Camp Gilgal is our Messianic camp program for Jewish children and youth. This year was our 22nd summer! In July’s issue of RealTime, we shared some of what happened during our junior camps for Jewish children ages 8-12. Since then, we’ve held our teen camps for ages 13-15 and our adventure camps for ages 16-18, and we are humbled by how faithfully God met us there. This year’s teen camp Bible lessons were based on the book of Acts and centered around the theme, “You Shall Be My Witnesses.” Our adventure camps’ theme was “God Will Never Let Go” and was based on the book of Jonah.
Our teen camps started on Sunday, July 15. In New York, 22 campers enjoyed activities such as white water rafting, swimming, Tabernacle, and an overnight camping trip in the Adirondack mountains. The first night they heard a challenge to hold nothing back from the Lord during the week and to make room for Him to speak into their lives. A camper who had been struggling spiritually responded to this challenge. She started discovering a new life and joy inside, rededicated her life to Jesus at the end of camp, and has since been involved with other believers and is actively learning about the Bible. Another camper was touched by a campfire discussion about parents. After camp, her mother was amazed at how responsive she was and how much their relationship had changed! Over the course of the week, ten campers recommitted their lives to the Lord.
Meanwhile, 42 campers attended our teen camp in California. It was a week packed full of fun: swimming, boating, a day trip to Yosemite National Park, Tabernacle, and campfires. Our memory verses this year were Romans 8:31-39, and it proved to be a pretty challenging passage. All our campers and staff memorized the entire section. Many of our young men and women are dealing with difficult situations at home, and several come from unbelieving homes. It was encouraging to see the steps each of them took toward the Lord during the week. By the end of camp, four campers had rededicated their lives to Jesus, and one surrendered his life to Him for the first time.
Our adventure camps both started on Sunday, August 5. On the East Coast, twelve campers came together to spend a week rock climbing in The Gunks in Upstate New York. The week was filled with some of the best Bible discussions that one of our staff had ever seen at adventure camp. It became increasingly clear to everyone there that following God doesn’t mean just obeying Him when it’s convenient, and campers took an honest look at how obeying God affects life after camp. Six campers rededicated their lives to Him.
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, 38 campers enjoyed a brand new adventure down the California coastline, including beach time, stops in Los Angeles, and a trip to Catalina Island that included snorkeling and sea kayaking. Over the course of the week, we had deep conversations and sweet times of worship. It was exciting to see a new generation of young leaders getting ready to lead, looking forward to serving as staff at camp next year. We were honored to see God meet with some of our campers in a very real way and witness how they responded to Him. By the end of the week, four campers recommitted their lives to the Lord.
We stand in awe of what the Lord did in the lives of our campers and staff this summer. Please pray for everyone who participated as they transition back into normal life. Pray especially that they would continue to be open to God’s work in their lives, and that what the Lord showed everyone this summer will continue to grow and strengthen their relationships with Him.