January 2023 Newsletter: Go and Make Disciples of All Nations
January 16, 2023
Filled with Wonder: ABTS in God’s Plans
December 16, 2022

Ambassadors of Peace

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” This verse from Proverbs 22 is beautifully painted on one of the rectangular columns of the Manara Youth Center playground, run by Youth for Christ (YFC) Lebanon. Beneath the verse, a sunset-colored silhouette extends her hand as if bidding farewell to the birds above her. It serves as a good reminder that we should invest in young lives, early on, and instill in them the values of the kingdom of God.

Our peacemaking initiative, Khebz w Meleh, has been bringing together teenagers from different religions and ethnicities and training them to act together for the common good of their local communities for the past several years. Lately, the peacemaking team at ABTS has been meeting with a few Lebanese schools and ministries including YFC Lebanon to understand the needs of teenagers in the country. The conversations with YFC led the team to develop a new curriculum that trains teenagers to become “ambassadors of peace”, guided by the guidelines for dialogue. In collaboration with YFC Lebanon, our peacemaking team piloted this curriculum through a workshop with their leaders. Starting November, the leaders began to meet every Tuesday with the teenagers of Manara Youth Center to implement the curriculum. All throughout, the games and discussions were dynamic; the teenagers were laughing and enjoying their time, yet at the same time, they were focused, engaged, and learning.

During one of the sessions, the teenagers were asked how they felt about the discussions. Jamil said, “I am able to express my thoughts freely here, and I feel heard.” Fatima shared, “I am allowed to be honest and to speak my mind.” Kamal said, “We are not afraid to express ourselves because we respect one another.” The sessions created space for the teenagers that aimed to plant in them principles for healthy dialogue that help them become agents of peace in their communities.

This past year, we have seen the Lord transform Khebz w Meleh to develop contextual curricula and train leaders in organizations who can train and empower young peacemaking ambassadors in their communities. We ask you to pray with us for the work of Khebz w Meleh in the coming year.