Our fabulous group of friend at the Love for Israel conference getting a shot with Brad Scott. Notice the beautiful hand painted mural of horses behind us. The theme of this years conference is "Discerning the Times".
Jordan is in the black shirt and hat on the center right and Atira is in the pink shirt just to his left. This is during the Aviad Cohen song We Delight. The dance leaders invited all of the youth up to dance together to this fun song!
Another shot from a bit further back of the kids dancing. There were over 400 people in attendance at the conference this year....way more than we expected with todays economy! What a blessing!
This is a picture of the children of the conference being covered by their fathers tallits (prayer shawls) as the men pray blessings and protection over them. I love this moment, so beautiful, and such a beautiful picture of what our Heavenly Father does for us.
On to the story....
WoW! I recently posted on facebook that life is incredibly exciting, especially when God is in charge. This statement is so incredibly true. Each year our family anticipates a Hebraic Roots conference called Love for Israel. We have attended the conference since the first one 6 years ago. Each year has been more of a blessing to us as we grow learn and meet more and more incredible people, many of which we have become quite close with. This year with Scott's layoff our big goal was to be able to afford the conference, without using credit cards, which, with God in charge is not a difficult desire! We sold our Wii gaming system on ebay making enough money for the conference, lodging and gas! So, we registered and were ready to go!
In the meantime there was another event being planned, a camp called Youth for Yeshua, which began on the heels of the conference. We had known about it, wanted our kids to go, but that was definitely not in the budget, so we dismissed the whole idea. A few days before we were leaving for conference Atira received an email from a good friend of ours, AJ AKA Mrs. Noah, encouraging us to register the kids for conference that there were two scholarships available and we should use them!! Scott and I agreed and the decision was made, we were off to Canby Grove Camp after our conference for several more days of teachings and fun! YAY!
What an incredible week this has been. Our time at conference was incredible. We enjoyed the company of some amazing friends bunking in with us, Tim & Jen and of course Jeff & Patti ran the childrens program and our friend Terri made the journey down with us as well. The weekend was filled with laughter and tears, moments of awe and precious, tender time in the presence of our Abba. The list of speakers was top notch, we heard from Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, he runs a congregation of 700 down in Tacoma, WA. We also enjoyed the teachings from Bill Cloud of Shoreshim ministries. Bill travels the globe teaching the Hebraic Roots of our faith. Finally, my favorite speaker as well as Jordans, we had the opportunity to hear Brad Scott of Wildbranch Ministries. To see Jordans face when he comes out of a session with Brad teaching is priceless. His face is practically glowing, grinning from ear to ear and thoroughly charged and excited ready to rehash all that he just learned! I wish I had a camera to share that beaming joy, thankfully it is imprinted in my memory banks, I will always treasure it!
We moved on to Canby Grove Christian camp on Monday morning, we love that place. Beautiful 80 acres with cabins on one side and a lodge overlooking the river on the other. There is a pool and fields to play, canoeing available as well. The kids had a wonderful schedule. They started their mornings off with worship dancing led by our friends the Calderons. Then came the main reason we were there, Brad Scott...again! He was the main speaker and that was our biggest motivation in attending. The afternoons were filled with a variety of options from art classes to a tallit (prayer shawl) making class, canoeing, capture the flag and swimming. The kids had a blast! In between times we enjoyed amazing meals by the kosher chef employed by the camp (which was such a blessing to us!) eating the most delectable meals...we were truly spoiled! Scott and I enjoyed quiet time taking walks together around the camp and visiting with new friends and old.
One of the amazing things about this, if Scott was not laid off we would not have qualified to take the kids on scholarship to the camp, nor would we have had the money to do it or the time because he would have been working. We really felt that God had this schedule all planned out for us and we are abundantly blessed!
During our time at the camp we enjoyed some time with Brad Scott and we have asked him to come on board and help us to mentor Jordan in his Hebrew and biblical studies. As Jordan has grown we have seen that he has a dynamic view of both the language and the Word and we want to encourage and nourish this gift. Brad was more than happy to help us, giving us book titles for Jordan to begin reading as well as a few authors as well. Jordan will also further his Hebrew studies using Brad's Breisheet study guide, which we will begin this fall. We will stay in contact with Brad, especially Jordan who can contact him with questions and when he wants to discuss concepts he has been covering. We are really excited about this and look forward to seeing where the Lord takes this in the future!
The kids at Canby with Brad Scott
So there sums up our incredible week, all planned by the hand of God. We could never have made this happen on our own, and it was truly incredible and memorable. Scott and I were given precious time with our children, away from television, computers and telephones. We played, laughed and studied together as a family. Truthfully, we didn't want to come home, but it was time. We are so thankful for this week and truthfully happy to be home again. We are more aware of how incredibly and unpredictable life can be, especially when you leave God in charge and listen to His leading.