When the Washington Conference camp meeting planning team gathered to debrief, the room was filled with stories about how God miraculously provided with the restart of the traditional camp meeting experience.
One of the first miracles: the multiplying of food for a welcome back barbecue and the holding back of rain to allow for ample conversation time. Grill master Ofa Langi and his team found just about every vegeburger in the county to feed nearly 500 people.
Food service at camp meeting continued to experience miracles throughout the five-day experience. For example, Zuzana Rachel, chef for the event, only had six of her needed 15 workers to open cafeteria food service. As usual, God came through.
John Baker, a new pastor on the Washington Conference team, who had previous food service experience, unloaded his moving truck in Port Orchard and came to make breakfasts for the remainder of camp meeting. Other individuals also stepped forward to help feed camp meeting attendees each day, including Langi, who secured a food truck the Friday before camp meeting to serve the ever-popular shamburgers and pronto pups.
Moreover, when the soft serve ice cream machine broke down, the team quickly adapted to serving hand-scooped ice cream.
The next miracle: community service projects. When a large-scale project fell through a few weeks before camp meeting, the team scrambled to find new projects for attendees to put their faith into action.
God brought the right leaders, the right conversations and the right projects to the group, including feeding unhoused individuals, making 500 stuffed animals for children in need, playing music at a local assisted living center, volunteering daily at Auburn Food Bank, filling 100 disaster response buckets and many other activities.
In addition, Adventist volunteers hosted a booth at the Kids’ Day Fair presented by Auburn Parks, Arts and Recreation Department.
“We distributed free box fans and filters — courtesy of King County Health Department — and Handy Andy Roy, a balloon artist, entertained the kids,” said Derek Lane, Washington Conference outreach ministries director. “Over 15,000 attended and our booth was one of the most popular at the event!”
Beyond outreach activities was a community health fair to provide essential services such as a blood drive, dental check-ups and blood pressure checks. The health fair extended a helping hand to those without health insurance and connected them with appropriate organizations.
The miracles extended to media ministries. An hour before the first program began, the team still hadn’t connected to internet for livestreaming, yet within a short window of time, the livestream was ready. On Sabbath morning, more technical difficulties arose at the Concert of Prayer during Sabbath School time. The whole system needed to be reset — a process which completed just in time for the worship service.
“The team's dedication and use of innovative technology inspired and encouraged many others to incorporate similar advancements in their respective churches,” reported Ernesto Hernandez, Washington Conference media ministries director.
One of the event's coordinators had reassured guest speaker Fredrick Russell that the praise team knew a particular song he had requested for his sermon appeal. However, the team didn’t actually know it.
They listened to the song twice, went on stage, and sang it with conviction. After the service, the praise team forgot the words to the song and knew God had helped them.
“I saw Jesus everywhere on campus,” said Randy Maxwell, Washington Conference vice president for administration and camp meeting convener. “I am profoundly grateful to our team for the effort to resurrect traditional camp meeting after four years. I saw God do amazing miracles all over the place with our interactions, programs for all ages, technology and the whole experience.”
The most miraculous stories of camp meeting: transformed lives. On Sabbath, nine individuals were baptized, six of them under 18 years old. These baptisms served as powerful symbols of transformed lives and testified to the spiritual growth experienced throughout the event.
“Prayer held a pivotal role throughout camp meeting, each worship service concluding with focused prayer time,” Maxwell said. “Combined with the prayers that went up for every camp meeting miracle, God’s presence was clear.”
Despite facing numerous challenges, camp meeting surpassed expectations and left a lasting impact on all who attended. The grace and provision of God were evident in every aspect of the event, as participants learned, grew spiritually and praised God for His unwavering faithfulness. The camp meeting surveys proclaimed the event as "the most spiritual camp meeting ever experienced." The theme for this year's Washington Camp Meeting, Greater Things, certainly took place.