And if you toss in a year and a half of COVID lockdowns, isolation, limited to no interactions face to face with other kids at school or at congregation…YIKES! To say it's been tough for our teenagers would be an understatement.
All of the believing youth in Israel are faced with two difficult realities:
1. Messianic teens are an extremely small minority in their schools (and society in general).
2. Immediately after high school, they will have to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces for two years.
KATZIR (HARVEST) is a ministry that exists to serve and equip Israeli Messianic teens to grow in the faith and thrive in the face of these enormous challenges. My kids were a part of it when they were younger.
Because of the isolation, Israeli Messianic teens gather together several times a year at these camps to get strengthened in their faith. Maybe you remember being a teenager and going to similar camps where you would reconnect with the Lord. Now imagine you're in Israel, after COVID-19 and a deadly war with Hamas. And that is in addition to all the other things with which the typical teenager must wrestle! These camps are vital!
This summer—July 18-23—KATZIR is sponsoring the FIRST in-person camp for Messianic teens since Chanukah 2019!
The theme is "CONNECTED"—a week of renewal in God's word, in times of worship, in small group interaction, and vital friendship time.
After all that has happened the past year, there is an urgent need to reach out to them, regather, and restart.
It will be a time for teenagers to connect with God, even as they "disconnect" from noise, distractions, and digital technology.
Much of their apathy has been exacerbated by the lockdowns, isolation, and restrictions of more than a year. This will be a great time to grow in the Lord and to reconnect with other their Messianic friends from all over the country.
What the teens are saying:
Hear the stories from teenagers who came to camp over the last few years (before COVID):
EDEN – Last year, my mom died in an accident. God has released me from the weight of grief! After she died, I went into clinical depression. I was suicidal. I left my congregation and believer connections. Then I came to this Katzir camp and wept. I told God, "Give me a sign that you really care, or I'm going to kill myself. Save me from death." A young brother stood next to me and said, "Elohim hu Tikvah (God is hope)." I want each of you to know how amazing life is. You don't even know. If you are in a tough season…what waits for you in the future is simply incredible. Don't even wait.
ELIAV —Yesterday, during the worship time, I asked the Lord to change me (sobbing). I suddenly felt God's reassurance. I never felt that before.
RUTI —In all my previous camps, I came as a non-believer. But this time, I received Yeshua! I want prayer to break through the walls in my life. I seem strong, but I'm not really. I want to be who I really am! I almost got thrown out of this camp, but I realized that my stubborn disobedience is not the way to go.
TAL - This was my first Katzir conference. Before coming, I was cursing and smoking with my friends. I called myself a believer, but I wasn't really. I thought, "Maybe God isn't so real, and there are spiritual paths in this world. Then I got here, and it was different. The messages were really strong. So, I invited Yeshua into my life during the praise time. I'm leaving as a totally different person than when I arrived! I want to thank God for renewing my life with Him.
COVID has impacted the incomes of many families in Israel.
Would you help us make sure these kids have an opportunity to go to KATZIR'S Connected Camp this summer—it may change their lives for eternity!
Messiah’s Mandate and Shelanu have pledged $4,000 for the camp, and you can help us reach the goal. Click on the button below and give generously—$20, $50, $100. Let's invest in the NEXT generation of Messianic believers in Israel!
Your gift could be the difference between a young Israeli believer going to the camp or not. Which in this environment, could be the difference in them continuing to serve Yeshua or not. Thank you so much for your sacrifice!