BCYM, MERATH & local churches joined hands this past weekend, starting the New Year by serving the community together.
A team of 30 young adults BCYM had invited from churches across Lebanon travelled to the Bekaa valley. Half of them headed to a nearby informal settlement where MERATH’s partner just opened an early childhood development center for 60 children aged 2 to 5-years old. “Within a few hours the space was transformed into a perfect, eye-catching, color-popping, education-enhancing place for children to learn, play and, well, to just be children,” says MERATH program coordinator Christine Bingham. The rest of the team worked at the partner’s church building where over 100 refugee children receive informal education. They cleared up a recently built indoor playground which had been left like a construction site, cleaned around the church, and reorganised the Sunday school.
Andrew Haddad, one of the leading participants, found the project very rewarding: “What better way to start 2018 than by doing meaningful work with young people of churches from all over Lebanon? It was a nice bonding time but also eye-opening in many ways, especially to see the harsh living conditions of refugees.”
The team’s work has been much appreciated. When the preschool children arrived on Monday morning to see their newly painted center, they could not contain their excitement! The church’s pastor was also pleased with the results at the center and church. “We felt very encouraged and blessed to receive this team of motivated young believers” he says. “We hope that we ourselves will in turn have the opportunity to give a hand to other churches.”
Sophie Nasrallah / MERATH / January 2018