Annual Chuch Camp
September 12, 2003
“AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH”
Three very important days for brothers and sisters in Hope of God Church
One important element to build a strong and biblical church is to be evangelistic, which is the theme of our retreat camp held in Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village this year. Pastor Gavin prayed that brothers and sisters who joined the camp would catch the spirit of evangelism when the Words of God enlightened them with His compassion for lost souls. The presence of more than 100 brothers and sisters was a testimony of our determination to accomplish God’s great commission given in the Vision of our church.
We have learned 15 invaluable lessons on Evangelism on Friday and Saturday together with a workshop, cross-groups activities and a video from Hope Bangkok. It goes without saying that praise and worship in the mornings, afternoons and evenings formed an important part of the retreat as we asked for the presence of the Holy Spirit to give the wisdom to learn the Words of God. The three-day camp has given brothers and sisters a lot of time of fellowship, as they had to share dormitories. Pastor PN from Hope of Bangkok came to help Pastor Gavin in teaching the 15 lessons. Pastor Somthob from Hope of Bangkok was also here to teach our Thai congregation.
Sports and games were organized on Friday afternoon for brothers and sisters to build their relationship and team spirit. We have to be strong both spiritually and physically in order to EVANGELIZE.
After lunch on Saturday, we had a workshop on how to organize evangelistic activities in care group. The aim is to bring in our non-believer friends and EVANGELIZE using a theme for that occasion. The workshop taught us the important issues when preparing for such event, including planning; preparation of an “impact list”; sowing seeds during normal days; invitation, briefing before the event; name cards, gifts, selection of chairperson, games leader, song leader and discussion.
In the workshop, brothers and sisters were split into five groups in order to interact and get to know each other. Group leaders have organized games with the objective of sharing testimonies and the gospel. The 90-minutes cross group sessions have enabled brothers and sisters to relax before dinner and the final teaching session in the evening.
The presence of the Holy Spirit was the strongest in the final session
After dinner, brothers and sisters already felt the presence of the Holy Spirit was very strong during the praise and worship session. Then, Pastor PN showed us a video produced by Hope of Bangkok. The video told the stories of our Thai brothers and sisters and their determination in Evangelism. The first story told us a Thai brother who wanted to EVANGELIZE to all foreigners visiting Bangkok, but he couldn’t speak English. This Thai brother worked very hard on his language and eventually gained confidence in Evangelism, especially to our foreign friends. Another story told us a brother who went to India to EVANGELIZE, meeting new friends and ultimately winning their heart to accept Jesus Christ. A Thai sister went to France to study and EVANGELIZE to her friends after learning French. The stories in the video greatly strengthened the confidence of our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong and prepare them for future Evangelistic trips to all over the world.
The teaching by Pastor PN in the final session touched the hearts of every brother and sister. Pastor PN asked a very simple question. What have you got for Jesus when you arrive in heaven? The number of sheep that you bring would be the best present you have for Jesus, so you must EVANGELIZE.
Pastor PN also invited brothers and sisters to give their testimonies after his preaching. There were so many touching testimonies that only a few could be mentioned here. A sister shared how she has gained faith and courage in the camp that she is determined to EVANGELIZE to all her friends and become a good shepherd.
Celebration service on Sunday
As most brothers and sisters were in the camp during the weekend, our Sunday service was also held in Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village. After the praise and worship session, a brother gave us a very entertaining testimony. He testified his dedication to God to accomplish the great commission by evangelism.
Pastor PN preached on “The Focus of Christ” from John 4:31-38. Christian should have a very clear focus in life, which is to EVANGELIZE and bring up new believers in the Lord and expand His kingdom. We must follow Jesus, who was very focused and had a very positive attitude to finish His work. We must not only do His will but finish His will with a sense of urgency, the spirit of a harvester and see the value of it. We must also do it with joy, cooperation and synergy, as the fields are ripe for harvest.
Finally Pastor Gavin gave thanks to God and those who joined the camp. We also thanked Pastor PN for his preaching. The organizing committee must not be forgotten for their hard work. We are thankful for their contribution to a joyful and rewarding camp. Brothers and sisters who participated in the fast and pray 20 days before the camp should feel that their prayers have been answered.