The Golan Heights provided a stunning backdrop for the Katzir (Harvest) National Youth Conference held a few weeks ago during Chanukah 2017. In August, during the previous Katzir event, the youth (ages 14-18) experienced a profound and gracious move of God’s Spirit, leading 24 of them to publicly declare their heart’s desire to turn to God in repentance and to embrace Yeshua as their Savior, Lord, and Messiah.
Knowing that an initial declaration of faith must be followed by a walk of devoted discipleship, we took as our theme Yeshua’s enduring invitation, “Follow me.” The morning Scripture readings, messages from impassioned speakers, and deep times of worship all worked together to bring the young people to a clear understanding of what it means to follow Yeshua with our entire lives.
We watched them respond in extensive times of prayer in the presence of God, after hearing His word unpacked. In fact, many young men and women lingered after an evening meeting was over, allowing the Spirit to wash over them. This renewal and cleansing is especially significant for high schoolers. Added to the normal doubts and identity struggles of adolescence, peer pressure pushes hard against any genuine faith in God in the secular environment of most Israeli public schools. But active belief in Yeshua as Israel’s Messiah is “beyond the pale.” Their peers have zero understanding that you can be Jewish and affirm Jesus as our King Redeemer. So, when they arrive at a Katzir gathering there is intense need for encouragement and re-energizing of their spiritual life.
These photos provide a dim reflection of the joy and re-invigoration we were privileged to witness.
This article originally appeared in Oasis newsletter, January 2018, and reposted with permission.