DYAC Camp Meeting 2022 was held at Mt. Aetna Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Maryland, from October 19th to 23rd, 2022. Our theme was to “Trust in the Lord” with a memory verse: 1 Corthinians 16:13. There were 13 attendees.
On Wednesday evening, the DYAC group join with the DEAR group to introduce themselves and share the reason why they come to the camp meeting: having a spiritual revival, meeting new and old friends, and hearing DYAC’s guest speaker, Esther Doss, and DEAR’s guest speaker, Ralph Blank.
On Thursday, Esther gave a fascinating presentation on not being afraid, for God is with us. We are like Esther’s poor chicken who could not purr in her arms, for it was very frightful of any sounds in nature. We are in God’s arms but worried about the danger. Also, when we are afraid, we make the problems so big and God so small. Esther shared her experience with backpack camping with her scouts' group. She spent the whole night listening hard for the boar because she saw the footprint all over nearby. She prayed and worried at the same time. God reminded her that she is like her chicken which humbled Esther. She went to sleep peacefully for…. two hours.
In comparison, Daniel fully trusted God when he was taken away from his family when Babylon took over Bethlehem. He was blessed to be chosen by King Nebuchanezzar because Daniel showed his wise character. He remained the same thru out.
DYAC joined DEAR’s Country Living Workshop with Kevin and Amanda Colgan. They talked about moving to the country. During the pandemic, people leave behind their city homes for the country because of the low cost and better environment for families. Christians are encouraged to live in the country to enrich their spiritual strength in Christ. They can do gospel work in cities.
For the weekend, DYAC members ran the children's program: bible study and activities. The children enjoyed themselves tremendously, especially the good deep discussion on creationism.
After a delicious lunch, DYAC members did the high-challenge course. The first session was to do the “Flying Squirrel.” A group of members has to pull the rope to help one person to fly high. It was cumbersome at first, not trusting each other. Eventually, we nailed it. Catherine was happy to have the opportunity to fly! Next was the “Nessy” session: two people climbed up high at the opposite poles with three wiggly planks in the middle. People on the ground need to hold the rope to steady the planks, allowing the people on top to cross. It was challenging as it required full communication and trust with the group, especially with high physical exertions. Lastly, we had two choices: walk the rope or jump from the top of the narrow pole to catch the swinging bar. With an hour left, the members went to their cabins exhausted!
After refreshing dinner, Esther continues to focus on the importance of prayer. We studied Daniel’s prayer in the book of Daniel, Chapter 9, when Daniel pleaded to God that it was time to go back to Jerusalem after 70 years. Daniel prayed for forgiveness of his sins and his people’s sins. He also reminded God’s promises that He would bring the people back together. We need to pray whenever we face the uncertainty of our future.
DYAC invited David Trexler to discuss pastoring skills. We learned a few things about the role of pastoring: God’s call, people recognizing your talent, a shepherding part, and the ability to lead deaf church members peacefully. Also, becoming a church leader takes years of experience and building character. Likewise, with giving presentations/sermons, we need to gain knowledge of the Bible and various books. David shared his journey to becoming a pastor for DEAF church, and now he is waiting on God’s call on where to go after his retirement from 3ADM. Pray for him and his wife, Francisca.
DYAC and DEAR enjoyed having vegan s’mores at the bonfire.
After reviving breakfast on Friday, we continue to learn more about God’s call. Esther explained that God knew us even before we were created in our mother’s womb and had a plan for each of us. Esther shared her story of her mother naming her Esther because her mother knew God had a plan for her to minister to the deaf people. We may feel that we’re not ready to do God’s call, but we are reminded in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 1:4-8: We are never too young, are called to spread the gospel, and not to be afraid, for God is with us.
Furthermore, Uloma gave her presentation on the study of Daniel’s Character: Daniel’s history, why God had chosen Daniel, and why Nebuchadnezzar chose Daniel. Her presentation focuses on our Christian role, how we should be more like Daniel, and how Daniel refused to defile his character and sin against God’s will. Daniel was a perfect example of how Christians should have a solid foundation to stand firm until Jesus’s second coming. We as Christians should live right through righteous thinking, and physical activity is essential to the purity of thought.
Another workshop was given by Farrah Gooding-Santiago, focusing on the roles of a leader in any setting: church, community, work, and school. As leaders/role models for the group, we need to have these characteristics: love, faith, purity, humility, God-fearing, trustworthiness, hate of bribes, and serving others. We discovered what our leadership style was: authoritarian (dictates policy and procedure), participative (involving with the team), and delegative (hands-off). Farrah gave seven skills we all need to develop/practice: goal setting, delegation, decision making, communication, time management, problem-solving, and relationship building. We also are reminded that we need to support our leaders in their ability to grow and to solve whatever need is present.
In the afternoon, we enjoyed climbing the tall tower and descending the zipline to overcome our fear. Josiah Kelly brought his cool toy: a drone. One of our young attendees knocked it down when she flew on the zipline, which was hilarious.
During dinner, a few 3ADM boards surprised David and Francisca with an appreciation award for serving 3ADM for many years.
In the evening, DYAC joined DEAR for the Lord’s Supper. It was a sincerely meaningful service as we washed our feet, broke bread, and drank grape juice to remember Jesus’ sacrifice.
Nicolette Reynoso taught the Sabbath School lesson about "The Old Testament Hope.” She taught us more about keeping our hope until Jesus’ second coming. They discussed who would rise from the dead during the resurrection. It was interesting to learn that the people, who plotted, planned, and crucified Jesus at the cross, will rise to witness Jesus’ second coming as promised in the book of Matthew, chapter 23, verse 39. Nicolette reminded us that Jesus resurrected from the grave as a victory and freed us from Satan's bondage. We must stay in faith and hope for eternal life.
We join DEAR for worship service. We realized that God would judge us first (the Christians), not the wicked first, as we thought. Ralph Blank made good points with bible verses and shared his experience seeing the justices happening inside the court where he used to translate for deaf people.
We felt closer to God when we witnessed three ladies being baptized. Susan Buzzell, Rhonda Shulfer and Raynell Vick. May God richly bless them!
We spend the rest of the afternoon fellowshipping with others, visiting the nature center, and hiking thru the campsite.
Nicolette Reynoso led the vesper at sunset with songs, bible reading, and candle vigil. All 43 people wrote down what they wanted to forget on paper. Farrah collected all and burned it in the campfire. With revived hope in our hearts, we are ready for the future, with our hands holding God’s hands.
Some of us went home and some of us visited the fall festival at the farm nearby to continue catching up with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
We need your help in planning the following year’s program. Please send your ideas/recommendations to email@example.com. See you next year!
Nicolette Reynoso, President
Uloma Picerillo, Vice-President
Farrah Gooding-Santiago, Secretary
Catherine Langan, Treasurer