The CWM Camp Conference in focus
THE 2007 CWM-Australia Camp Conference was held at the Mantra Resort on Salt Beach in Kingscliff, NSW, from Sunday 9 to Saturday 15 September.
It was an outstanding location on a beautiful white sand beach with very well-appointed and well-priced accommodation set in magnificent gardens and lawns with swimming pools, tennis courts, barbecue and gym facilities.
Two barbecues were held during the week. These were special times when people mingled and enjoyed each other’s company. Although the weather was not overly hot we were able to walk and play tennis in the afternoon free times or just rest, read or do other things. Some even braved the surf!
Each day started with a prayer time before breakfast and a workshop at 9am, with main meetings at 10.30am and 7.30pm. A number came from outside Australia with the main overseas contingent from New Zealand with day visitors from the local area.
It was wonderful to pray for various concerns raised by campers, especially to pray for John and Janet Gabriel’s twin grandchildren born prematurely in Sydney and to hear of their progress over the days.
The camp theme was “JESUS Is Altogether Lovely,” based on a beautiful verse taken from the Song of Songs with a focus particularly on the centrality of Jesus in the Christian walk.
While being focused by five speakers in eight messages on the absolute and imperative need to be single-mindedly looking to Jesus, the programme was interspersed with eight well-documented and well-attended workshops that highlighted the devil’s endeavours to compromise and destroy the witness of the church. The workshops ran alongside the main messages so that while we saw the reality of apostasy in the “church” we were continually being uplifted and reminded of Whom we worship and Whom we serve.
Three excellent workshops focusing on “The Emerging Church” were led by Jewel Grewe, USA, director of “Discernment Ministries”. Listeners were left in no doubt of the falling away from truth of the “church” and the apostasy of the so-called “Emerging Church”.
Jeffery Whittaker, an AOG pastor from Michigan, USA, in three workshop sessions entitled Passive Endorsement extensively detailed the “Ecumenical Movement’s” drift towards Rome and aberrations within the AOG hierarchy in the USA.
Fayek Iskander, born in Egypt of a long-standing Christian family and now living in Sydney, Australia and an ordained minister within the Presbyterian Church of Australia, gave two thought-provoking and enlightening messages on the dangers of the Islamic religion, not only in Australia but throughout the Western world.
All eight seminar messages were encouraging and uplifting. Philip Powell delivered the first message entitled The Fragrance of His Person and His Dwellling which set the tone for the camp. He wonderfully expounded on the glorious Messianic Psalm 45 which shows Jesus to be “predominant and pre-eminent”. His message highlighted many facets of Jesus. He explained the significance of myrrh, aloes and cassia, always bringing us back to Jesus whose “mouth is full of sweetness and He is wholly desirable” (SS 5:16). Our response must always be “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine …He feeds among the lilies” (SS 2:16) symbolising purity.
Aeron Morgan with his lovely Welsh voice continued the theme with an absolutely wonderful exposition on All the Fullness of God in Christ. What a magnificent portrait of our beloved Lord and Master (cf. Colossians 2:9.)! Our speaker skilfully demonstrated how Paul faced many wolves in sheep’s clothing —gnostics et al—who sought to take the early church focus off the Lord and His eternal nature. “All that God is—Christ is. All is concentrated in Christ.” God declares this to be true. “What Christ did is grounded in the reality of WHO He is.”Aeron exhorted us all to “desire Him and get to know Him for in Him dwells all the fullness of Deity in the bodily form of Jesus! Jesus possesses the fullness totally, permanently and bodily.” He stressed that we cannot remain the same after knowing Him.
Tuesday evening brought the first of our two English speakers, Roger Winter-Smith, pastor at Stroud Green Christian Assembly in North London and part-time litigation manager in a London law firm. Roger spoke on “Faith On The Earth”and urged us to “press on in prayer until we get our answer from heaven”. Despite suffering jet-lag and lack of sleep Roger delivered a very important message. He told us that the two most valuable things we have are salvation and time and that we need to “number our days”. He reminded us of the words of Jesus in Luke 18:8 – “… when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” —an ominous question! Things changed very quickly after Jesus left the earth: deception crept into the church and remains to this day—it will become very dark as the time of His return draws close. Roger encouraged us with the words “truth will never deceive you —God’s Word is true.”
