More than a thousand registered attendees gathered in the beautiful Tui Ridge Park (NZ) for the North New Zealand Conference (NNZC) Big Camp from January 3-11. An additional 300 visitors joined the campers each Sabbath, making it the most well-attended Big Camp on the current site to date.
The camp’s theme was “Vision 2020”, with NNZC president Pastor Ben Timothy sharing, during his sermon at the opening Friday night meeting, the heart of the conference’s vision as being continually outward focussed.
A highlight of the camp was the decision of four young people to be baptised: after Daniel Arama, Sophiea Gill and Nomazwe Sibanda were baptised, young adult tent pastor Orlando Pule made an appeal to the congregation and Jay Crichton accepted it and was also baptised.
The young adult tent also witnessed the handover of leadership of NNZ youth ministry from Matthew Moore to Pastor William Iererua.
Across the various age groups, campers were blessed by messages from preachers, professionals and lay-people, as well as the ministry of all the departmental teams, workshop presenters and worship leaders.
Lead pastor at La Sierra University Church—one of the USA’s largest churches—Pastor Chris Oberg, and Light Bearers Ministry Pastor Ty Gibson, were guest speakers in the adult tent this year.
Pastors Joshua Stothers and Jesse Herford—hosts of Burn the Haystack Podcast— alongside a team of excellent musicians and singers, led worship in the adult tent. By successfully bridging different worship styles, many of the 40+ age group who have historically remained in the young adults tent joined the adults for the duration of the event.
Other age groups—young adults, high school, juniors, primary, kindergarten and beginners—received messages from Pastors Orlando Pule, Ray Moaga, John Smolka, Sarai Stevens and other departmental leaders, respectively.
This year, the Big Camp ADRA Fun Run broke previous records and raised more than $NZ1000. Along with other entities, ADRA had an exhibition booth at the “Market Square”—a new concept this year—where various ministries were showcased and comfortable lounges were set up to encourage conversation.
For many who attend, Big Camp is a highlight on the church calendar, with many acknowledging the event as a great way to start the decade with spiritual renewal alongside friends and family.
Reflecting on Big Camp Vision 2020, Pastor Timothy shared, “We prayed for a renewed vision of God’s purposes for His church, of having His vision, seeing the people of the world through His eyes, and in particular for a clearer vision of Jesus himself”.