In 2005, a team of 6 young people from our congregation in Minsk met with Chantal Winograd every week for 6 months. They sipped tea, brained stormed, prayed seeking the Lord for hours. Out of these meetings the vision for Camp Chalutzim was born. The camps would serve both believing and ‘not yet believing’ teens and children. The young adults from Reach Initiative’s congregations would form the teams to serve at the sleep away camps.
The first camp was a great success! Lives were touched and transformed by Yeshua. Though the team of volunteers was exhausted at the end of camp, they looked at each other and said…”let’s do this again!” Camp Chalutzim is now an annual event.
Camp Chalutzim has become more exciting and better every year! We have seen many young people come to the Lord and return the following year to serve. Our teams consist of 40 young adults from congregation Brit Chadasha who with joy give up their vacations in order to serve the Lord as volunteers at camp. One reason they do is because they are hungry to serve and experience the strong presence of God at camp.
40% to 50% of the campers are unbelievers out of about 110 campers attending.
Our own Justin Pata and Derek Riley are ministering at Camp Chalutzim, Belarus. In a resent Facebook post Justin states, "Camp was so much fun!! God worked in amazing ways that I can't even begin to describe. I can't believe we have so little time left here. I am going to miss all my new friends and the kids from camp! Can't wait for Calutzim 2016!!"
Justin and Derek with new friends!
Derek and Justin are HOME! They arrived at 7:40 pm on Sunday August 2. Where full of joy and shared many stories how God worked in their lives on the outreach to Belarus. Our missionaries were greeted at the airport by Rabbi Michael, Esther, and Roy.