From a Tentative Newcomer to A Dedicated Volunteer

Jun 11, 2024

We praise God that AXIS Youth Center has been a place where board games spark friendships and discussions delve into the complexities of faith. Hundreds of teens keep coming, seeking connection, belonging, and answers to life’s deepest questions.

So, in light of this, we invite you to keep reading as we uncover the transformative story of Andrew, a Lebanese 18-year-old, who is currently a “volunteen” at the center (a teenager we serve who has chosen to give back through volunteering and has a distinct role from our regular volunteers).

I remember all the excitement when AXIS Youth Center first opened its doors to young people like me. I was about 16 at the time, curious about what drew everyone there. So, I started hanging out during my free time, eager to make new friends and dive into games like Catan. Before long, I found myself joining clubs–sports, art, psychology–anything to stay connected. Then came Dare2Asks and Bible studies, pushing me out of my shy shell bit by bit.

What struck me most was how approachable the staff were. They made me feel safe, and free to share my thoughts and stories without fear of judgment. One of the youth workers even answered my questions long after closing time.

AXIS became a pivotal part of my faith journey. Despite growing up in a Christian environment, I found myself questioning and drifting towards agnosticism. It was only through the Bible studies here that I rediscovered my faith, grappling with tough questions and finding solace in the community’s support.

One particular camp stands out in my memory–a time of personal turmoil where discussions and worship became avenues for shared vulnerability. I felt embarrassed at first, baring my soul to others, but their openness showed me I wasn’t alone. It was a turning point. I decided to live for Christ, shedding fear for a deep, personal connection with God.

Writing down my questions and discussing them with AXIS staff was a game-changer. I got many of them answered and realized our finite minds can’t fully grasp an infinite God. And in that realization came peace, especially when I delved into God’s Word.

Volunteering at AXIS was a natural next step. I wanted to give back, to be the support for others that AXIS had been for me. Now, I spend my days hanging out with youth, playing games, and lending an ear. Facilitating discussion groups feels like coming full circle – it’s where my journey with God began, and now, I get to help others start theirs.

We pray for every individual who walks through the AXIS Youth Center’s doors, seeking solace, guidance, and a deeper connection with God. And we pray for all those touched by AXIS—past, present, and future—trusting in God’s grace to guide them on their journey of faith. May His presence permeate every corner of the center so that it remains a beacon of light amid darkness.