God uses summer camp ministry to change lives! Last year we completed our 24th season of Camp Gilgal for Jewish children and youth ages 8-18. As with all our CYM (Children and Youth Ministry), Camp Gilgal aims to raise up new generations of Jewish believers in Messiah. Please pray for our staff and our campers this summer. We hope the following encourages you to pray for this vital ministry.
Nearly 200 attended our camps last summer in California, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. Three campers from unbelieving families surrendered their hearts to the Lord and two more from believing homes did the same. More than 40 of our campers recommitted their lives to Him.
Summer is not the only time to invest in the next generation, as David mentioned in his article. Our CYM staff do their best to track with kids throughout the year in person, as proximity permits, or by other means, like Skype, for those who live far away.
Rebekah Rood works with CYM in our New York branch. In March 2014 we published a story about the joy Rebekah had as she prepared a young Jewish believer, Leelle, for her Messianic bat mitzvah.
Just recently, Rebekah wrote this update: “After Leelle’s bat mitzvah, she was reluctant to meet or to do anything that wasn’t directly related to getting ready for high school. And then last summer, at Camp Gilgal, she rededicated her life to the Lord.
“These days, Leelle is reading her Bible at lunch at her public school, and is regularly asking me for advice about answering questions her classmates ask about her faith. I recently got together with Leelle, and we talked a little bit about the changes in her life. She reflected on how the opportunity to play on the camp worship team had affected her. As she saw how she could use her gifts and interests to serve God, she began to get a picture of how God wanted to be glorified in her life. It really changed her heart, and inspired her to follow Him and surrender her whole life to Him.
“As I was leaving their home, Leelle’s mom stopped me and made a point of saying how Leelle has been more helpful with her siblings, more generally responsible, and more respectful of her parents.
“Two years ago, when I first began preparing Leelle for her bat mitzvah, I was asking people to pray that she would be able to own her faith, and that many people would get to hear the gospel because of her. Today I am overwhelmed to see how God is answering those prayers. Please praise the Lord with me for her changed life and please continue to pray!”
So you see, we ask you to pray because we know the power of prayer—it’s so evident through stories like Leelle’s. Do please pray with us for the next generation of Jewish believers in Jesus to grow in their faith and shine the light of Messiah to their families, friends and classmates.