shared his life and testimony with the young people encouraging them to be faithful to God. He also spoke about the fake things that the world presents to sidetrack us from our main goals. Through the week the teens had workshops and presentations on knife and gun crime, sexuality and many more so as to safeguard them from this epidemic plaguing the community.
Dylon Mushambi one of the youth speakers said, "my experience was a true turning point, having to relive the way God pursued me in my younger years was a real eye-opener that triggered yet another turning point." When asked what her take home lesson from Naomi Maganye a youth advisory member, "Eric Walsh shared his testimony which was really empowering and what I took home was that God allows us to go through trying times but at the end of it all, if we are faithful to Him, He will always come through and bring glory for His name. In the morning devotion, I learnt that after turning points, decisions have to be made, there will be more turning points and at the end of it all, God wants us to draw closer to Him and know Him so much more."
This year the children's Camp Meeting programme was entitled, 'Children of God: A Question of identity!'. The children were given the opportunity to reflect on the experience of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, Hebrew captives in Babylon, who in spite of adversity hold fast to their faith in God. The children were taken on a journey in a quest to understand how these young men rose to positions of prominence within Babylon, examining key components: relationships, attitude, faith, commitment and identity.
Pastor Clifford Herman, a minister from the South England Conference, captivated the children as he began by bouncing a basketball across the room as he told the story of a girl who suffered with asthma who wished she didn't have to depend on her inhaler. She complained that it was not fair, the reality is that life isn't always fair, a fact evident in the lives of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.
NEC Children's Ministries Director Pastor Patricia Douglas stated that, "the North England Conference recognises the immense value of young people, their unique insights and the importance of mobilising them in this way so that their voices may be heard. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Discipleship forms the focus of the NEC Children's Ministries programme, it's at the heart of all we do, it's about nurturing children into a loving serving relationship with Jesus."
It is always very easy to acknowledge the most visible speakers at Camp Meeting because they are easily seen.