During the early years of Nazarene mission work in India, camp meetings were a prominent feature of spiritual renewal and a major attraction for Nazarenes.
The Eastern Maharashtra District is home to 56 local Nazarene congregations and 24 pastors. District Superintendent D. J. Bhalerao felt a serious need to revive camp meetings on the district to bring greater spiritual renewal. Realizing there was not a budget available for a camp meeting, he and the District Advisory Board took a step of faith to plan a camp meeting and began raising funds. Many generous people donated to make the event possible.
They planned for about 60 people to attend, but 175 people participated, 120 of whom recommitted their lives to the Lord during the event.
“People are spiritually very hungry and it is our responsibility to spiritually feed them,” Bhalerao said
India Field Strategy Coordinator Sunil Dandge preached from 2 Chronicles 7:14, leading listeners to a deeper understanding of God and personal spiritual responsibility.
“In recent years, this is the first of its kind truth-seeker conference and camp meeting,” Dandge said. “It was well organized and did total justice with the purpose of meeting the spiritual hunger of truth seekers as well as believers.”
Workshop leaders included Vijay Rajulwala, S. T. Nandeshwar, P. L. Manothe, Vijay Bhalerao, and Vidyasagar Gaikwad who taught on personal responsibility for salvation, doctrine of salvation, sin as an inherited problem, an individual’s identity, vision and mission of Nazarene Youth International, and entire sanctification.
The district also organized an NYI and Nazarene Missions International district camp for youth. Scripture memorization and Bible quiz activities were conducted especially for NMI by Vandana Kinkar.
“When Nazarene leaders lead with vision and faith in God, the succeed anywhere on the back of the earth,” Rajulwala said. “This camp is an excellent example of the same, and I wish that every district on the India Field will revive the district camp tradition.”