The youth ministry within the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel, whose coordinator is Luna Matar, is a vital ministry for the youth age group, where many programs are held throughout the year for purposes of fellowship, connecting, creating friendships, encouragements and spiritual growth of the youth. Among these programs are regional meetings, where Baptist churches from all over the Galilee region; including Nazareth, Rameh, Kufur Yasif, Tur’an, Shefa’amr, Cana, I’bilin, and many more towns, as well as churches from the South region, including Ramleh. 

Luna Matar welcoming the 170 youth

Luna Matar, Youth Ministry Coordinator of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel

The regional meeting was held in Kufur Yasif Baptist church, and it was a very special one. It was titled “The Broken Love”. The Pastor of the church, Pastor Khalid Dalleh, who is also the Ministry Officer of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel, has warmly welcomed all of the 170 youth who attended, blessing them and the meeting. 

Pastor Khalid Dalleh, the Pastor of Kufur Yasif church, and also the Ministry Officer of the Baptist Association, praying over the meeting, and beside him is Luna Matar, who is the Youth Coordinator within the Baptist Association

Pastor Khalid Dalleh, Ministry Officer of the Association of Baptist Churches in Israel

Despite these difficult times of war and the mixed emotions of fear, worry, stress, and anxiousness, the youth were eager to meet in one place and be assured by each other’s company. It was a much needed meeting which provided much security and hope as the youth showed solidarity with one another in these complex times. 

There was a long period of worship, with a segment where pens and papers were handed out and the worship leader, Eman Odeh, asked the youth to write something on the paper that represented brokenness or anything that they need being rid of. There was a box at the front which said “Heavenly Mail,” and this was an image for putting all of our pain at God’s feet, mailing it off for Him to take. 

The "heavenly mail" which the youth put papers in wanting to send it off to God

“Heavenly Mail”

Later, a play was started on stage, which was performed by the Kufur Yasif Youth drama team. The play speaks about a girl, Noya, who is suffering with her mental health and is seeking professional help. When her friends find out, they shame her over and over, breaking her “mirror”. Her mirror was a symbol of pieces of her life, and every piece tells a story of a wound or a word we were told. In the play, Noya’s mother is telling her to finish her university degree as quickly as possible in order to find the right person for her, and then get married, and then start a family. That’s the mother’s understanding of love, that she worries about her daughter’s future yet completely misses the point and breaks her daughter’s mirror; the meaning of love is broken. Such “broken love”, even though it contains the word love, but in the end she is hurt due to this understanding of what love is. It is as if the word love lost its depth and meaning, thus it is “broken”. Yet the message is this: God’s ultimate purpose in creating us was for us to have a relationship with Him, to love and be loved. If we were created for and from love, would we have to fight to get it? To what degree are we broken, so that believing lies is easier than believing in love?

The Sketch delivered by the Kufur Yasif Youth Drama Team

Youth standing up in prayer

Time of Prayer

The regional meeting ended in a time of prayer. And after that, delicious food was served, plentifully, which is a very important aspect of our culture, as conversation is made over food and it is something everyone agrees on. There was also a time of fellowship afterwards, where the different youth members from the churches had bonding time together, getting to know one another and experiencing God’s love together. 

Time of Food and Fellowship

The Kufur Yasif church youth did an amazing job in welcoming all the youth members from other churches, with an amazing work ethic and care, as well as creating this warm environment for everyone to enjoy, and a much needed fellowship time during these complex times.

The following is a video of the meeting recorded: