Chanitz Youth Annual Camp in Kessab

With God’s grace, the Lebanese C.E. Annual Camp took place in Kessab, in September 8-14, 2008. The theme of this camp was “Why Me?”, and the guest speaker was Rev. Gilbert Leonian, the pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Marseille, France. The head leader of the camp was Rev. Raffi Messerlian, and the leadership was comprised of: Mr. Garbis Deyrmenjian, Mrs. Yester Kilaghbian, Pastor Sevag Trashian, Pastor Elias Jabbour, Mrs. Anita Andonian and Ms. Shake Goecherian.

(from left): Badveli Elias Jabbour, Mrs. Anita Andonian, Rev. Raffi Messerlian, Ms. Shake Geocherian, Rev. Gilbert Leonian, Mrs. Yester Kilaghbian, Mr. Garbis Deyrmenjian, Badveli Sevag Trashian.

On Monday, 8 September in the morning, 36 chanitzagans along with their leaders headed to Kessab and reached there at 4.00 pm. After unpacking, the chanitzagans had lunch, after which the group was introduced to Kessab, through a tour in the streets. They visited the 3 Armenian Churches (Apostolic, Catholic, Evangelical), the Misakian Cultural House, the Museum and the village’s roundabout. After the tour, they had dinner, and then a game session. The speaker Rev. Gilbert Leonian introduced the theme of the Camp, based on Joshua 3:5 which says: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”. Rev. Leonian said that he will focus on the subject of integrity, related to the lives of the youth.

On Tuesday morning, after the worship session, Rev. Gilbert Leonian started with the theme of Integrity and continued with the theme till Sunday, covering the relation of the youth with integrity in a darkened world, within relationships, in serving and in church life.
Rev. Leonian, through his lectures, challenged the youth with the following:
a- A Chanitzagan, while living in a darkened/polluted world, ought to have integrity, like Noah.
b- A Chanitzagan, in his/her work or school/university, ought to have integrity, being faithful and relying on God for their physical needs.
c- A Chanitzagan, in marriage, ought to have integrity, in choosing a partner for life, based on God’s will and His plan.
d- In relationships, a chanitzagan with integrity learns to forgive another person and he/she will forget, praying for the one who caused pain.
e- A Chanitzagan with integrity sees God’s grace through serving Him.
f- A Chanitzagan with integrity ought to participate in the Sunday Church services and activities.
After the lectures, the youth divided into 4 groups, took up these subjects and discussed them further.

One of the fascinating events of the Camp were swimming in “Ferenlekh” and hiking in “Sildrea”, and in both events they enjoyed God’s miracles and the beauty of nature.
One of the important sessions of the Camp was when the entire group renewed their decisions with God.
On Sunday, September 14, chanitzagans visited different churches in Kessab, and participated in the Church services, and after dinner returned back to Beirut.

The spirit of the Camp continued with a gathering in Beirut, on Monday, during a night session, organized by the Executive Committee of the C.E. Union. Everyone was present during this gathering, those who were in the Camp and those who weren’t. Rev. Gilbert Leonian talked about the subject of “Integrity in Evangelism”, inspiring and encouraging the chanitzagans that a chanitzagan with integrity ought to have the courage in speaking out his faith and in sharing it with others.
During the gathering, the youth were able to see and remember the days of the Hamakoumar in Kessab, through a slide show.

We praise God for all the blessings that we enjoyed during this Camp, and we pray that God would hold the youth in steadfast and would keep them strong in their decisions.

Rev. Raffi Messerlian

Translated by Raffi Chilingirian

Left pic: Shahan and Raffi showing their talents
Right pic: Rev. Gilbert singing with the "Kodebentevogh" team

Left pic: the drama of the "Kodebetevogh" team
Right pic: Alin and Maria showing their talents

Left pic: the song of the "Verchnagan Shake" team
Right pic: the song of the "Kodebentevogh" team

Left pic: the winning song (Inchou Yes?) written by the "Gouroumosh" team
Right pic: the drama of the "Verchnagan Shake" team

Left pic: Rev. Gilbert receiving the gift from Rev. Raffi
Right pic: part of the choir team that went to sing for the couples in their wedding ceremony in the Armenian Evangelical Sourp Yerortoutyoun Church.

Left pic: every morning, before the quiet time with God, the group made a big circle and prayed.
Right pic: the very energetic and quick learners of the choir

The famous Sildren mountain. Pasteur Gilbert Leonian, at his age, went up the mountain and down all by himself.