Heros Rock!

Our annual sleep-away “Reshet” (congregational network) Camp is a labor of love, made possible by the hard work and generosity of so many people. Experiencing community life 24/7 together is what I imagine it must be like to live in the very best kibbutz. Orit and David work with me from beginning to end to come up with the theme and supporting activities, and implement them. Then there are the teens and young adults from our congregational network who serve assep15-4-2 counselors from morning until night, and the pastors who come and share during the evening meetings. And finally there are our friends and co-laborers who fly all the way from Abilene, TX to do everything else! With a group like this, how could camp be anything less than a great success?!

This year, our theme was “Becoming Heroes“. We explored the many facets of heroes – fictional and real, biblical and modern. It was great fun to impart this concept to the kids through drama, crafts, teaching and activities. But I was most touched by a short teaching given by a dear friend from Texas. Tammy and her husband, Pat, have been serving at the camp for years. They have a special heart for our kids – encouraging them to grow in the love and understanding of God.

That last morning, in our final meeting (sitting on the floor because all the chairs and tables had already been put away), Tammy walked to the front of the hall with bags of river rocks in her hands. On each rock was hand written the word (Hai – life). As the bags were passed around and everyone chose a rock, Tammy told us how they could not afford to come this year. Then, through the generosity of friends, and some inexpensive airline tickets, it became possible. She explained that this gift of rocks was inspired by Joshua 4. Just as God commanded the Israelites to collect stones from the riverbed to make a lasting memorial to His miraculous provision, these small stones were a tangible reminder that God is the source of everything in our lives.

Tammy’s “sermon” wasn’t planned to fit neatly into the series of “hero” messages that we had scheduled for the week, and yet in a providential way it did. Because ultimately, our desire for these precious kids whom we entertained and taught all week, is that they grow into heroes of faith, impacting their friends, community and country for God. This will only happen when they understand that our God is faithful, yesterday, today and tomorrow. He will provide them with the courage and resources to do all He is calling them to do, that they may be heroes for Him.

As summer passes and camp becomes only a fun memory, my “life” rock sits on the kitchen windowsill to remind me of the heroic life that God desires to raise up within each one of us.


This article was originally published in Israel’s Restoration September 2015 Newsletter.