Camp Meeting Generously Shares Hope, Wholeness

September 25, 2016 | Heidi Baumgartner

Elmo should be dead or at least in serious condition at the hospital, but not at camp meeting.

About a month before, a 9 mm bullet went through Elmo’s head.

“The doctors told me I shouldn’t be here,” Elmo shares. With head wounds like Elmo’s, 9 of 10 people do not recover, and those who do are definitely not attending camp meeting most nights or standing on a stage a month later sharing about God’s miracles.

God not only healed Elmo’s head, but also his heart by helping him forgive the shooter, let go of methamphetamines, and seek to take better care of his three kids and partner of 14 years. “God is softening my heart,” Elmo says.

As a mechanic, Elmo now has multiple opportunities to share his miracle story and invite people to his new church at South Tacoma Adventist Fellowship. “I believe God saved me for a reason,” Elmo says.

Earlier in the week at Washington Adventist Camp Meeting, the audience was introduced to a concept called, “The Dollar Club,” a special camp meeting project to directly benefit and bless the community through acts of kindness. (Your church could start a Dollar Club, too.)

In one evening, the camp meeting audience raised $1,200 for community outreach projects in Puyallup — the location of an upcoming series of Voice of Prophecy meetings. The projects included paying for gas, inserting laundry quarters, and covering grocery bills — all the while interacting with new friends in the community.

“You were so generous that in one afternoon we could not get through all the dollars in the Dollar Club,” reports Tyler Long, Washington Conference evangelist, on the final camp meeting evening. “There’s actually some money left over and we want to bless Elmo and his family.”

South Tacoma sponsored Macy, age 10, for a week at Sunset Lake Camp, and the Dollar Club covered her entire camp packing list complete with a new sleeping bag. Shelby and Levi, twins age 5, received water and yard toys, and family tickets to the local water park — something they had been dreaming about. Elmo was surprised and shocked, “You guys are awesome. I don’t deserve this.”

One aspect of “Hope and Wholeness” is living a generous life, and this theme found application at camp meeting through divine appointments on and off campus — whether through the Dollar Club, a practical application workshop on generous living, ongoing Bible study connections, and even children’s programs where young people memorized Bible verses, studied Bible stories, and learned how to pray.

Watch Elmo’s Story

Watch the Dollar Club Video