In another message, Getting The Victory, Roger reminded us that we are justified “through faith in His blood” and that the devil wants to isolate us so he can “pick us off”. Sin separates us from God and the devil wants us on our own. He pointed out the dangers of isolation and backsliding and warned that the old nature must die and we must bring ALL things to God. Very few people seem to get the full victory. Encouragement comes through John 14:23, 26: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are with us always. His yoke is easy and victory is possible. God is the answer!
Roger’s other message, Naaman and Gehazi, illuminated the tragedy of Gehazi whose deceit brought on himself the leprosy of Naaman who finally in obedience to the direction of God found his healing. What a picture! From Ecclesiastes 8:11-13 he warned of the danger of a conscience silenced. We must respond instantly when the Word speaks or corrects. We must “examine ourselves and maintain it to the end.”
Bill Randles, pastor at Believers in Grace Fellowship, Iowa, brought us three messages—“Kiss The Son”, “The Doctrine Of Christ”, and “The Miracles of Jesus”. We were directed to John 13 in view of the truth that “reproofs of instruction are the way of life” and “a real faith in God is based on a real sense of need”. Bill also reminded us from the epistles of John that “doctrine is the body of truth” and “love and truth always go together” and that “if you don’t remain in the doctrine of Christ you don’t know Christ.”
In Bill’s final message “The Miracles Of Jesus” he said, “The first thing I want to say about the miracles of Jesus is they happened! And they point to something greater—they point to a reality”. In conclusion he brought great encouragement as he quoted Mark 6:50 “Be of good cheer, it is I (i.e. I AM), be not afraid”.
Mark Mullins, England, brought two very uplifting and encouraging messages. His first, Scenting Society with the Fragrance of Christ reassured us that the ”Saviour is the message of the gospel” and that though the world sees following Christ as a bondage and “the fool says in his heart that there is no God,” society won’t change, it will persecute us, BUT, we must “rejoice! For great is our reward in heaven.”
Mark’s second message Wherever You Send I Will Go exhorted us to remember that “Jesus ONLY is where we find peace” and we must be nourished on the pure milk of the Word.
We were left with many thought-provoking statements:
- • “We need to overcome the world, ourselves especially.”
- • “Christ didn’t say entertain my sheep, He said feed them.”
- • “Do we really KNOW Him?”
- • “Our times are in His hands.”
- • “Store up treasure in heaven.”
- • “Live life in the light of eternity.”
- • “Have a single eye only—no matter what our neighbours/friends think.”
- • “If you can’t find disciples—make them” (quoting John Wesley).
- • “We know that His testimony is true!”
- • “His story is being written on the flesh of our hearts every day.”
On Saturday morning Aeron Morgan led us in a most beautiful communion service, which concluded the camp. We prayed together, having been “fed” on our Lord together, then sang together that wonderfully moving hymn O The Blood Of Jesus.
It was sad to leave but we were very encouraged and strengthened by the “good food” our dear and precious Lord Jesus had sent us through His willing servants, the speakers. Many people helped Philip and Kath, despite her immobility due to the recent hip fracture to make this a most enjoyable and inspiring time of fellowship, learning and encouragement and we look forward to next year’s camp, probably at the same venue, should our Lord tarry and according to His will.
We are grateful to all those who contributed in practical ways—Mike & Mercy Roberts for the camera work, Jeff and the Pitman family for music and conference room arrangements. Maureen O'Brien and her workers on the resource tables, the singers and musicians and so many others who helped in the background. Above all our thanks and praise go to our heavenly Father who made this whole camp possible, and to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ—who is “coming soon, He’s coming soon, with joy we welcome His returning. It may be morn, it may be night or noon, we know HE’S COMING SOON.”
Sharon CorderyThames, New Zealand