Youth Messenger Online Edition

October-December

Using Our Talents for God
Using Our Talents for God
Bianca Sirbu
2018 NCC Music Camp

The second music camp was hosted by the Northern California Conference in July 2018, and it was held in Moriah Heights, California. Since the first music camp held in 2017 was a great success, many more people were encouraged to come from different parts of the world. There were about 110 participants registered, but when combined with the locals, there were more than 150 persons. A significant number of musicians came from Hungary, Australia, and others from Peru, Brazil, Canada, Bolivia, as well as from different parts of the United States.

After arriving at Moriah Heights, those who played string instruments had seating auditions. They were then placed in one of the two orchestras: “advanced” or “developing.” No matter what level a player was at, he/she could still praise God with his/her instrument. The musicians slept in tents on the premises. Although during the day the temperature was high, at night it was considerably cooler, so it was easier for all to have a good night’s rest.

Our daily schedule was very compact since we needed to cover much material in a short time. Our day started with an exercise class at 6:00 a.m. After that, we had morning worship, and were able to hear many amazing experiences of young people who had seen God working in their lives in miraculous ways. They encouraged us to have our own experience with God.

Breakfast was served right after worship. Since we had such a large group, every tent had their turn of cleaning up after the meals. The 9:00 a.m. practice was for the advanced orchestra and choir separately. The students who were part of the developing orchestra joined the choir. The advanced orchestra was led by the principal conductor, Isaac Terceros, and the choir by Rea Tóth. In the afternoon, we had a practice session, and the combined orchestra and choir practice took place in the evening. After a long day of practice, everyone was tired, but the sound of so many instruments and voices combined was so beautiful that it made us forget our fatigue. Everyone just had fun praising God.

The last item on our schedule each day was evening worship presented by Brother David Zic. It was such a nice way to end our day!

As the days passed, many special friendships were formed. There were many things to be done around the campground, and whenever the need for help arose, everyone lent a helping hand. We were blessed to have good cooks as part of the kitchen staff, and they prepared delicious food for us everyday. We were especially grateful to have Sister Szabo from Australia, who came to make her delicious vegan creations for us! Feeding so many hungry youths was not an easy task, but the sisters worked diligently, never complaining.

With everyone’s participation and united efforts, everything went as planned. Finally, the weekend for the concert arrived, and we were all excited to see the results of our hard work. The Sabbath prior to the concert was a special one as churches from the greater Sacramento area and other parts of California joined us at the Moriah Heights campground.

During the Sabbath, we discussed wonderful lessons, heard great sermons, experiences, and participated in the youth meeting. Most importantly, as we played and sang the glorious music with so many instruments and voices combined, we forgot all our hard work, and simply enjoyed the heavenly atmosphere. The whole Sabbath day was a real blessing to everyone present!

The next day was the day everyone had been waiting for! For the concert, we were transported to a local high school auditorium. We practiced once more and were amazed at how much better the sound was in a professional auditorium. Before any of us realized, it was time to begin the concert. Many people were present. To our surprise, the sound was much better compared to our practice session earlier. We were thankful to God because in our hearts we knew that this was possible only because of Him. Many people told us that they were blessed by our music. As for those of us participating, we were all thankful to God for the opportunity to be part of such an experience, where we could share our love for music with other young people from the church.

Throughout the camp, as I heard other young people’s testimonies, and as we were able to share our passion for music to glorify God, I felt very encouraged to see how God can use us in our youth to reach others through our talents. I would personally encourage you to attend an event of this kind in the future so we may, “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works” (Psalm 105:2).