Lewisham Led Community Camp Reaches Non-Adventists
2nd August 2018
God shined on our Community Camp, the first one planned after 7 years on 23-29 July. Over 70 campers attended and each Adventist that came was encouraged to bring a non-Adventist friend and experience soul-winning in the beautiful surroundings of the Chapel Porth Campsite in Cornwall.
With great excitement the campers met at the first stop, Lewisham Seventh-day Adventist church where the majority of people boarded the double-decker coach and arrived at the South England Conference (SEC) office in Watford where more people boarded. Some came from Milton Keynes and High Wycombe whilst one person travelled far from France to join the camp.
We arrived at Chapel Porth in warm sunshine and for most of the week the sun stayed with us. The camp was planned to show our non-Adventist friends that you can have fun and meet Jesus all at once! Morning and evening devotions were taken by a variety of gifted leaders, namely, Pastor Alistair Agbaje (Trans-European Division (TED) Teens and Community Services director), as well as keynote speaker, Balham church member, Stephen Fuller. Other speakers and worship leaders were, Pastor Greg Wilson, (intern, Lewisham church), Pastor Steven Hulbert (worship leader, church planter), and Elder Arnold Best (Milton Keynes church) who led a group of 11 that came from the Milton Keynes Outreach Project.
Activities at the camp included badminton, swimming, football, and basketball at the Carn Brea Leisure Centre. On other days, there was go-karting, horse riding, a trip to Newquay Zoo, a 10-mile cycle ride and not to forget the midnight walks ending with a camp fire. All of this was topped off with two trips to the beach. We had a games night, talent show night, and many testimonies on Friday evening.
Enthralling is an understatement; we had a wonderful time, wonderful weather, inspiring messages, and not to mention the good food which was provided and prepared on site by the dynamic Caribbean Queen Company. We were blessed to have a double decker coach to use for the whole week so getting around Cornwall was relaxed and comfortable especially as one of our non-Adventist attendees was a professional coach driver.
Sponsorship for this outreach came from the TED's Alistair Agbaje, SEC President Emmanuel Osei, SEC Youth department, Anthony Fuller, and Pastor Colin Stewart. Out of the 72 people in attendance, 45 were non-Adventists. A great spirit of togetherness and friendship developed. Of the non-Adventists in attendance a number were homeless, some were jobless, others had addictions, but all were so grateful for a once in a lifetime holiday in a great part of the country. We were privileged to have amongst us a professional counsellor from Lewisham church and she led out in 8 sessions over the course of the week.
The Sabbath morning speaker was Stephen Fuller and his message was full of hope and sincerity, and by the end of the message two individuals had publicly declared their intention to be baptised soon. The whole group sighed in sadness as we realised that the end of the camp was in sight and soon we would be returning to our various areas and homes. The camp was even a meeting place for four ladies who used to attend school together in Tottenham, north London. Many of the non-Adventist group testified of their desire to return to the camp next year.
Ministry took place during the week and many made new friends for life and maybe for eternity. Evangelism of the highest order took place and Jesus became relevant hopefully to a new group of believers. We wanted to create an atmosphere of non-judgmental attitudes, and Chapel Porth once more became a safe environment for growth in Jesus.
We hope there is a next time!? If you're interested in being involved next time just contact Pastor Colin Stewart at Lewisham.
[Pastor Colin Stewart]