All Nations Center Hosts Native Camp Meeting
"Really great," "Awesome!" and "Wow!" were some of the comments from the Native American Gathering held in June at the All Nations Center (Toppenish, Wash.). Guests came from Canada, Idaho, Oregon and Arizona as well as the local Yakama Reservation.
Monte Church, North Pacific Union Conference/Canada Native ministries director, was the featured speaker. Taylor Morris, a Native evangelist, took the pulpit for the final meeting, during which he preached five sermons in one night. He also sang two hymns in Oglala Sioux and made an altar call to accept Jesus Christ. Some came forward to renew their commitment, while some came for the first time.
Church and Morris consecrated the audience with prayer. The "Holy Spirit Revival" theme turned into reality as guests experienced God's awesome presence.
Joy Matthews and her giant schnauzers, Zion and Lovely, did a great job presenting her lessons in five words: come, look, wait, give and ready. Visit www.zionjoysministry.com to learn more about their ministry.
Musicians Arlen Moses and the Reservation Gospel Singers, the Kravig family, Rick Franklin, Bruce Twing, Dave and Ida Harris, and the Reynolds family added to the blessing of the gathering.
While the temperatures continued in the 90s all weekend, the people's hearts burned even hotter as food, fellowship and God's grace and mercy attended the event.
A tipi was used for one of the children's divisions on Sabbath, while Eugene and Junelle Panasuk from Inchelium, Wash., led out in all phases of children's ministry throughout the weekend. Rapt attention could be seen on every little face, easily demonstrating why Jesus said we must be like little children.
Food is always a highlight of any gathering and feast at the All Nations Center. Some Natives who were visiting were appreciative of the clean, traditional foods available to sample. So many from the church brought food that the center's freezer and two refrigerators were overflowing. Some of the Natives were brought to tears as they could feel the peace offered in this safe place.
Gordon Pifher, Upper Columbia Conference secretary, David "Coyote" Mann, a Yakama Native who was a councilman, and Terri Weijohn, an All Nations member, led an afternoon discussion about spiritual, emotional and physical healing. Some of the attendees declared, "They should write a book." The belief that all three elements of life should be balanced was made clear to all who came.
Vespers was held both evenings around the newly constructed fire ring. Even though the temperatures were warm, when evening came the campfire lit the faces surrounding it. Songs praising Jesus, kids running and playing, and marshmallows roasting gave a small but cherished glimpse of heaven.
Plans are being made for next year's gathering, scheduled for June 24–25. Sabbath attendance was nearly 200 this year, and organizers are praying that it will grow to a full house of 350 next time to reach as many souls as possible for God. Often many visitors will continue to attend the All Nations Center because they want a part of a successful program.
Tent and RV reservations for next year are available by calling (509) 877-0960.