Summer is very very hot in Israel... more ways than one!
The sun is glaring and everyone is running for shade, but the children have been counting on their fingers the days waiting for the summer holiday. Summer has it's joys for parents as well, but it's also a doubly busy time for them. With the kids on holiday for two months, Mom and Dad just keep on working 6 days a week, only now they also need to come up with ways of keeping the kids occupied.
Who loves family?
Once a year at Beit Immanuel we organize special times for parents with their children.

God does...
As a reminder of this wonderful truth each child together with their parents prepared a dish of food to feed the birds.
Our younger children read Mt. 6:24-27.
They learned that God is concerned for his children even as he cares for the little birds.

How well do we know our kids?
An activity for our 7 to 9 year-old's was aimed at helping parents and children get to know and understand one another better. As parents we are all aware that sometimes we grow distant from our children. "Do we know the name of our child's best friend? When was the last time we laughed together with our kids? The last time you ate a family meal together? What color eyes does Dad have?" These were some of the questions we asked the parents and children and the result was.....we have a lot to learn about one another!!!  
How does your garden grow?
For the 10- 12 year-old's we chose two verses from the Gospel of Mark 4:30-32. We discussed what is meant by "The Kingdom of Heaven." Where did the Kingdom start? How do we become citizens?" We looked at mustard seeds and how small they are and compared them to wheat. Every parent and child planted their mustard seed and after a few weeks most of the seeds sprouted into small plants. The families discussed how they took care of the little seeds and carefully watered them. The families who did not care for their seeds realized that their plants did not grow. This helped us all understand that in order for the Kingdom of God to grow in us we need to watch over it and protect it through efforts like prayer and reading the Word of God.  
Do mom and dad still have dreams?
Among the 11- 13 year-old's we also emphasized the need to know our child. Only this time we asked the parents and their children more complex questions like: "What kind of music do you like? What are your future dreams and interests and what are you doing to help make them come to pass?"

Again there was much to learn and understand from both sides. That is until it was time to prepare a dessert together and then everybody agreed that it was delicious!
Our youth Group  decided to go out onto the streets of Tel-Aviv and ask people what they think about family. Every parent and child asked passers-by questions like: "Until what age should children still live with their parents? What is the most important thing in a family? Until what age can parents still tell their child what to do? What advice did your parents give you that you are sorry you did not heed? Does a child always remains a child?"
We learned that there are many different ways people understand family and each family has its own way. Most of the answers people gave we also see in the Bible. Many admitted that they wished they had listened to their parent's advice and are now trying to build family relationships on mutual respect.
That's why they call it the good book...
We saw that the Bible gives us good advise on the proper ways of relating between parents and children in verses such as Proverbs 1: 8, Proverbs 3: 1-2 and Proverbs 3: 7 as well as many more.

... for your prayers and support for our families and for yours.


 The Team at Beit Immanuel Congregation