JERUSALEM: August 18, 2021
Summer children's camp at Bethany School concludes
From August 4-7, 2021, the traditional children’s summer camp at the Orthodox School of Bethany in Jerusalem took place, organized by the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Twenty-five children aged 6-13 gathered for the feast day of St Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane. After divine services, the children were divided into groups, led by teenagers, graduates of the Russian Saturday School in Gethsemane.
As part of the educational program, the kids learned about Holy King David, visiting an archaeological monument with an underground water tunnel in the City of David. In the afternoon they visited Bethany. There they had sporting events, arts and crafts organized by their counselors, and also the traditional game of "Mystery Angel,” helping the children and adults get to know and care for each other better. That evening, discussions on the Gospel were held with Priest Roman Gultyaev followed by joint prayer.
A memorable event in the program was a visit to the Ein Gedi Desert, where King David hid from Saul. The day was very hot, so the children and adults were thrilled to bathe in the waterfall of the oasis. The culmination of the camp was, of course, Divine Liturgy celebrated on Saturday. The children made confession and partook of Christ’s Holy Gifts. Importantly, all the children participated directly in divine services.
The children’s parents tirelessly helped operate the camp.
The camp’s organizers thanked Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Church Abroad, Abbess Elizabeth (Smelic) of Gethsemane Convent and Mother Maria (Wall) along with the convent’s sisters for their support.