A New Way of Reaching Youth and Children
Lebanon, like much of the rest of the world, suffered through a lockdown during the spring of 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis. This meant that BCYM had to put on hold its scheduled programs such as children’s camps and weekly kids clubs until it was safe to gather again. In response to these confining circumstances, BCYM sought to provide new ways of reaching out to children and youth during this time of social distancing. The initial result was biweekly social media broadcasts but quickly expanded to include more.
The Days of Digital Ministry
Realizing that it could reach far more children and youth digitally than it was ever able to in person, BCYM’s online social media broadcasts quickly caught on fire and expanded to include a number of different types of online programs reaching out to those struggling through these hard times. BCYM’s concern for the mental health of children, Syrian refugees as well as Lebanese, led it to work together with partner churches and field specialists, such as those serving with BCYM’s sister ministries like the SKILD Center and the Beirut Baptist School, to identify how to best support children during this particular moment in time. Moreover, it was clear that, to ensure a safe and supportive environment for the children, BCYM needed to address the fears and concerns of not only the children, but also their parents and older siblings. Accordingly, BCYM launched a multi-track program involving encouraging words broadcasts, activities for kids, Q&A sessions, and other video series.
Providing Encouraging Messages for Both Youth and Children
This first intiative that BCYM launched was a video series providing two to three minute encouraging messages, tips, and activities for both youth and children that could help them get through these trying times. These videos have been being posted biweekly on BCYM’s Facebook and YouTube channels as well as in BCYM’s media library.
Providing Activities to Teach Kids About God’s Word
As a way to keep kids occupied and creative while not able to go to school, Shams Saad, a BCYM partner, created a short video series called Ashkal Activities for Kids teaching children, both Lebanese and refugees, how to make crafts that remind them of God’s Word and of His love. Each video includes a Bible story, craft or activity, and a follow-up challenge. Taking into consideration the living conditions of refugees, the crafts require materials that the children can easily access in their tent settlements.
Answering Tough Questions
Live Q&A session for Youth on Facebook
During these hard times of unrest, turmoil, pandemic, and economic uncertainty, youth are understandably filled with questions about the future and are desperately looking for a source of stability and hope to hold on to. For this reason, BCYM began hosting live question and answer sessions for youth with guest speakers on Facebook to discuss their issues and concerns.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”