At the end of July, our Reshet
(Network) Camp once again brought together elementary age children from
the Tents of Mercy Network of congregations in northern Israel, for a
week of fun and impartation.
Kingdom parable of the lost sheep
Each day was full to the brim with activity and fellowship. Israeli
volunteer teen-counselors accompanied the children 24/7, shepherding and
caring for each member of their group. A whole team of devoted volunteers
from Texas fed us all, led water games, ESL sessions and showered love on
every child present. During the days we spent as a community, hearts were
changed and in the evening meetings lives were dedicated to Yeshua. A
number of brave young campers stood up before everyone and shared how
God had spoken to them personally.
This year's theme was "Secrets of the Kingdom," taken from Matthew
13:11 where Yeshua referred to His parables as the secrets of the
Kingdom of Heaven. Throughout the week we sent our energetic bunch of
kids "hunting" for the attributes that form God's spiritual kingdom.
Kingdom parable of debt forgiven by the king
Each day the games and mini-sermons highlighted a different parable. One
evening the camp counselors acted out the parable of the unforgiving
servant. Another evening, Eitan was our guest speaker. He and a young
camper acted out the parable of the shepherd searching for a single lost
sheep. On the last day, the teaching centered on the verse from Matthew
6:21, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also",
and the teams went on a treasure hunt. The "prize" for each child was a
bracelet stamped with that verse (and some candy too!).
I believe that the concentrated love and teaching received by the campers
year after year have a special role to play in their spiritual growth and
development. It is my prayer that this summer each camper went home with
the understanding that His treasures are easily found and freely given!