Camp Or L’Dor

Sid and I have been very busy this summer. It has been a combination of
many wonderful family events as well as travel for conferences and some
work. We have been Airbnbing our home quite a bit for the times we are away
which adds an additional layer of work and lack of order as we live in our
RV or at my sister’s house when not traveling.

Today is a brief respite – sorting mail, paying bills, doing laundry, and a
bit of relaxing – before we prepare for Airbnbers to live at our place while
Sid and I leave for Camp Or L’Dor in a couple days. I had also scheduled a
phone meeting this morning with the church representative with whom we are
in talks about their buying Good Shepherd’s interest in the building Ruach
Israel co-owns with them. Although we would love to be sole owners, finances
being as they are, we are coming to terms with sharing ownership with
another church.

As I just casually mentioned to Andy, my counterpart at the new church,
that I was getting ready to leave for Camp Or L’Dor this week, I surprised
myself with the way the conversation went. I found that as I began to
describe it to him, my passion for this amazing camp just flowed. I went
from a place of routine daily feelings to ultimately goose bumps as I gushed
about camp. I explained to him that for years my husband Sid had wanted to
have a teen camp which would bring young people closer to God as they were
challenged in the outdoors and how that dream flourished into reality when
he and Rabbi Nathan joined forces. I recounted the first year when the four
of us – Sid, Rabbi Nathan, his wife Raina, and I, with the assistance of
Jared Eaton and perhaps a couple others, tried the idea, the Beta test, and
had our teens climb to the top of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the
Northeastern U.S.!! We were so naïve but God brought all safely down from
the mountaintop all the closer to Him.

I explained our vision of interfacing at mainstream Jewish camps to educate
non Messianic Jews about Messianic Judaism, about the amazing
transformations we have seen in our teens and in the young adult counselors,
how for some MJ teens this camp experience is their deepest touch point to
learn of their religion, how the feeling of community with other young
Messianic Jews is sustained throughout the year and is an anchor for faith
for a generation so challenged by the real pull away from God and religion
we see in today’s secular society.

The truth is I had to stop myself since we had so much to talk about
regarding the building. I was grateful that Andy was so interested in the
topic, even asking me questions and learning about possibilities for them to
help keep their youths engaged in faith. Yet what surprised me the most was
the amount of pent up passion I had for camp! Of course I’ve been on the
board and worked for it for years, now more in an advisory capacity and as
ambassador with the host camp, no longer scrubbing down tents and packing
out food for the trips. Rabbi Nathan has carried the laboring oar over the
years and has brought on board so many young leaders who now work countless
hours to staff a much larger undertaking, our own Shayna Kaufmann, Nathan
Morel, Joe Miterko, Christian and Kalaya LeDoux, countless others. What I
heard in my words, however, was HaShem’s encouragement and blessing of this
endeavor. He took simple, unequipped people, and molded us, through our hard
work and the blessing of financial supporters, to create an opportunity for
our young Messianic Jewish campers and counselors to bring them closer to
our Abba through their feeling the palpable presence of Yeshua at this
amazing camp.

The adventure our teens and young adults are embarking on this week will
change their lives. They will encounter God’s presence. They will be
immersed in prayer, worship, study, hiking challenges, creative music,
dance, art, friendships, Jewish culture, leadership training, that is life
changing. They will feel closer to HaShem than ever before. They will work
through their personal faith challenges in a safe environment with the
support of peers similarly situated and with mentors strong in faith who can
provide hope and encouragement. It is an experience that will live with them
even as camp ends as they stay in touch through virtual Bible studies and
get-togethers throughout the year. There is even in development a family
camp designed for our younger Messianic Jewish children, affectionately
nicknamed Camp Or L’Doritos. 😊 Stay tuned. . .

In the busyness of our lives we don’t often slow down to tap into what is
our real core of motivation, that place being nurtured moment-by-moment by
our Abba. When you allow yourself to be pulled away from the bill paying and
work, away from the countless other demands on your time, to feel again what
you are being called to do, how you are being asked to serve Him, you will
be amazed at the power of Him in you. No longer will your daily tasks seem
oppressive and insurmountable, or even irritating or routine at best. You
will be reminded of the larger good you are here to serve and make flourish.

Thank you to all who have supported us over the last 10 (!!) years as this
is our 11th camp this year and please pray for the next 10 years. May this
year be another one bringing light to the next generation – Camp Or L’Dor.

Shabbat shalom.


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