Arrival: Houston, here we come!

Fr. Josh Thomas —  August 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

by Mohammad Joulany, Co-Director K4P Jerusalem

We arrived to Camp Allen in Houston after about 30 hours of travel. Traveling is a very tiring yet enjoyable and educational experience. For many of our youth, it is the first time to leave Jerusalem. We were accepted very nicely with open hands as we arrived to Camp Allen by our American friends and peace pals, had dinner together, and then headed to rest after a long day of travel.

We woke up to the amazing nature and the fresh breeze energetic and curious about the day. Breakfast was served with its great variety of healthy choices. We gathers for the opening of the day ceremony where three kids from the three different religions lighted a candle that represents our togetherness and chose the words of the day, which were friendly, need, and hope. Then everyone headed to the beautiful lake at camp and tried their luck in fishing. It was very exciting especially that it is the first time for most of our youth to hold a fishing rod.

As the Friday prayer approached, our Muslim peace pal from the States, Shayan, led the prayer with a beautiful recitation of a number of Quran verses. He recited Sūrat al-Qadr (Power, Fate) which talk about the revelation of Quran in a special night during Ramadan. It was a very special moment where everyone listened respectfully to the story behind this chapter. After prayer ended, we listened to Tamika, camp director, and Malika, Muslim adviser, who shared with us the different levels in which they practice religion at a private level and at an inclusive level of their community and the rest of the globe.

As dinner approached, everyone gathered around the table to welcome Shabat with a prayer from our Jewish youth. Grape juice, bread, and the lighting of candles was how we welcomed Shabat together before dinner.

We started Saturday with a morning prayer from the three faiths followed with singing Kids4Peace song (Salam Shalom). After breakfast we gathered for the opening of the day where our youth again chose three new words for the day. We welcomed together Rabbi Gross who creatively introduced the idea of revelation. Everyone was engaged in thinking together about the creator and our relation to God and to one another. Rabbi Gross talked about revelation by narrating the story of Moses meeting God. A very powerful story that we all share in our different faiths traditions. The almost two hours session went very fast as everyone was excited and amazed by the great values that our faiths hold.

Kids afterwards headed to the Campsite for more and more exciting activities and games after an inspiring morning. We look forward for tomorrow to learn about the practices of our Christian friends and to participate in more and more fun activities. Stay tuned!

 

Check out Houston Camp Photos

Fr. Josh Thomas

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Executive Director (USA) of Kids4Peace International. Presbyter, The Episcopal Church.

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