Not So Hidden Treasure

Kingdom parable of the lost sheep

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.

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.

Kingdom parable of debt forgiven by the king

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.

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!