As members of the older generation our mission as HRTWAM staff is to co-labor with YHVH, our Heavenly Father, to train, equip and prepare the next generation of young people to be strong in the Scriptures and to be wise and capable leaders, with the ability to be bright lights in a dark world.
Galatians 5:1, 13 tells us “For freedom Y’shua has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
Using scriptural principles, through instruction, planned activities and wrap up discussions, it is our goal to instruct and train the teens to rise up as great warriors for YHVH, to follow Y’shua our Savior, to be able to lead and to help and serve others for His Kingdom. This goal can be achieved by conquering fear, as well as walking in wisdom, obedience, and in the freedom of Y’shua, being bold, confident, and victorious over the enemy of our faith.
At HRTWAM the program has been developed to walk the teens through the process of fulfilling their purpose by providing them with examples. One scriptural example is to serve the widows and orphans. Conventional lessons are taught for spiritual and practical application in classroom style, and field trips are taken to practice what has been learned. The teens are instructed by adults who have been walking and living the commandments for multiple decades. The teens also receive hands-on experience and missions training from missionary, Joel Sanchez, who has lived in Costa Rica since 2004, and has worked in almost all of the Central American countries as well as Jamaica and Vietnam.
The program addresses personal growth, teaches leadership skills and concepts, practical business skills and teaches youth how to adjust to and work within cultural differences. With this structure each teen leaves camp with an authentic experience they build for themselves, which is personally meaningful. They receive the understanding that their purpose and future isn’t somewhere ahead of them, but rather is inside of them, to be released daily.
We enjoy and are grateful for having many other wonderful leaders in our community who have shared a role in working with and supporting HRTWAM. Many thanks and blessings to those who continue to support the next generation.
Who Is HRTWAM?
Hebrew Roots Teens with A Mission is an International Messianic/Hebrew Roots camp for teens ages 15-19. This camp began in 2011 and was founded by Mark & Linda Roth (U.S.A.), Joel & Gaby Sanchez (Costa Rica), and Cove & Bethany Cook (Panama).
Where is the camp located?
This camp is held on the southeast Caribbean side of Costa Rica close to the Panamanian border at Bocuare Jungle Adventure. The camp is situated in the jungle an hour southwest of Limon, Costa Rica.
How It All Began
Our Heavenly Father gave the vision for starting this teen camp to Captain Mark Roth in 2011. Captain Mark saw the need for discipleship and leadership amongst the youth of the Commandment Keeping Movement. He wanted to provide teens with hands-on-training, along with spiritual principles that would present them with some of the tools they would need to be successful in the Kingdom of YHVH both now and in the future. The Leadership quickly came together and focused on providing something other than a typical mission trip. HRTWAM is different in that while we genuinely support the Orphans, the Elderly and the Indigenous, our actual Mission is focused on providing the teens with a learning experience and teaching them how to do the Father’s work.
On a farm in the jungle hill country of Costa Rica, I, Joel Sanchez, was in the middle of preparing for Sukkot 2011 when my phone rang. It was sometime in August, and the voice on the other end said, “We need to do a youth camp in Central America and it needs to take place around the beginning of the year.” January was only 4 months and some days away. That was quite shocking to say the least, since we were in the midst of preparing for a large Sukkot gathering in Costa Rica, and the time frame left little time to plan. Holding an international youth camp with campers from the United States, Costa Rica, and Panama was a large undertaking, and on top of that the camp was going to be held in Panama where I had only gone one time for a late honeymoon. But, even with all the obstacles, it all came together and worked out well. We had help from great folks in Panama in planning and preparing, namely Cove and Bethany (Strong) Cook. The camp was called “Panama Youth Adventure 2012″ and it was a great success with the campers. I have heard several testimonies of how their lives had been impacted and made better.
One camper has gotten plugged in with an orphanage in their local community and is serving there. This was the exact result we wanted from camp: ACTION!!! Action is the main thrust behind the camp. What we wanted the campers to see was a different perspective on life, a different culture and a different thinking pattern. Basically, we wanted to move the youth outside the limited parameters that they live with every day, out of their comfort zone or personal bubble.
In the outreach projects we encouraged the campers to get involved and do something that would make a difference. We all know there are times to sit around and talk and discuss the Scriptures. But in addition to that we proposed that the campers ask themselves some serious questions:
What am I really doing?
What are my goals?
Where am I headed?
What is my purpose?
What is standing in my way?
The campers left with the understanding that they could make a difference in the lives of others, and that going to a study or a service isn’t all that is required in living this life, or in their walk with the Creator of the Universe. It’s about LIVING the Scriptures; not just when others were watching, but living the Scriptures at all times through our thoughts, choices and actions. That was the focus of the camp in Panama, and is the foundation that this camp has continued to be built upon.
Another very important goal of this camp is to train and equip the next generation as examples.
Our Master Y’shua commanded us in Matthew 28:18-20, 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (NKJV)
As we strive to fulfill Y’shua’s command to make disciples, we encourage the teens that they must first start at home, the first mission field any of us experience, and then reach out from there, as the Spirit leads. Since our Master Y’shua was given all authority in heaven and on earth, He provides everything we need to be obedient in making disciples of all nations.
The teaching sessions during camp are focused with discipleship in mind. A principle used is to teach by sharing our successes, failures and life experiences, and using these experiences to train the next generation so they can be a jump ahead of us. This can help prevent them from making the same mistakes we made and having to start over like many of us have had to do in our lives.
ONE MORE THING
After our Panama camp adventure we came up with a new name, since the next year’s camp would be hosted in Costa Rica. The name of the youth camp was changed to Hebrew Roots Teens with A Mission (HRTWAM) because we have a mission and there is a purpose for that mission.
We also went on to hosting two camps per year. One camp was done in English, and one was done in Spanish for mostly Costa Rican teens. Captain Mark and Joel had a dream of combining the two languages and cultures into one camp, but that was a fearful prospect. Two of our brave local Costa Rican teens asked if they could join the Gringo camp. Each of them attended an English speaking camp. They were greatly blessed by the experience, and they blessed the Gringos as well. They have matured into adult junior staff for HRTWAM. In 2017 courage prevailed and we hosted one combined bilingual HRTWAM camp. Every speaking and teaching event would now take twice as long because of the need for translation. This prompted each presenter to trim their messages down to a clear, concise 10-30 minutes to maintain our schedule. That was a blessing in disguise, because it is easier to listen to and remember short messages, and also because the rustic wooden chairs at Bocuare seem to become harder to sit on each year! At the combined camp, the two cultures of teens live together, play together and learn together. This challenging experience prompts them to learn each others’ language, which we highly encourage.
Also added into our camp curriculum was public speaking. Daunting? Absolutely! Campers are required to give a five-minute ice breaker speech about themselves. Then they give a five to eight-minute speech about some kind of Bible related topic that is important to them. We have been astounded and deeply moved at some of the amazing and in-depth messages the teens have presented.
As parents we all know it is hard work preparing the next generation to be leaders with character and conviction. With the guidance and help of the Spirit, it is our hope that HRTWAM will be able to assist campers and will also be an encouragement to parents and leaders as we face the future.
We desire that this camp be used as a springboard to perfect and equip a generation with the proper tools that will enable them to go forth and fulfill all that the Creator of the Universe has ordained for them. We are humbled and honored that you would consider sending your precious teen to join us for ten days of life changing adventure.