“We are not alone, and the mission we have from God is not a dream; it’s a fact, the kingdom of God is in the ground now!” Saleem Anfous
Saleem Anfous is one of our Biblical Studies graduates, and a current student at our MA in Christian Leadership. Saleem, along with another Palestinian from Ramallah, attended the 2016 Younger Leaders Gathering in Indonesia.
Younger Leaders Gathering 2016 is a gathering of more than 1,000 young leaders from over 160 countries who connected, prayed, and understood together God’s leading of their generation for his global mission.
It is the third gathering that the Lausanne Movement has held. Previous gatherings were in Singapore in 1987 and Malaysia in 2006, this gatehrings mobilized and connected emerging evangelical influencers for global mission. They also led to many lifelong friendships and ministry partnerships.
During the gathering, participants connected in issue-based workshops and regional groups, strategic brainstorming ‘labs’, and with mentors—senior leaders in global mission today. They were also invited to participate in an initiative called the Younger Leaders Generation (YLGen).
The theme of YLG2016 is ‘United in the Great Story’. God is writing a Great Story that stretches from Creation to New Creation via the cross, a story in which every continent and people group across history takes part.
Saleem had an amazing time in Jakarta, Indonesia. This conference taught him a lot, refreshed his spirit, and filled him with power and enthusiasm to make a change among the younger generation. Here are some highlights from his trip:
“One of my favorite days of the conference was the day we worshiped together – all 1,300 leaders! That night we had a special service where every region prayed together, and we prayed for all the regions of the world. What is impressive is that there are twelve regions! I believe twelve is a biblical number. There are the twelve disciples and the twelve tribes. Those twelve regions cover the whole world, and we prayed for each region separately by putting hands of blessing on each other and praying for every region’s struggles, problems and needs. At the end of the day, we built an altar so all the world and the following generations will remember what we did. We, the younger leaders, are carrying the responsibility of the world. All 1,300 participants put a stone in the alter we were building.”
He continued: “The conference was a story, and we were thinking the whole time, ‘What is our role in the story?’, ‘ Where are we in His story?’ The fascinating thing was to have one vision, one passion from one generation to the next.”
How it changed Saleem’s life?
“As yound leaders, God is starting to give us responsibilities to lead the next generation, and to continue to plant seeds for his Kingdom. The idea is to hold onto the Kingdom of God, and to be Kingdom minded, to think in a Kingdom way. God wants us to think as children of the Kingdom, in the same way as I think as a Palestinian, with a Palestinian culture and mind, we are to think and act in a Kingdom way. It’s not that I’m saved and that’s it! He wants us to think with a Kingdom mindset.”
“When I had the opportunity to see 1,300 people from 160 countries the same age as me, thinking the same way, and moving the same way, I was definitely able to see God’s connection in a miraculous way. To see all of this happening in the world, and not only in Palestine encouraged me a lot. It helps me to know that we are part of a great story.”
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.