by Leora, Personal Assistant to Eitan Shishkoff, Tents of Mercy
Every summer Tents of Mercy is privileged to host a summer sleepaway camp for elementary age kids from our network of congregations. "Reshet" (Network) Camp was initiated over 8 years ago as a covenant venture between Tents of Mercy and Beltway Church in Texas. The inspiration came from conversations between Katya, our Shabbat School director, and Randy, a senior pastor at Beltway. The camp quickly became an annual event, eagerly anticipated by kids and counselors alike.
We fill our days with fun activities and spiritual lessons designed to keep the campers active and involved, from morning to night. Our small leadership team plans and schedules for months in advance. But the true backbone of these camps is the counselors and the volunteers who freely and lovingly share a full week of their lives to guide, entertain, feed and teach our kids.
The young people who volunteer as counselors come from the congregational network. Most of them are teenagers. Many of the current counselors were once campers and are now giving to others what was given to them. I am proud and encouraged to see how so many of our teenagers have developed true servant hearts.
From Texas comes a group of equally generous people who serve in multiple capacities throughout the week. They do crafts, coach baseball, engage the kids in fun games, set up and break down the hall where all of our indoor activities are held, cook for over 100 kids and staff, pray for us and interact lovingly with the campers.
The interweaving of these diverse counselors and volunteers who range from teens to retirees and come from opposite sides of the globe, is a beautiful expression of Yeshua's words: "By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). It is an honor and a blessing to serve the kingdom of God together here in Israel.
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