One of the highlights of our summer is a special family camp organized by the ministry of our dear friend, Tom Hess.
It is a time to come together with fellow pastors, leaders, ministers, and their families, both Jews and Arabs, from all over Israel by the Sea of Galilee for a few days of fellowship, prayer, worship, and sharing. It is especially empowering and encouraging to be able to serve one another and to simply spend time together hearing what God is doing in Israel in our midst, in Hebrew congregations, as well as in Arab ones.
More than a retreat, it is a TREAT for us to spend those days together in unity, having our children play together with the Sea of Galilee as our backdrop; it is reminiscent of Yeshua’s time, when not just disciples, but entire families would follow Him and sit at His feet by the Sea of Galilee while He taught, imparted and fed His followers in every way.
Today, we are those followers, sitting at His feet on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and we always come back refreshed, renewed, and filled with more spiritual fuel than ever before.
Combining beautiful times of worship and joy, with lots of contemporary worship and Middle Eastern sounds, and songs in both Hebrew and Arabic it is absolutely priceless to see how with each passing year, the friendships and bonds are only growing stronger.
I’m personally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this retreat also as a speaker. The chance to share from the Word and inspire other pastors and leaders from the Land is humbling and enriching.
Being a pastor in Israel is not an easy task. Not only is it not exactly prestigious, but it is also unpopular and considered odd by most people in the land. It is also very challenging because of the continuous pressure, criticism, and persecution. This retreat always encourages, refreshes, and recharges us to continue carrying out the task God has entrusted us.
Despite the difficult time of growing challenges, problems, and conflicts in our cultures, we continue to spend time together, Jew and Arab, reflecting the unity and the love we have for one another in the Lord.
Beit Hallel is a Messianic Jewish congregation in Ashdod, led by pastor Israel Pochtar, serving holocaust survivors and the poor and needy locally and throughout the nation of Israel, while building up the body of Messiah in the promised land of Israel.