Focus Text: “For By Grace Are Ye Saved Through Faith, And That Not Of Yourselves; It Is The Gift Of God. Not Of Your Works, Lest Any Man Should Boast.” (Eph 2: 8-9)
Camp Obadiah is a rural retreat located on the beautiful mid-north coast of NSW. It is surrounded by beautiful big trees that breathe out fresh air every morning, echoed with the whistling and chirping of amazing birds and the quiet alertness of kangaroos in the environment. “But ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky and they will tell you, or speak to the earth and it will teach you or let the fish in the sea inform you. In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12: 7-10)
The Conference started on Wednesday 6th Dec. Everyone arrived safely there, especially President T. Petkov from the USA, who had faced some travelling difficulties, but the Lord in his mercy brought him well and safe to be with his people in Sydney. “For you have made the Lord, my refuge. Even the Most High, your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.” (Psalm 91: 9-10)
Pastor A. Salavyov officially opened the Conference with a warm welcome to everyone. Songs of praises were sung, Bible verses were read and prayers had been uttered to praise and exalt the mighty God of the Most High. His grace and goodness had allowed all members from overseas and local places to gather for spiritual nourishment.
President Petkov took over the meeting and he started with a message of uplifting the grace and mercy of God through his son Jesus, our Redeemer. His travelling mercy that brought leaders from all over the islands in the Pacific and those from within Australia was also emphasised. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3: 28) Pres. Petkov announced the laying down of all the officers starting from within the Australian Field and moving on to the Pacific Union. “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.” (Acts 20: 28)
“Those who listen to instructions will prosper, those who trust in the Lord will be joyful. The wise are known for their understanding and pleasant words are persuasive.” The president continued on with the process of re-electing new officers and that went for a while, it was then concluded with a prayer and the members adjourned for a meal break. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8: 29)
The same process applied to the re-election of the Union officers and the rest of the Thursday program. It was a time of many blessings in line with the focus of the conference as Deutronomy 28:2 says, “And all these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” The whole program was run by the President with the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, and so as the leader of the Division, Pastor Anton Salavyov. The re-organisation of the whole Union and Field with everyone involved was meekly blessed and each appointed member was able to testify of the Master’s miraculous work in their lives.
Sabbath was approaching when everyone was prepared for another blessed gathering. “This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118: 24)
God had sanctified his people with his imputed and imparted righteousness and every member felt the in-dwelling of the Spirit among His people. Words of grace and encouragement had been heard and shared around the camp. This reflected among God’s people moving and working in one spirit.
The prayer of everyone especially the appointed leaders and the President of the General Conference, Br Petkov has been that every soul needs the grace of Jesus and His sacrifice. We are living in the last days of this planet and our wish is for all of God’s people to unite and work together to fulfil every role and responsibility given from above to please our Lord. “Finally brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13: 11)
As we closed the conference we all cheerfully sang “God be with you!”
God bless everyone till we meet again.
Sr. Paula Prendergast