A Glimpse of Gladstone
by Greg Brothers

Tuesday evening, July 16
Main Plaza - Gladstone Camp Meeting

A brass quartet is practicing for tonight’s program, and golf carts are skittering around on last-minute errands. Even the weather seems to be getting ready for camp meeting--it’s been hot and muggy today, but a cool breeze started blowing around 5:00 pm.

So what’s with all the Hawaiian shirts and palm trees in the children’s divisions? Are we planning a tribute to our 50th state, or have we picked up Trader Joe’s as a corporate sponsor?

Wednesday evening, July 17
Main Plaza - Gladstone Camp Meeting

It’s easy to enjoy a day like this: sunny and warm--just right for the children on the Primary Division’s giant, inflatable water-slide. Add the sound of the Russian choir in the Plaza Pavilion, and you’d think we were in heaven.

But, a first aid team just drove through the Plaza, followed by paramedics and an ambulance... and it’s a reminder that though camp ceeting may have its palm trees, it still isn’t paradise.

Thursday evening, July 18
Main Plaza - Gladstone Camp Meeting

“Troubles remind us,” we heard in special music, “this world is not our home”--and we got another reminder, with a request that we pray for a family who was injured in a car accident on their way to camp meeting.

Yet even this can’t spoil a good day--not when there are friends to see, speakers to hear, and children to watch having fun....

Speaking of which, somebody told me the tropical-island-theme of the children’s divisions is somehow tied in with heaven. Obviously, I missed something on my last trip to Oahu.

Friday evening, July 19
Main Plaza - Gladstone Camp Meeting

People-watching has made me think about this week’s sermon by John McVay--the one in which he said the Holy Spirit is like an X-ray that “lets us see beneath surface of everyday life, and know that Jesus is Lord.”

Watch people stroll around Camp Meeting, for instance, and it’s generally “birds of a feather”--young with young, and old with old. But every now and then, you see one of the young run up to one of the old and give them a hug. And when that happens, you catch a glimpse of that day when “the young and the old shall rejoice together.”

Just a glimpse--but still....

Sabbath evening, July 20
Main Plaza - Gladstone Camp Meeting

I finally learned what’s going on in the children’s divisions. “In Matthew 13,” I was told, “Jesus said heaven is like buried treasure--and we’ve been on a treasure hunt!”

So have we all.

In fact, all through this Camp Meeting, I’ve been finding clues, hints, and even the occasional map with directions to God’s kingdom. And when I hear the Oregon Adventist Men’s Chorus singing, “We Have This Hope,” then I can’t help but feel that I’m on the right track and getting close.

No, the Oregon Camp Meeting isn’t heaven. But with God’s help, you can find it here.