The activities of Afikim BaNegev require the loving help of many volunteers working side by side with our paid staff. Please take the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the people who volunteer with Afikim BaNegev through the following profiles.
My name is Hanoch Lai. When
I was three months old,
my family moved to Israel from Hong Kong, and we have been here for twenty years. I have been participating in hikes and camps with Afikim BaNegev since I was young. Four years ago the leaders asked me to become part of the counselors’ staff for camp, and I have served in this role every year since then. I completed high school, and then went through a program called Lech Lecha that is designed for Israeli believers after high school and before serving in the army.
I have continued on as a volunteer staff member with that program. I hope to continue coming to camps and hikes of Afikim BaNegev and serving as a counselor.
Roy, Carol, and Jaffa Burch
Recent immigrants from California, Roy and Carol Burch and their friendly dog Jaffa left behind Roy’s custom concrete business and Carol’s long-time practice as a psychologist to discover new horizons in the Negev. Here, among many other pursuits, Roy gardens, makes soap and pottery, builds ibex-proof fences, dehydrates herbs and vegetables, and makes custom concrete countertops and floors. Carol tutors university students in English, edits academic papers, teaches Bible studies, and more. Their doors are always open to offer hospitality to people from all over the world. They contribute to the work of Afikim BaNegev in many ways both practical and spiritual, from trucking around supplies for camps and hikes, to intercession and prayer ministry for staff and campers.
"Every day is a new adventure, and especially the days when I serve with Afikim BaNegev. I have been involved with the organization since its earliest days of operation and it’s been a great joy to watch it expand in scope and influence. I’ve been the arts and crafts director at all the summer camps except for one. I’ll never forget our first camp experience in 2009; it demanded so much energy that I didn’t think I’d survive the two weeks. (Subsequent camp experiences are also wonderfully intense, but at least of a much shorter duration.) In addition to having the fun of working with the kids in their creative pursuits, I also have the privilege of serving as a member of the prayer and ministry team. I come away from each camp experience deeply touched and strengthened in my spirit, and with extraordinarily sweet memories of the faces of kids worshipping God and coming to know their Lord more intimately.
My name is Keisy Kviatkovsky. I am 17 years old, from Beer Sheva, and a student in 12th grade. I was invited to summer camp by a friend in 2013, and I have been involved with the activities of Afikim BaNegev ever since. After five years of involvement as one of the campers, I am now taking on leadership roles in the organization. I see things from the other side of the picture! I was a counselor at camp this summer, and I am also helping Yuri in his work with the youth, and helping out with the clubs throughout the school year.
I definitely see that I will continue to be part of the work of Afikim baNegev. I have many dreams for the future, but the one that stands above all of them is to allow the Lord to lead me, and to trust Him that He will take me in the direction that is best for me.
I have been volunteering with Streams in the Desert since
the summer of 2017 when I first came to help at camp. Since then I've helping with the regular youth club meetings, and also participating in the youth hikes whenever I can.
I served in the IDF, and afterward, I went to New Zealand, where I helped
in the Zula Lodge, a place which hosts Israelis for free during their travels there. There we are able to share with them about our faith in Yeshua.
I will be attending the school of worship at Calvary Chapel in California. I play acoustic and electric guitar, and I am part of the worship team at my congregation and have written a few worship songs in Hebrew.
I feel God really wants me to serve in worship in the future, and I want to grow in my God given gifts. Of course I still don’t know what that would look like, but I am continually praying for the Lord’s guidance in my life.
Volunteering with Afikim BaNegev (Streams in the Desert) has been a great experience for me. I love the way the staff comes together to seek God’s direction, and I love it that there is a prayer team constantly lifting us up in prayer. The kids that are served by the ministry are really different than other youth in Israel. Many come from broken homes and have had really difficult life experiences.
I see in them something real and honest. They appear tough on the outside, but deep inside they know Yeshua is true, and when they come to camp they can feel Him and that He wants them to draw close to Him.