For most, the teen years are not easy. It is a time of rapid change, an emotional and physical roller coaster. My heart goes out to youth, especially the youth of Israel. For many years we’ve sought to create a setting in which they could receive encouragement, healing, liberation, calling, and equipping. The Katzir (Harvest) camps have become such an environment. This summer we spent a week with 83 Israeli teens from Messianic congregations across the country. I’d like you to hear what happened through the voices of the young people themselves.
These are their words, spoken to all their fellow campers our last morning together. We had worshiped, hiked, prayed, served, and played for seven solid, very full days spent mostly in the beautiful Golan Heights of Israel. That evening, the Spirit of God filled our meeting place in the bustling city of Tel Aviv. Many youth turned to Yeshua with tearful repentance, receiving His saving grace, while others sought and received the fullness of His Spirit. To behold the work of God among teenage people is to discover treasure. They will be the workers and leaders in the final harvest!
I began weeping during one of the meetings – at the intensity of God feeling our hearts; as well as His heart for each of us.
I had a personal breakthrough because the praise and worship was alive. This time I really discovered what it is to praise God and not care what others are thinking. I was amazed with joy at being drawn in by the depth of the worship.
Up until now I waffled about being immersed in water, but I have decided to go all the way with Yeshua and be immersed (baptized).
The power of God was so strong that I felt that the Ruach was inside of me and also outside! … I encourage you not to be embarrassed … I had felt the Ruach in the past but had held back … After a while, I just threw caution to the winds and God filled me … We prayed together – the girls and the leaders – and the Spirit came flowing out of me … We prayed and yelled with joy. It was like a fountain of life … it went on and on. [These accounts came from a small group that experienced an outpouring of the Spirit during their Bible study.]
I want to live as a believer among non-believers and continue coming to these camps.
Two months ago I decided to be immersed. On the way my mom was killed in a car accident. It was SO hard to receive the Lord after that. I felt a wall between us. It was very hard to come to this camp. I was SO mad. Why did He take her? Finally, I came to the camp. So many people held me up here, so that God could work. I felt that God wanted me. I want to thank all those who have lifted me, and thank God-for forgiving my anger. I know that He is working and watching over us. Walk with Him … He’ll be with you in your hardest time.
I discovered that people could be real and not put me down. I thank God that he released me from prison and I don’t want to return.
I wasn’t interested in coming to Katzir. I’ve been really far from the Lord even though my dad is a pastor. God touched me so deeply here! After this I want to draw near to Him and live differently.
Please continue with us in prayer for the courage and sound mentoring these young people crave.
This article was originally published in Israel’s Restoration September ’15 Newsletter.