“God is good, all the time…God is good!” We kneel in awe before the throne of God for His goodness and blessings of our Oregon ARME BIBLE CAMP this past Memorial day weekend, May 27-31, 2010. It is truly amazing what happens when we come together on our knees, and when we cling to God for strength!
For those that aren’t use to hosting an event for 400+ people, we can tell you, it is no small undertaking. (Now we have even more respect for those that are hosting events for 4,000…like ASI or Generation of Youth for Christ or the like.) Our first ARME camp last year was a huge success and blessing, but to be honest, very stressful for those of us behind the scenes. However, this year was different and much smoother…and I think that difference had to do with the Prayer team of volunteers that have been meeting every Sunday morning and praying together for the past several months. Then, once the camp started, we met as a whole team with the attendee’s to pray in the early am – and poured forth our praises and request together to God. (Many mornings we had 100+ in prayer session!) On top of that, we had a building called “The boiler room” where some of our leaders prayed with people all throughout the day and then also covered the meetings in prayer. We are amazed and praising God for the healing and spiritual rejuvenation that this brought to so many lives. So ARME BIBLE CAMP’s motto “Forward on our Knee’s” has been even more a reality this year! Prayer truly makes a difference. There were a few times when I wondered, “Hmmm….not sure how we are gonna work this or that detail out!” Yet, I had no sooner voiced the concerns or prayed, then God worked things out. I was busy it seems and I didn’t have much time to just rest and enjoy the messages, yet this time, I did not feel stressed. Things came together…they flowed together…and they stayed together…smoothly! Praise the Lord!
There were a few times when I wondered, “Hmmm….not sure how we are gonna work this or that detail out!” Yet, I had no sooner voiced the concerns or prayed, then God worked things out. I was busy it seems and I didn’t have much time to just rest and enjoy the messages, yet this time, I did not feel stressed. Things came together…they flowed together…and they stayed together…smoothly! Praise the Lord!
This year we made a point to emphasis certain attitudes among our attendees. We’ll share them here, directly from our program booklet, for we think these attitudes are ones that we should all seek to embrace…not just those that come to ARME.
An absolute confidence in Scripture as the foundation and authoritative test of all doctrines and teachings. “If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa 8:20
A respect for the Spirit of Prophecy as a divinely inspired source of instruction, comfort, and warning for our lives today. “Believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” II Chron 20:20
A dependence upon God thru Prayer as it is only thru earnest prayer that we will realize the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16
A quest to be completely surrendered and ARMed through commitment to spend daily time in prayer and God’s Word. “Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand.” Eph 6:11
A striving for holiness of the inner life and purity of heart as it’s only in the heart where no one but God knows that the real victories in our lives are won. “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” I Sam 16:7
An attitude of humility and unselfishness as Christ has left us His example in working with others. He came not to be served, but to serve. So as we spend this weekend together, let us put “status” and other “rankings” aside, and let us learn to serve each other...even in the smallest tasks.
An attitude of joy & patience in all circumstances: For as we see the magnitude of God’s sacrifice for us, we realize that the discomforts, cramped quarters, irritations and other trials that we face here on this earth (or at camp) are actually a privilege to endure for Him. “Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations...For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” James 1:2 & Phil 4:11
And finally, an attitude of striving for God’s glory & personal excellence in every aspect of our lives: “Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do ALL to the glory of God.” I Cor 10:31
For those that have never attended an ARME and wonder what it’s like…Well, some things you just can’t describe in words. You have to attend to really understand the spiritual impact. But in brief overview, our days went like something like this: Prayer at 6:15 am with our prayer Warrior Melissa Maranda leading. (Again, most of our attendees came to be a part of this and later reported that this was one of the most important aspects of the camp for them!) Following prayer we had inspiring devotions by Martin Kim on prayer, faith, and greater surrender. (Powerful spiritual manna to start the day!) Then we had physical manna - breakfast. (The vegan cooking was delicious, and many people complimented our cooks on the great food!) At 9am we had rousing singing with our musicians Taylor and Craig. Then started the training that everyone came to ARME for… “How can we learn to study our Bible’s more deeply?” We had a long lunch break and time for parents to spend time with their kids, then more sessions in the afternoon. In the evening after a long dinner break, we had our final meeting, sharing ministry spotlights, music, and an inspirational message by one of our speakers. We tried to end earlier so everyone could get a good night sleep and be up for the early morning prayer time!
Over the course of this camp our speakers and trainers included: Pastor Myers, Pastor Bohr, Evangelist Pacaleb, Evangelist Baek, and Scripture Memorization trainer Dan Vis. Between practical pointers, inspiration, and personal testimonies, it was powerful! But that wasn’t all! Simultaneously, we had a children’s program going on led out by Lisa Quade with Feeding His Lamb’s Ministry.What a blessing it was to benefit from Lisa’s many years of experience in Child evangelism. And what a blessing this was for the 40-60 children we had registered as well, as God’s Word was skillfully planted in the garden of their hearts.
Throughout the conference, our speakers shared on a variety of Bible Study topics…from the basic “How To’s” of Bible Study, to “Learning to study Prophecy,” and to learning to give “Bible Studies” to those of other denominations and faiths. Some of our speakers also shared their inspiring testimonies! Finally Sunday evening, we had our Testimony Banquet – a simple, but elegant meal complete with candles and flowers and more scrumptious food. The testimony time itself was the most inspiring though, from the children’s scripture songs and sharing time, to the tear-jerking testimonies as person after person lined up to share about how God had impacted their hearts and lives and had inspired them to dig deeper in the word because of ARME BIBLE CAMP! In fact, goose-bumps ran up and down my arms as I listened. “Was this really true? Had this many people seriously been that blessed?” I wanted to cry out praises to God! I guess as a leader behind the scenes it’s easy to loose the personal impact others are gaining as you are trying to keep the program running on time, keep the schedule on track, and keep up with all the details! But God isn’t stressed and He’s not blinking his eye. He’s just quietly bringing things together as we learn to more fully depend upon Him! Many made decisions for baptism or re-baptism. Even men got up on stage and cried as they shared how they had been impacted– it was powerful, and humbling to those of us who had been working and praying so long. Truly…our God is an awesome God.
So…once again, we praise the Lord for an amazing successful ARME BIBLE CAMP and for using this small ministry to make a difference for Him. Our motto continues, “Forward on our Knee’s” and may God receive all the glory, for it was not us, but truly Him!