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Cape Verdean Camp Meeting 2023 Review

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Photos by Isaiah Goncalves

The Southern New England Conference Cape Verdean churches hosted their second annual Cape Verdean camp meeting this summer. This is the only Cape Verdean Adventist camp meeting in the entire United States, says Ivanildo Lopes, pastor of the Dorchester Cape Verdean SDA church and the Boston Cape Verdean SDA group.

Cape Verdeans bring a whole new meaning to the motto “Together in Mission.” At this one-day camp meeting, Cape Verdeans came together all the way from Cape Verde, their native island country off the coast of west Africa, and France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Brazil, and states outside the Southern New England Conference. Even non-Adventist Cape Verdeans and young people who have left the church attended this camp meeting.

“Cape Verde is a very small country, and everyone is accustomed to living close to one another,” explained Felix Monteiro, pastor of the Brockton and Randolph Cape Verdean SDA churches. “Because of this we all know each other, and we are so close. This is a characteristic of the Cape Verdean culture.”

“It’s a pleasure to have them together. I had the joy and the opportunity to talk to some friends I haven’t seen for maybe 20 years. It's really great to have this kind of gathering.”

“There is no difference of age. If we have a program for young people, you're going to find people 80 or 90 years old there,” Monteiro continues. “We are just like a family. That's why we eat together, we praise together, we worship together. We do all that we need to do together."

The guest speaker for the morning service was Eurico Correia, a theology professor at the Adventist University of France. The people celebrated together as six souls were baptized. Afternoon seminars were planned for couples and young people, but otherwise, all worshipped together.

In the afternoon concert, 14-year-old Mara Gomes sang original songs that her father, Jose Gomes, wrote and composed, illustrating again how all ages work together to create a worship experience worthy of our Creator.

“It was just amazing seeing people together smiling and hugging,” said Pastor Lopes. He said they were blessed with beautiful weather, amazing music, and the fellowship and support of the conference president, Bob Folkenberg, Jr., and his wife Audrey, who spent the entire day with them.

“People were telling me, ‘Pastor, why only once a year? We should meet at least twice or three times a year!’” reports Monteiro. “I can’t wait till we meet in heaven with all nations, all people, because we are just one.”

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