My survey trip to Israel was incredible! For 10 days I was with a team of people from other American churches that partner with Nazareth Baptist School (NBS) in Nazareth, Israel. Our days were jam-packed learning about the culture, the school, and ways to effectively share the Gospel in the culture of Nazareth. Each church represented brings a unique way to fill a need at NBS to further the news of Jesus.
Nazareth Baptist School has 1,200 students in a very cramped space, but in the walls of NBS, the students are allowed to hear about Jesus. The school has been working to relocate the school. Part of our partnership with the school is helping this big vision come into a reality. We know our God is big and mighty! Please pray that God would quickly and in His perfect timing make the relocation a realty for NBS.
An Overview of My Week in Israel
Training & Equipping Opportunities
This was the first year we were able to develop and conduct a training for our camp counselors, mostly middle school and high school students. I had so much fun hugging necks and greeting our counselors from past summers. Counselors who are prepared and ready make for a strong camp! Pray for them as they prepare over the next several months.
God opened the door for me to spend time at the school building new relationships with teachers. Because children are children no matter where they are, the teachers and I were able to talk education strategies. God is using education to further His Kingdom! Pray for these teachers, many of whom are not yet believers.
I also met with a team of Children’s Ministry leaders from Local Baptist Church, which is a growing church in Nazareth that is reaching many new young families with children. We began developing strategies to help kids' Sunday School be engaging and purposeful so that kids can be equipped and spiritually strong to manage life in the Middle East. We are now planning a Sunday School teacher training for this summer. Please pray for Local Baptist Church as they minister to these young families.
Oh, The Sweet Children!
While at NBS, I was able to see many of the kids from our past summer camps. As I looked at each smiling face and into their eyes, I so have the desire for each of them to know Jesus. I want them to learn that God is with them always, no matter what the situation around them may be like. The Shandon team this summer will be important in sharing this news with kids.
The Faith of the Saints
We met with people who live in Nazareth and are involved in ministry in the area. Some are called from other places to be there and many are locals involved with Nazareth Baptist School as well as Local Baptist Church. Shandon’s partnership allows us to encourage them in their faith. The believers who live in Nazareth live day-to-day life in a difficult region with a boldness that could only come from God. They build relationships in a community divided by birthrights so they can share their faith. They allow God to use them in strained situations. They are light in a world that needs the Light so badly!
The believers who live in Nazareth live day-to-day life in a difficult region with a boldness that could only come from God.
One of our friends, an Arab believer, was asked at Christmas to speak at a Jewish synagogue right outside of Nazareth. He was given the freedom to share what he believed about Christmas and spoke about the light of Jesus. Since then he has been asked to speak again on a secular radio show about his beliefs. God is moving through the people involved with Nazareth Baptist School and Local Baptist Church!
What we're doing this summer
For the third year in a row, Shandon will be leading a summer day camp for kindergarten through third graders. Our camp participants consist of believers, nominal Christians (mainly Greek Orthodox or Roman Catholic) and Muslims. Because of the superb reputation of the school, the children who come are allowed to hear the gospel while they are in the walls of our camp. This is truly a door that God opened. Through summer camps last year, 80 children prayed to receive Christ! Pray for this summer's camp, that many more children (and their families) will come to faith in Christ through hearing the gospel.
Maybe God is calling you!
Maybe God is calling you to come and be part of our ministry team who travel this summer to run the day camp at NBS. Maybe God is calling you to give so that someone else could be part of our team this summer. Maybe God is calling you to be a prayer partner. I am so thankful that Shandon gets to be part of this great work for God in Israel!
I would love to sit and chat with you about the things going on there. Give me a call! 782-1300 ext. 151.