During the early years of Nazarene mission work in India, camp meetings used to be one of the prominent features of spiritual renewal, and a major attraction for Nazarenes.
Eastern Maharashtra District, led by District Superintendent Rev. D. J. Bhalerao, is home to 56 local Nazarene congregations and their 24 pastors. Rev. Bhalerao, felt a serious need of reviving camp meetings on the district to bring greater spiritual renewal. Realizing there was not a budget available for a camp meeting, he and the district advisory board took a step of faith to plan a camp meeting, and began raising funds. Many generous people donated to make the event possible.
They planned for about 60 people to attend, but 175 people participated –120 of whom recommitted their lives to the Lord during the event.
Rev. Bhalerao said, “People are spiritually very hungry and it is our responsibility to spiritually feed them.”
The field strategy coordinator for India, Rev. Sunil Dandge preached around the scripture of 2 Chronicles 7:14, leading listeners to a deeper understanding of God and personal spiritual responsibility.
“In recent years, this is the first of its kind truth-seeker conference and camp meeting,” said Dandge. “It was well organized and did total justice with the purpose of meeting the spiritual hunger of truth seekers as well as believers.”
Rev. Vijay Rajulwala, Rev. S. T. Nandeshwar, Rev. P. L. Manmothe, Rev. Vijay Bhalerao, Rev. Vidyasagar Gaikwad respectively conducted workshops on personal responsibility for salvation, doctrine of salvation, sin as an inherited problem, and individual’s identity, vision and mission of Nazarene Youth International (NYI), and entire sanctification.
Spiritual practices established by pioneer missionaries about a hundred years ago are still proving to be powerful tools of spiritual renewal.
Along with the camp, the district organized an NYI and NMI district camp. Scripture memorization and Bible quiz activities were conducted especially for Nazarene Missions International (NMI) by Pastor Mrs. Vandana Kinkar. Young people and women participated with enthusiasm.
Rev. Vijay Rajulwala, chief guest for the camp said, “When Nazarene leaders lead with vision and faith in God, the succeed anywhere on the back of the earth. This camp is an excellent example of the same, and I wish that every district on the India Field will revive the district camp tradition.”
Written by Rev. Rajiv Yangad and previously published in the November 2018 edition of Where Worlds Meet.