The passage from childhood to
adult life is strewn with jagged obstacles. Dobson compares it to a wide,
calm river that suddenly turns into narrow, deadly rapids. This phase of
life that we call "the teenage years" is challenging in any 21st century
culture - with its waves of sewage instantly available on every
smartphone - but especially now for youth trying to live as disciples of
Yeshua. And it's even more challenging in Israel. Why?
A kid who believes in Yeshua in Israel is simply out of place. You see,
the concept of pluralism in matters of faith and religion is not so
prevalent here. While it's true that there are many dimensions to
the way Israeli Jews interpret and practice Jewish life, believing in
Yeshua (Jesus) is not yet considered a viable option. So, to identify
one's self as a Messianic Jew in high school or junior high creates
an unwanted barrier that has social consequences at an age when
acceptance is so vital.
With that background, you can appreciate the surprise reported by Sarah,
one of our young counselors, at the conclusion of our recent Hanukkah
National Youth Conference, attended by more than 80 teens:
"Muriel was struggling. She was labeled an "outsider" by her
schoolmates and thought she was the only believer in her school. However,
just a few hours after we prayed and asked God to send her another
believer, she met a new friend at Katzir and it turns out that they
attend the very same school!"
Here are a few more testimonies from youth whose lives were touched
during the KATZIR (Harvest) youth conference this Hanukkah:
Esther (18): "The very first night the Lord really touched me.
I couldn't push more praise out of me. I was exploding inside with
the love of God."
Eli (counselor): "This was my first time at Katzir. The first
evening during the praise time, I began to feel the Lord's presence
SO strongly. It was one of the deepest experiences ever for me in Israel.
I thank God for the opportunity to be a part of Katzir."
Elior (17): "I didn't know anyone. I felt out of place.
But you received me and I found new friends. It was just such a
This is what we beseech God to do during these camps. We are so grateful
for the intercession and financial support that make these events
possible. Reaching young Israelis at this age will change our nation.