AXIS Youth Center Team Leader

Reflecting on Impact: An Interview with Trivina Kassis, as she transitions out of her role at YFC

Trivina has been integral to YFC Lebanon’s ministry in the past few years. We cannot stress enough how appreciative we are of her contribution. As she starts a new chapter, we know she will be remembered fondly by our team and the youth she served at AXIS Youth Center. Here is an interview we recently carried out with Trivina. We invite you to know her more and see how God has used her at YFC Lebanon.

Do you mind sharing your story with Christ and the path that brought you here?

Of course not. I was born to a Christ-following family who is very committed to doing ministry. My parents were very active in the field, so my childhood was filled with mission work, groups, and trips. I was six years old when I went to my first Sunday school camp alone! But I was eighteen when I made a conscious decision to follow Christ. 

So how did that turning point come about right then?

Things suddenly changed when I started going to university. I had many questions, and I grew disappointed with my Christian community. Then, one night at a camp, two friends and I talked about the problems at our churches, and we decided to be change-makers in the Lebanese evangelical community. Of course, as you get older, you learn to give grace and that no church community will ever be perfect. But, right then, God used our frustration to lead us to pray and read the Bible together. And I came back to Him. Since then, I have wanted to be a person with whom youth feel comfortable sharing their questions. 

How did you set out to make a change in your community during your university years?

I was studying Nutrition and Dietetics at the Lebanese American University. Still, at the same time, I was very active in volunteer work. I volunteered with UNICEF on infant and child feeding practices. I volunteered with the Lebanese Ministry of Health to help with cancer awareness campaigns. I even volunteered with Animals Lebanon. These are a few examples. As for ministry, I was involved with the student fellowship at Intervarsity, and I am still part of the graduate fellowship today. 

What about your story with YFC? How did it all start?

I participated in at least six camps per summer as a teenager, but I had never been to a YFC camp, although I had heard so much about it. I was hesitant to join at first because I heard games can get messy, but let’s be clear: I tried every single messy game when I finally came. And it was one of the best experiences of my life. During that camp, John Sagharian [YFC MENA Regional Director] and I had a conversation, and because his story was like mine, he helped me figure things out. And I got addicted to YFC since. 

How did you receive God’s calling to join YFC’s ministry?

I was about to turn 20 when Scot [YFCL Director of Operations] approached me to join the Leaders in Training (LIT) program. After LIT, I began volunteering with YFC and became a part-timer. I was still studying Nutrition and doing my internship, so I was torn between youth work and building a career. But when Maher El Hajj, YFC Lebanon National Director, approached me with a plan for a new youth ministry in Zahle, I got excited and prayed about it, and God showed me that he wanted me to be part of YFC. Almost a year and a half ago, I decided to join the ministry full-time. 

How was your experience starting AXIS Youth Center in Zahle?

The aim was to start a ministry that targeted the unreached Lebanese teens of Zahle who weren’t at risk. So, we found a place in 2021, and I started preparing it. I dealt with construction workers, contractors, and carpenters. I was 20 and learning about all this stuff. Then, we handed out surveys to the teens of Zahle to understand their needs. And the center started. 

How have you seen God working at YFC in the past few years?

I have seen God at work in Zahle, not only in the number of youth but also in the quality of youth who stayed with us long after they outgrew their teenage years. They come to help at the center directly after university or on their weekends, and it shows that the ministry means a great deal to them. It always makes me see YFC’s role in young people’s lives—as I saw it in mine. When the center first opened, we expected no more than 30 youths to join us, but God brought a significant number of the adolescent population in Zahle. And here, they find out they can have a relationship with Christ.  

How did you grow during your time here? What are some of the lessons you learned?

I can share many lessons, but I will speak of one. I learned that I don’t have to do things alone. I like to get things done without relying on anyone, but at YFC, I learned to depend on a team, especially when it came to serving youth. Moreover, recently, I have been studying for a master’s in business administration, which I will obtain in July. It has been part of my growth journey as a ministry leader at YFC.

Now that your journey with YFC is almost over, can you share some of your plans?

My journey with YFC will never really be over. YFC is not a job. It’s something I’ll do for the rest of my life, regardless of if I stay an employee here or not. I don’t know exactly what I’ll do next, but I know I’ll be doing youth ministry with my husband. The decision to emigrate to the US wasn’t easy for us. We both are passionate about ministry in Lebanon, but for now, we are doing this for our family, considering the unstable situation in Lebanon. Pray for us as we start this new chapter, and pray for the team at AXIS Youth Center as they continue to serve the youth of Zahle faithfully.