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
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.