Raising a God-hungry generation: Camp Ekklesia 2014 – A Report
For months, much prayer and hard-work were sown into a camp that would raise up a God-hungry generation. These rich investments in the form of labour and prayer were to yield massive returns from the heavens above as we were to find out at Ekklesia 2014 from 28th to 30th December 2014.
That the registrations were closed much before the camp dates testified to the hunger of the young ones. Animation and Renewal Centre (ARC) at Panvel became home to about 200 campers for three God-filled days. Expectant souls poured in from various parts of India to experience the power of the Holy Spirit like never before.
Pastor Johnsy John opened Camp Ekklesia speaking powerfully from the theme ‘I chose you’. He emphasized on the importance of being chosen and the responsibilities of the chosen generation. This was not before Team Ekklesia’s worship team, led by Bro. Binoy Thomas, had set the stage with an intense time of praise and worship.
Forming teams is a great way to bond and interact, and campers were asked to find their team-members through an exciting task. The glow of fire lit for campfire gave a special charm to the pitch-dark sky that had stars, shining like diamonds, for company. Around the campfire were those who knew a thing or two about enjoying themselves. Youngsters sang and bonded around the campfire, their faces glowing partly due to the fire, but mostly due to the joy of being in fellowship with God and His children.
While every session satisfied the souls, they were separated by breaks that satisfied the stomachs. And then of course, there was also game-time as teamwork, or at times lack of it, was on display. The campers drenched themselves in water, pushed potatoes with their noses, dived head-first (or head-only) inside flour and what not for their respective teams to come out on top!
Megaphone’s siren was loud. Really loud. And it will become a common sight, or rather, a common sound for all Ekklesians! That unfortunately, for most, was also the wake-up alarm for the two mornings that they were at ARC. If the campers were drowsy after that ‘alarm’, they were ‘awakened’ by devotions mixed with a fun activity for teams and a video clip and presentation, by Bro. Ligin Abraham and Bro. Blessen Varghese on the mornings of Days 2 and 3. During the devotions, the campers were made to realize the importance of doing even the smallest tasks for God in the best possible manner. “For God, no task is small,” was how the young hearts started Day 2 of Ekklesia, while Day 3 made them aware how they were God’s masterpieces, only if they allowed Him to chisel away the unwanted parts from their lives. The final day also saw Sis. Anisha Serrao, who shared her inspiring and powerful testimony that encouraged the youngsters to trust God no matter what the circumstances are.
Bro. Selvam Nadar and his team enabled the delegates to soak into an atmosphere of worship in the morning of Day 1, while Pastor Praneet Calvin and band involved the crowd into a time of Spirit-led worship in the evening. Campers kept their pride and shame aside, if any, as Sis. Joyce Jeyapaul led them into a time of lively praise with action songs on the final day.
Hearts were very much ready to receive the Word that God gave the guest speakers of the camp by the time they came for their respective sessions. Evg. Francis Mathew (YWAM) taught from the Word on the theme with his innovative strategies and techniques. Altar call would witness many youngsters opening up to the call of God and ready to go that extra mile with and for God. Moist eyes greeted that quiet presence of our Lord Jesus. More heaviness within hearts was to follow as Evg. Hari Rao would preach from the Word about loving God and staying with Him ‘outside the camp’! Tears would flow from the toughest cheeks, and soon, the most stubborn heart melted in and by the presence of God! Lives were getting transformed, as many surrendered themselves completely to the flow of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Jemy Jacob-led worship session succeeded by Pastor Santosh Varghese’s encouraging session on the importance of receiving the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues brought forward many who wanted to receive from the Lord. And true to their thirst, many were satisfied with an infilling of the Holy Spirit as He broke open the chains in their tongues enabling them to speak in unknown tongues. Gifts of prophecies were also unraveled as the atmosphere inside the hall moved onto another level.
The final message by Evg. Hari Rao to keep the light burning for the Lord was grasped by the campers as was visible from the session of prayer that closed the camp. Hands-held and raised, and standing in circled groups, the Ekklesians cried out for our country, in the process, also receiving words of prophecy that they would be the ‘influencers’ of revivals that is going to sweep across the length and breadth of our country.
And that is exactly what we all hope and pray for as the campers left with mixed emotions – full of joy as God satisfied them with His presence, and sadness that arose from having to miss the fellowship of new found friends. Yet, with the hope that they would all be back for Ekklesia 2015.
Meanwhile, here are some of the testimonies from some Ekklesians themselves:
“God spoke to me throughout d camp. I was strengthened by His holy presence and I wish to have more of Him in my life.”
“I was able to witness God’s love like never before… As his love was revealed to me, tears rolled down…”
“This Camp Has started a fire inside of me to have a daily encounter with God. God-willing, organize a one week camp next year.”
Benny George Thomas
“The camp was a big blessing and took me to another level of spirituality.”
“Till Ekklesia, I was lacking somewhere, but the worship sessions and the Word by Hari Rao made me reconnect to God!”
“Got more and more closer to God!”
“On a whole new level!”
You can take a look at the Thanksgiving video for Ekklesia 2014 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJyvqZj3xhk&feature=youtu.be
You can also check out the pics on our FB Album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.951159708245555.1073741832.840547232640137&type=3