Training Youth Leaders in the Bekaa Valley

Jun 10, 2024

“Training is crucial in making a good leader,” said Anthony, a youth worker at YFC Lebanon’s AXIS Youth Center. “So the Leaders in Training program cemented my perception of a youth leader. Sometimes, leaders are expected to be somewhat distant; youth leaders, however, need to be relatable and sometimes a bit outside the box! I imagine Jesus being that kind of leader to His disciples.”

Our Leaders in Training program took place in the Bekaa Valley this year where youth leaders like Anthony were eager to enhance their skills. The training sessions focused on soft skills such as leadership characteristics, conflict resolution, teenage psychology, and dealing with teens from difficult backgrounds.  But much of it was practical, covering the preparation of games, sharing messages, leading worship, and more.

Moreover, youth leaders applied the sessions’ lessons as they served at AXIS Youth Center throughout their training period. Anthony shared:

“During the sessions, one of them  challenged me to be a better leader. The sessions improved my skills and gave me more confidence, especially after my potential was recognized.”

The trainees, from various churches in the Bekaa (East of Beirut), were passionate about serving youth and worked together extraordinarily. Seeing them come together for the LIT final project was inspiring: a camp for AXIS Youth Center teens. For instance, three youth leaders, despite their public speaking anxiety, spoke at the camp for the first time. 

The camp revolved around the story of Zacchaeus, culminating in the message that Jesus calls us to live a life that bears fruit. The mission statement was for every teenager to make one meaningful, measurable step forward in their relationship with Jesus.

Elie, the training coordinator, shared,

“Some teens prayed and spoke to leaders during ‘My Story’ time and even the next day.”

My Story evenings are known for their moving stories of encountering God and transformative prayers of teens with youth leaders. In this camp, Anthony shared his story:

I had a big identity crisis and struggled with perfectionism. Seeking acceptance led me to a dark place, and I hated God for my flaws. But I realized that my bad experiences had distorted who God intended me to be. Understanding my true identity in Christ changed everything. It wasn’t easy sharing this, but afterward, four teens asked for prayer. We prayed together and discussed practical steps toward getting closer to God.

Please pray that the seeds planted in the teens’ hearts during camp take root and grow as they commit to the practical steps they have learned. As the LIT trainees approach their graduation this Saturday, pray that they can effectively put their training into practice. May they be given creativity and inspiration as they present Jesus to the teens in engaging and meaningful ways.