A Taste of Heaven

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A Taste of Heaven
As a believer in Jesus Christ with the guarantee that we will have a place in another realm called Heaven, a place where God will wipe away all our tears, where there will be no more pain or sorrow or sin. What will this place really be like? A place where we will worship God all the day long, to really sit at His feet and to really love him for who He is. To see loved ones and friends who have gone on before us. To meet maybe those who were saved because of the labor and sacrifices that came from our lives. That I think will be the most meaningful for me. The fruit of our labor. The domino effect that has played out in people’s lives because they’ve seen Jesus in us. The countless people touched by God because we took the time to disciple them for some short moment in their broken lives. To watch restoration take place in a family torn by turmoil and then to see them come to Jesus.

I’ve had the opportunity over the past nine years since I have met my wife to visit the oldest Holiness Camp meeting in the USA in Toronto, Ohio. A camp meeting that started 191 years ago.

It meets one time a year for 10 days. People from all over the country come back year after year to see those who have grown up in the Hollow Rock family and to make new friends and fellowship with those who would experience a camp meeting for the first time. I have to tell you as a young Christian, going to Hollow Rock for the first time in 2000, I was really impressed. Impressed in a way I think because God lifted the blinders off my eyes and I was able to see the kingdom of God, unlike before knowing Jesus as my Savior. I remember stepping onto the grounds for the first time. How holy that ground, that tabernacle (outside church), the presence of God was. It seemed to be a place where God could really deal with some of the things we have continued to struggle with all year long. Unlike church or the prison chapel or a recovery meeting. And I must say He has done that for me so graciously over the years for me at HR. I have learned some great lessons from that camp or some would say “encampment”. And it IS an encampment. Set apart, fortified by the spirit of God from the outside world. It is a place of rest, of refuge, and a safe place for our kids to roam freely and try their best to be real Christians.

Without the distractions of cell phones or TV. A place for adults to tell those who wanted to hear, and it seemed everybody wanted to listen to what God has done over the past year. A place of fellowship, testimony, plenty of food. Good people (Christians). Four services a day, with bells ringing throughout the camp to let you know it was time to meet God and deal with yourself. I say myself because it’s not a place where you would go and just intercede (not that you couldn’t) for someone else, no matter how lost they were. It was time and place for God to deal with you. And with that came this gracious, merciful, peaceful feeling, and tenderness like no other, from our God. To watch those around you talk about and worship this God we call our own, to come to His throne day after day, night after night, service after service. You would hear no cursing, or smell cigarettes, or hear sexual innuendo. None of that goes on there.

After nine years I am still impressed at what God accomplishes in 10 days at HR. When we think of our entry into heaven, how glorious, how wonderful that will be, the departure from Hollow Rock is definitely the saddest moment for many. It is the saddest moment for those who have come with that list to bring before God. It is for those who have met Him once again in a place called Hollow Rock. A place that may be the holiest piece of land in all of North America. A place that gives us a glimpse us of our eternal home called Heaven. A place we long to be one day. I think that one of the things I am most thankful for is that I was introduced to a place called Hollow Rock, a place that is definitely a little touch of Heaven.

By Bob Sofronski, July 2009