06 August 2017

Eaton Rapids Camp Meeting

Two weeks ago I (Matt) had the wonderful privilege of spending eight days as one of three evangelists at Eaton Rapids Camp Meeting in Eaton Rapids, MI (close to Grand Rapids). The other evangelists were Jerry Coleman from the Francis Asbury Society and Bill Ury from the Salvation Army. The Bible teacher was Victor Hamilton from Asbury University.

I have been to camp meetings before, but I normally come as a missionary speaker for missionary day. This translates into spending just a few hours with the campers then hitting the road again. This extended trip to Eaton Rapids allowed me to get to know a number of God's saints in the great state of Michigan and speak eight times in eight days.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the traditional
holiness camp meeting, let me fill in a few gaps.

The goal of this particular camp meeting is to promote holiness in the church and preaching the gospel. Camp is a family affair. There was one family there with eight generations represented! Obviously, then, campers come in all ages, but most were near retirement and had spent every summer for many consecutive decades attending the camp.

Most campers have their own private cottages on the campground, but there were also others staying in campers, and even tents.

The people were the best part by far.

Each day begins with prayer, then breakfast, then Bible study. Bible study ends at 10AM and the morning worship service at 10:30AM. Following the morning worship service, folks head back to their cottages for the noon meal and quiet time. The day ends with another worship service which begins at 7:30PM.After the evening service folks gather for ice cream and fellowship.

I spoke at four morning worship services and four evening worship services.

Along with speaking eight times in the main camp Tabernacle (average attendance of about 125), I shared meals and fellowship with so many of the generous and hospitable campers.

The content of my speaking centered on two prepositions: "in" and "through". Most believers are keenly aware of what God has done FOR us in Jesus. The result of this is that we sometimes overlook that God also wishes to do a work IN us and THROUGH.

One of the recurring statements around which my preaching rallied was that the "Bride of Christ is a Mission Force". That the natural result of the cleansing and healing work of Holy Spirit is an outpouring of holy love. The Holy Spirit as fire not only purifies, but also IGNITES. 

The Lord was working in a powerful way through all the services. Many came to the alter, and at least one that I know of accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior!

In the end, it was such a privilege to be a part of the lives of the many people at the camp. To hear the stories of how God has shaped his people along the journey to be a witness for him in a broken world is always so humbling to me as a young whipper-snapper.

So grateful. 

 

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