30th May 2016

Warm spring sunshine greeted the 70 or so campers at this year's Brecon Camp, Pastor Daniel Thompson giving one of his many practical illustrationswhich was held over the bank holiday weekend of 27 to 30 May. The speaker was Pastor Daniel Thompson, originally from Stanborough Park, but now serving the Bournemouth and Winchester churches. Daniel's theme was "Experiencing God in the Real World" and in his six talks he pointed out, as did the apostle Paul in the Areopagus in Athens, that God "is not far from any one of us." Quoting Hosea 14:7 Daniel explained that we can experience God simply by living in His shadow or shade.

Andy Newell at the camp he has come to loveA perfect illustration of this principle is Andy Newell, who started attending the Brecon Camps a few years ago, just to accompany his wife Liz. However, as Andy himself explains, spending time in the beautiful countryside, in the presence of God and those who believe in Him, he was gradually drawn in to the community. At this year's Brecon Camp, immediately after the Sabbath morning service, surrounded by his friends and family, Andy was baptised in the river by Pastor Jeremy Tremeer.

Young and older campers enjoying Daniel's humourDaniel also spoke about the need to renew and refresh our experience with God. Using a wind up radio as an illustration he demonstrated that while some stations are clear and strong, others are full of static and noise. "Sometimes we don't receive God on the same frequency as we have received Him before," he said, "and so we need to retune."

Inside the marqueeThis retuning has been taking place at our Brecon Camps for fifty years – a fact revealed during the Sabbath service by Ray Morris, who was a young attender at the very first camp in 1966. "We remember the year because the Severn Bridge had just opened and we crossed it for the first time," he said. Also present at those early camps were Ray's wife Lyn, and David and Erica Cameron. All testified to the positive influence of Brecon Camp over the years.

Baptism in the riverAlthough the camp takes place in Wales it attracts visitors from much further afield, with the majority coming from the South England Conference. This year we were particularly pleased to have a good group from the Cheltenham church, including their pastor, James Shepley, and his family.

Next year's camp will take place, as usual, over the spring bank holiday weekend, from 26 to 29 May 2017. Perhaps you should put it in your diary now.

[John Surridge]

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