It was the year for it! – Hope Perth Church camp finally eventuated after years of being pushed back. Last September 23-26, the church drove to Pinjarra Fairbridge village for a 3-day camp. It conveniently aligned with Australia’s long weekend, which gave the families a long respite from their daily lives to refresh in the Lord. It was a fully packed weekend, as we were also celebrating our 29th church anniversary.
Pinjarra Fairbridge Village is a serene old village, which is an hour drive from the city. We slept in more than a century old heritage cottages! With the camp theme as Unshakeable, this couldn’t have been a more fitting venue – cottages still standing strong through time!
Pastor Prakich, regional pastor of Hope Europe, blessed us immensely with his knowledge and gift of teaching and encouragement. We learned and meditated on the life of Paul and his ministry in connection to our life mission and the great commission. Pastor Prakich also made it a point to meet and connect with every lifegroup during casual lunches. The church was invigorated with his humble leadership and passion for ministry.
There were workshops that catered for all ages which ranged from self-counselling, healing, worship, networking with primary school kids and a program for the youth. The little ones were taken under the wing of the Hope Tots and Kids volunteers and were provided a playful and spiritually enriching environment to learn about the Bible. They even had a bouncy castle!
On the first night, the camp kicked off with extended praise and worship. The electricity fluctuated, but this did not waver the worship team and the congregation to lift their voices to God and God’s presence broke through the room!
On Day 2, we had water baptism and prayed together. That same afternoon was also time to spend leisurely. Some chilled in their cottages, fellowshipped with others while some played sports under the beautiful spring sun. In the evening, the church gathered for another night of praise, worship, prayer and supplication.
We had a special Sunday service alongside our church’s anniversary celebration. Emotions poured in as the church reflected on how our unshakeable God has seen our church through all the past years. To commemorate our anniversary, we had a massive birthday cake and candles to blow! Each one was also handed a jenga block the night before to decorate. It was a part of a tall jenga tower church block! Such a creative representation of the church being unshakeable in God! The celebration ensued with a huddle and sharing of everyone’s reflection as a member of our church.
Everyone was hyped up in the afternoon, as we gathered for a dance party. Kids, young people, men and women in the church each presented a fun dance number. During our night session, the youth also prepared a hand mime presentation.
As the camp closed, testimonies of God’s faithfulness, restoration and healing poured in. The 3-day camp certainly soaked us with God’s presence, and replenished us in God’s word. Every day was a gentle testimony of how God is working in our church, as we got to witness spiritual discipline through solemn group devotions, bountiful generosity in busy kitchens, growing fellowship through engaged conversations, dynamic faith through communal prayers, and the church just simply working together to bring about the success of the camp.
As we drove back home, we brought with us a renewed sense of community and spirit anchored in no other than an unshakeable, unchangeable God!