Concerning Congregations and Summer Camps
Did you grow up with “believing” radio stations, bookstores, and perhaps even schools in your community? The idea of having something like that in Israel is like dreaming of landing on the moon in the 1920’s—it would happen once someone dreamed big enough and worked hard enough—but it hadn’t happened yet.
These areas of daily life like going to a large conference or listening to talk radio where God’s existence is a given, creates a believing culture that Israeli believers don’t yet get to enjoy. As such, when we fly outside of Israel, we try to give our kids as many opportunities to experience it.
So, while we travel and minister this summer in the U.S. (we’ll be ministering at Life Fellowship in Kemah, TX this weekend) we’ve dropped our kids off at a few believing youth summer camps. As someone who grew up with the closest believers my age living on the other side of the country, I can tell you there’s just nothing like living in the small community of believers in Israel and then getting to experience a huge summer camp of several thousand teens worshipping alongside you.
1. Concerning Youth Camps:
Having said all the above, there are several Israeli youth and young adult camps Maoz has sponsored and been heavily involved with over the years; after a year of being shut down due to COVID, they are ramping up their programs again. Though much smaller than camps in other countries, they offer rare opportunities for many of the believing youth across Israel to not only focus on the Lord collectively, but to make new friends they can stay connected with over the next year.
- Father, Your Kingdom is specially designed for the heart of children.
- These young years are crucial for cultivating a relationship with You and building relationships with other young believers. Show parents how to prioritize this.
- The number one factor in Israel that affects whether an Israeli youth will either struggle or thrive through their school and military years is whether they have close believing friends who will pursue God with them. Provide these friendships!
- We ask for every child, teen and young adult wanting to connect with other believers this summer to have the opportunity to do so.
- Some COVID restrictions have just kicked back in because of a mild rise in cases. We ask that the planned times of fellowship will not be canceled.
- Often young people don’t know about other believers who live near them—connect these relationships so that during the school year they can continue building each other up in You.
- Bless and protect all the youth leaders and camp counselors who volunteer their time to pour into the next generation of Israeli believers.
2. Concerning Hebrew-Speaking Congregations:
There is much to be said of pioneers who leave one life and begin an entirely new one elsewhere. The process is messy and necessarily fraught with mistakes. But every miscalculation and dead end discovered ultimately serves to help define the framework in which the new culture emerges.
Then comes the next generation—the first generation who know nothing but the new life the pioneers have built for them. They will help build and establish the culture as natives on a whole different level. And this is what we are looking at when we see Hebrew-speaking congregations popping up all over the country where before, most congregations were planted in the language where the first generation of pioneers came from.
Don’t get me wrong, congregations in Israel that worship with French, English, Russian, Amharic etc. speakers are important spiritual havens for thousands of Jews across the country. However, for many reasons, pioneering congregations in the local language is the natural progression of any healthy Body.
- Father, You are the God of every nation’s tribe and tongue.
- We thank You for the many languages You created in which we can worship You in Spirit and in Truth.
- We bless You, Yeshua, for creating men and women who uprooted their lives and built a community of Jewish believers in the ancient land where You walked among their ancestors.
- We honor the years and effort they put into creating something that did not exist, and then raise children and leaders who could continue their work.
- We thank You for those leaders who are emerging and taking the next step of establishing Hebrew-speaking congregations across the country.
- Their work is naturally geared toward shepherding local Israelis, help them stay focused on this noble task.
- Israel is an extremely expensive place to live and build anything. Show the leaders of these congregations how to build in such a way that will not create a heavy monthly financial burden.
- Provide the prayer and financial support for these congregations without them having to go out looking for it in the four corners of the earth.
- When Israel originally came into the land with Joshua, You allotted them property to own and care for. Today, most believers do not own their own homes, businesses, or congregational buildings. We ask for Your promised land to be given to those in covenant with You as a testimony of Your favor.
Your friends and family may also enjoy to receive this weekly prayer letter! To sign up go to: MaozIsrael.org/pray
Your fellow intercessors,
Kobi and Shani Ferguson
and the entire Maoz Israel Team