Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Camp Report

Finally, a few minutes to sit down and write. We had two services Sunday morning at the Isla Vega camp, and then packed up to head back to Villarrica. We had some errands to run on Monday, still getting the vehicle ready for our trip. 

It has been such a joy and blessing to see the Lord at work preparing the way, supplying every need and confirming His word. What a difference when He is in charge from the very beginning. When we imagine something and we plan and push forward, it is an uphill struggle the whole way. When God speaks His will and we simply submit and obey, He does everything. He gives the orders, He supplies the faith, He directs and orders the work, and He supplies the need; every detail, every heart, everything is in place. I cannot express the peace and joy that we are living right now. With God in control, I don't have to worry about organizing, because He goes before. I don't have to worry about people's feelings or attitudes, because He goes before. I don't have to worry about the finances, because He truly supplies all our needs. Does that mean we don't pray? Does that mean we don't talk with people? Does that mean we don't make arrangements or make plans? No! We still have to do these things, but with a keen awareness that we are mere instruments in the hand of the Master. He directs and guides and moves and anoints and...well, everything. And how powerful and full and sweet and peaceful when He does the work! 

Saturday, the 19th, we arrived at the Caaguazu camp around noon. I spoke in the evening service and the Lord faithfully anointed both the message and the altar service, which lasted until past midnight. Sunday morning we had two messages and then we went down to the "arroyo" (stream) for the baptism. There were 31 baptized. 

Sister Lilia Bernal (Loida's mom) leads out in song. After each baptism they sing one verse of the song "In The Waters of Baptism". Back in 1988 or so, we built a small dam to form a swimming pool, both for recreation and for baptism. I actually helped dig and prepare the stone. I realized I had so many good memories of this camp, memories both of our work and labor, and of the working of the Holy Spirit. I remember being with dad when they first looked at the property back in 1987.

Sunday after camp we headed out to Ciudad del Este to visit Eli and Victor and our brand new niece, Yanina Elizabeth Stumps, born the 14th of January. Braulio and Lilia traveled with us, and we stopped on our way to have Loida's back adjusted. She had been suffering with a migraine all day. We spent the night at Victor and Eli's and headed back to Villarrica early Monday morning. 

We spent the day Monday and Tuesday getting paperwork done on the vehicle and fixing a few details for our trip. We had to purchase some things that are required in Argentina and Chile. Jose Navarro, a cousin and the one who was instrumental, along with Fide, in the purchase of the vehicle, had already had a mechanic check out the vehicle and they had all the maintenance done, including timing belt and brakes. 

Wednesday afternoon we headed out to the Isla Vega camp, and after settling in and eating supper, we had our first service around 8:00 PM local time (right now we are 3 hours ahead of Central Standard Time). 

We had a profitable camp with very powerful and sweet moving of the Holy Spirit. I believe some received the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and the visitation was almost palpable at times. We had about 600 in attendance by Friday, with 150 of those being children. In the morning the children go to their classes. By Sunday the attendance was about 700 in total.  

I gave the series "Teach Us To Pray" that I gave last year at Grace Community Church. I took the first hour in the morning, Bro. Esteban Paniagua gave the second hour Thursday and Friday, and Samuel Bogado gave the second hour on Saturday. Alicia Ocampos spoke in the afternoon services and I spoke in all the evening services. 

I have never doubted the calling of the Lord in our move to Paraguay, but the Lord has been so gracious in confirming His word to me by healings and an overflowing of the Holy Spirit and so many details that I can not always share.  I have been praying to see more of the glory of God, and we have been so blessed with His presence and glory. 

The weather has been very agreeable since we have been here. There have been a few days of 100+ weather, but for the most part not too bad. Thursday at camp was quite miserable for most. There was a front coming through and sure enough that night we had a downpour with high winds. One brother said he got up and rebuked the winds. I was up also and felt that Satan wanted to do harm. There was much damage in the surrounding areas and we lost power for the morning services, but there was no damage or loss in the camp. The many campers had to run for shelter, but other than that everyone was fine. 

Friday it rained on-and-off all morning and it was quite cool. The rain cooled things down for the remainder of the camp. I had forgotten how it rains in Paraguay. When it rains, for the most part it is a deluge. When it rains here I always think of Noah...you know, the guy that built the big boat :-)

As always, the food at camp was excellent. I don't know how they cook for that many people and make it so good. Everything is prepared from scratch. All vegetables must be cleaned and prepared. The meat is butchered and processed right there. They use every part of the animal; nothing is wasted. I don't know how many animals were used this year but I would guess at least three. 

For those of you who are familiar with Paraguayan food, those are empanadas in the picture. 1500 empanadas. All handmade. All hand-cooked, one-by-one. Loida has been very good at getting some pictures up on Facebook and Google+ during the camp. I am working on a way to post those pictures here on the blog also for those who do not use social media. 

Friday and Saturday evenings we had very good altar services, with a good number waiting before the Lord. We also had prayer at 5:00 AM except for Friday morning on account of the rain. Both Saturday and Sunday morning, prayer lasted well over an hour, with a constant moving of the Holy Spirit. We wonder some times why we don't see more moving of the Holy Spirit and we cry out for a revival among God's people. The Holy Spirit has not changed! God has not changed! His promise has not changed!


2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
I understand that this is a promise for God's earthly people Israel. I also understand that some in Christendom misuse this verse, but the principle is still the same. If I, as an individual, will pray and seek His face and turn from MY ways, He will forgive and restore and pour out His Spirit till overflowing!

Luke 1:46b-47; 49-50 (NKJV)
...“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.