InterFaith Youth Leadership Gathering 2017
This past week I (Michael) had the privilege of attending the first InterFaith Youth Leadership Gathering, which was organized and facilitated in partnership between CRUIS Inc., Kabuganaan Philippines Ministries (KPM), and Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM). The gathering brought 10 Muslim youth (from southern Mindanao) and 10 Christian youth (from Capiz Province on Panay Island) together for 2 1/2 days to dialogue about faith and life as young Filipinos.
It was amazing to witness these youth, from different faith communities, as they gathered together to mutually learn from each other about their commonalities, their differences and the many stereotypes that exist within their respective communities about the other faith group. The group participated in a number of learning tasks that were designed to help the youth recognize the many commonalities that exist between Muslim and Christian youth; many of their hopes and dreams for life (careers, families, travel, etc…) are mutually shared and desired.
At one point during the gathering the group began to open up and share about some of the negative (and often times, false) stories that have been shared with them by older family members, community leaders/members, media outlets, social media, etc… One of the leaders shared with the group that he had been instructed to stop telling the negative stories because they only caused disunity, increased tensions, and caused distrust between the respective faith communities. It was so encouraging to witness the group embrace this suggestion and commit to only share positive stories within their communities that will build and promote peace and unity.
Over the course of the 2 1/2 days together the youth clearly demonstrated and affirmed their desire to develop strong and healthy interfaith relations, and in the end developed/designed a framework that they can use to help strengthen interfaith relations between Christians and Muslims in their communities.
Please join us in praying for the 20 participants (representing 4 different communities of faith, 2 Christian & 2 Muslim) who attended this interfaith gathering. Please pray that God will use them as catalysts for change within their communities and that through them healthy interfaith relations with develop and grow.
Also, please pray for the newly formed team of leaders (from CRUIS, KPM and CBM) who will be discussing and planning for future InterFaith gatherings here in the Philippines.
In closing, we want to express our sincere thanks and appreciation for everyone who continues to pray for us and financially support us as we serve with CBM in the Philippines. Your faithful love and support means so much to us and serves as a reminder of God’s love, faithfulness and provision. Thanks for joining us on this journey…TOGETHER we are impacting families and communities through word and deed!
Thank-you for continuing to support us through prayer and with financial support!
If you are interested in becoming a Partner-in-Mission please contact Barb Keys (email@example.com or call 1-905-821-3533) at Canadian Baptist Ministries. You can also visit their website at www.cbmin.org to give online or for more information. We are only able to follow God’s leading in our lives thanks to the monthly support of generous individuals and churches.
All donations of $10.00 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt at year end.
Michael & Melanie
Kyla, Sean, Carter & Allie