Here is a story of something that happened to me regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
In the summer of 1972, I was a camp counselor at Lake Louise in northern Michigan. It was a Baptist camp for 7th and 8th graders, both boys and girls. An ordinary camp with exercises first thing in the morning, games, food-like-stuff to eat, swimming, campfires, all with very normal people. At the Wednesday night campfire we were singing “Give Me Oil in My Lamp’, (you know the song about gas in the Ford™) a song that must have been sung billions of times at campfires all over the world, when one of the counselors started yelling at the top of his lungs that God was pouring out His Spirit. He kept repeating this at the highest of volumes.
I was near the outer edge of the group and watched to see what would happen. Within seconds two things started to happen. The first was that all the young kids that I could see began to either cry, or hold onto one another, or fall on the ground, or pray, or speak in tongues (that is a language they did not know). It was very chaotic and the leader looked panicked. At the same time it also began to rain. I looked up and saw no clouds overhead, but I did see a few off to the side in the moonlight. I wondered where the rain was coming from.
After a while the leader got us all back to our cabins. The boys in my cabin were writing a group poem to Jesus on a long length of paper towel. The boy next to me just said out loud, to no one in particular, “I get it now. Jesus is God.” You could hear shouts from one cabin to another of “Jesus is Lord”, or “Praise God!” These were 12-14 year old boys. Normal, fun-loving, physically hyper, trick playing, boys. No one coached them. It just poured out of them.
The next morning, the camp director, who was a conservative Baptist pastor from Bad Axe, Michigan, cornered me and one of the other counselors and accused us of being ‘holiness’. No, I said, I am a Christian. I didn’t know the terminology. He told us that there was going to be a meeting for all the counselors shortly and that we must attend.
At the meeting, he was very upset. The camp had gotten out of control. Kids were doing crazy things, like having spontaneous prayer meetings without counselors present. Who knows what trouble they could be getting into? What would their parents think?
We got into a discussion if what had happened was from God or not. At the end of the meeting the director agreed to pray and ask God if what was happening was from God or not.
All I remember is that I was abnormally tired that afternoon. My arms and legs felt like lead wire. I had made my way to the front door of my cabin and I was just standing there. The camp director was slowing walking over towards me. As he came close I noticed that it looked like someone had thrown a bucket of water onto his face. He explained that he had been crying. Then he just told me that he never had understood the power of prayer. When he asked in prayer if this episode the night before was from God or not, he evidently experienced the same thing all the kids had. Then he knew it was indeed from God.
Other remarkable events continued to happen that week. Some girls wanted me to come to a prayer meeting they were having in the dinning hall. About 6 kids or so were there. As we prayed I had a vision of Jesus. I remember wrapping my arms around his knees as he stood in the center of our group. It was like a waking dream, only additionally tactile. I could see and feel, yet it was like a dream, only I was awake. I now call it a vision. I remember that when he put his hand on my shoulder I cried and cried because I knew that he knew me as I was in the very depths of my heart and loved me.
Another time my friend, George, and I were leading the kids through a hike in the woods. We were chatting as we walked. Suddenly my friend turns to me and asked me if I had just said “Oregon”? No, I responded, why? His face blanched and he said that God had just spoken to him out loud and told him to drop everything he is doing and go to Oregon.
Years later I met people who were affected by that camp meeting. One of the girls who was at the camp later came to our church in Port Huron. She told of how when she went home what had happened to her happened also to her parents. They wound up going into the ministry because of it. The pastor from Bad Axe was called to account for the stuff that happened at the camp. His congregation voted 51% for him and 49% against him. He left, I do not know where.