The Hope of the Resurrection

May 15, 2024

This April, we seized the opportunity to share with youth the living hope we have in Christ’s death and resurrection, which lies at the core of our mission to reach every young person in Lebanon with the Gospel—every single day, all year round! We invite you to read encouraging stories from our Easter events!

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Vocational Training Program

On April 19, buses made their way to the Kchag Armenian Evangelical Conference Center. Onboard, 60 teens from our Vocational Training Program weren’t sure what to expect, but as they stepped off the buses and later gathered inside the center, they were about to make acquaintances with three Bible characters. 

Mary Magdalene first stepped into the spotlight. Her candid confession about her past and transformation through Jesus struck a chord. Her feelings of rejection resonated deeply with the teens, many of whom are Syrian refugees. Razan, related to Mary’s story, wondering, “What made Mary follow Jesus everywhere? Even after He was gone, what pulled her to His grave?”

Thomas was next, shedding his label as the ‘doubter’ by dedicating his life to sharing Jesus’ message. Tahani, related to Thomas’s skepticism and ultimate faith. “Despite his skepticism and many questions, God didn’t turn away from Thomas. He showed him love and gave him answers. I love that. No matter how much we grumble or question, He’s there, listening to us,” she shared.

Judas’ cautionary tale of greed gave the teens a stark contrast and led to the realization that his greatest mistake was not his betrayal but his failure to seek forgiveness. Nicolas, a youth worker, wove the narratives with the Gospel’s core message, recounting Jesus’ earthly journey, His death, and His triumphant resurrection, emphasizing Jesus’ power to heal us if we come to Him. 

The day was also filled with games and laughter in the beauty of the natural environment, marking an unforgettable day of community and spiritual reflection.

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AXIS Youth Center

On the same day, Lebanese teens in Zahle went on a game trail around AXIS Youth Center. It was almost like a treasure hunt, moving from game to game and discussing the Biblical messages behind each one. Teens explored themes such as steadfast faith exemplified by the rolling away of the tombstone and Thomas’s story of doubt and faith.

Teens huddled around after the third game station to hear Mary Magdalene’s story. Just like the teens at VTP, it hit home because we’ve all felt like outsiders at some point—no matter our background. 

Amid the fun, things got real for a moment. A young girl shared her heart—during the pandemic lockdown, she almost lost her grip on faith because all her family were seriously ill with COVID. But in answer to a heartfelt prayer for God to show Himself, she saw Him in a dream and experienced a peace only Christ can give. 

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Manara Youth Center

On April 26, teens wove through the bustling lanes of Bourj Hammoud, on a scavenger hunt with good friends. They uncovered clues and snapped pictures until another challenge popped up. It was a mix of laughs, teamwork, and a dash of friendly rivalry. It wasn’t just any day; it’s how the youth at Manara Youth Center started their Easter event, creating memories and an unbeatable vibe of togetherness.

So there they were, back at the center after a time filled with adventure, winding down, sharing a meal, feeling that good kind of tired. And in that moment, as they settled in, their time turned toward something more profound: an Easter message. One of the youth workers leaned in and shared about the ultimate act of love. “Imagine if the crucifixion happened today – it would be the talk of the entire world, trending on every platform,” she mused. 

She drew everyone in, reminding them how Christ took on our pain and sins, yet in such a broken world, so many still shrug Him off like lost sheep wandering off. “But think about it,” she continued, “just as a shepherd might give a little whistle or flick of the slingshot to nudge his sheep back to safety, that’s how God works in us, giving those signs and nudges to guide us back to Him.” And as they sat there listening to her words, the time ended with a quiet gratitude for a love so vast it could cover every one of them.