From Maher Hajj, National Director
Discipleship Groups Minister to Underprivileged Children
For the annual D Group event this year, five discipleship cell groups (ages 15-20), with the help of their leaders, planned, prepared and led a program for children ages 8-12 from three different local organisations who deal with underprivileged children, included in what Jesus meant by ‘the least of these’. There were 93 children who came; Lebanese children who are living in slums, street children, as well as Bedouin & Gypsy children.
It was a great day of interacting with these children. They were put in ten teams, led by the discipleship students, who served them breakfast and snacks, led them in a big hour and half game they had prepared and just played with them. There were sports posts, arts and crafts, games, drama, dance, different and creative ways for the children to enjoy the activities.
The day ended with a skit performed by the Leaders in Training. They had prepared a modern day sketch on the event of Christ’s resurrection. The children, most of whom come from non-Christian backgrounds, were reminded that Jesus is stronger than death and that He loves them. They each then had the opportunity to thank Him for loving them and dying for them. At the end of the day the children were sent off with small gift bags and big smiles.
The leaders and discipleship groups stayed on to have a time of evaluation and to share a meal together. It was a blessing to serve with the young people and to have in mind the fact that, whatever was done for these children was actually done for Christ.
Youth Workers Training Conference
There is something special about the people who work with youth and this group was no exception. 27 youth leaders from six cities, and representing eight different church denominations, gave up their weekend to come to Beirut for two days of intensive training in Youth Ministry with Youth for Christ. They came by mini bus, taxi and plane, willing to face the danger and risk of a difficult journey through a dangerous country to come. They came because they have a desire to be better equipped and trained in reaching young people for Jesus, as well as discipling them to maturity.
Over the next two days, ten sessions of basic youth ministry were presented by five different staff members. Subjects like Building Healthy Relationships with Teens, Integrity, Discipleship and Listening were coupled with practical sessions on Leading Games, Giving a Talk, Leading a Discussion Group, Worship and How to Share Your Story. There was plenty of opportunity to ask questions, share experiences and to pray together. The first evening was an informal time of games, getting to know each other and relaxing after a tense day of travel. A number commented on how good it was to just laugh and play, allowing the stress of living under difficult and uncertain circumstances to be washed away, even if only for a few days.
Please pray for these youth leaders, that as they head back to a country torn by war, to churches that have been displaced, and to teens and young people traumatized by the ongoing conflict surrounding them, that God will be their shelter and their rock, a refuge in times of trouble. Ask God to give them strength and courage, to continue reaching out, teaching the Word of God, encouraging the believers and giving glory to the Heavenly Father.
Youth for Christ is honoured to play a part in equipping and empowering these people for the work of Kingdom building.