WEST OF IRELAND FAMILY CAMP 2017
4th September 2017
The Newmarket-on-Fergus church and campsite was bustling with activity over the August bank holiday weekend as church members gathered for the West of Ireland Family Camp. This year pastor Emmanuel Ossei, President of the South England Conference, travelled to Ireland as the guest speaker.
The theme for the camp was 'In Christ, in One Accord'. Pastor Osei said that the life of the Christian is not always easy but our focus is not on this life. He cited many biblical examples from both the Old and the New Testament describing what church unity means.
A newly married couple, Andrew and Peneni, who were visitors at the camp remarked "There was great joy among the members and the message touched us." The Pathfinders Barn was full to capacity on the Sabbath with both members and visitors from around the West of Ireland.
There was plenty of evidence of unity throughout the weekend as the camp cooks began kitchen duties and finished late at night. There was unity among the children who took turns to pull their friends around in a bright blue luggage cart. There was unity among the families in the fun filled activities organised around the camp.
Participation in the 6.30am Keep Fit classes run by Lilian Cooper tested the campers’ fitness levels and some such as Joan Johnson promising to "make a better effort to keep fit". Joan’s husband, pastor Lorance Johnson of the Cork, Kilkenny and Waterford churches, arose early each morning to lead out in the Morning Manna service.
Workshops on health were led by Anna Boisko and Elizabeth O'Rourke. Anna has just returned from travelling abroad and is planning to run a series of Creation Health talks in the Galway Church. "Most of us do not realise the importance of the environment and its effect on our health and that is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle," she said.
Special music items were sung by the Longford, Galway, Cork and Newmarket choirs throughout the weekend. Bright red bonfires light up the night skies and were tended to carefully by pastor Tony O'Rourke. Behind the flames shone the excited faces of the young people.
It was Pastor Osei and his wife Laura's first visit to Ireland. "An oasis" in a very busy world was how he described the Newmarket on Fergus camp site situated on the church grounds in Co Clare and away from the noise and bustle of everyday life. In his closing words, he expressed his and his wife's wish to visit again and savour the peace and tranquillity of the green fields of the West of Ireland.
[Elizabeth O'Rouke, Photos by Anna Boisko]