Love Thy Neighbour(hood): Christian Foundations in Justice, Mercy & The Mission of God
May 10th, 2019 - Oct 4th, 2019
South Africa | AUSTRALIA | LEBANON
Love Thy Neighbour(hood) is a five month global track seeking to equip a new generation of Jesus-followers for sustainable work in Christian mission through healing justice, radical mercy and peacemaking. LTN will give you tools for a robust spirituality and compassionate activism as you follow Jesus in a hurting world. This is a multi-location YWAM second-level training school—six weeks in South Africa, six weeks in Australia and six weeks in Lebanon. Hosted collectively by A Life Together, YWAM Muizenberg (South Africa),YWAM Wollongong (Australia) & The Foundation for Forgiveness and Reconciliation Project (Lebanon).
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOUr(hood)?
The drums of war are pounding. In an age of fear and polarisation, nationalism and economic disparity fuelled by systemic violence and racism, what might happen if the global missions movement dared to ask Jesus this question once again?
“Now an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus, saying, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you understand it?” The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But the expert, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” - Luke 10: 25-29
To respond to Jesus’ all too familiar parable of the “good” Samaritan is to begin a journey dedicated to peace, justice and the manifestations of God’s mercy. It also invites each of us to a journey of personal transformation led by the Holy Spirit, untangling our lives and imaginations from systems of violence and injustice in our world.
These two transformative roads (the social and the personal) run parallel for anyone daring enough to ask Jesus such a question today. These roads lead us into the darkest corners of the world and into the most shadowy parts of our hearts. Violence, greed, hatred, injustice and death are there ... yet so is a God who died to heal it all. We invite you to come journey down these roads with us in search of hope and healing for every heart & every neighbourhood.
Why Three Locations?
It’s nearly impossible to speak about love and justice without speaking about land. The soil beneath our feet is laden with stories, and LTN is dedicated to shaping our learning contextually. We are honored to expose students to the unique backdrops, struggles, stories and voices of South Africa, Australia and Lebanon as the school moves from nation to nation. The witness and breadth of wisdom, particularly from Indigenous brothers and sisters from these regions, will shape a good portion of our collective learning.
Additionally, our various YWAM communities carry a diverse history of pursuing justice, working for reconciliation, hosting peace camps, community organizing, interfaith dialogue, organizing campaigns, launching new mercy ministries, building intentional communities, participating in local activism & decolonization work and more. We have all learned a lot in our various contexts through decades of loving and failing to love our neighbour(hood)s well. LTN will offer students the opportunity to connect with three distinctive peace and justice-minded missional communities which will broaden and diversify our learning, as well as help participants build vital networks and friendships for their future work.
At YWAM Wollongong (NSW, Australia) we make our home and engage in God’s call for us as we honour and acknowledge the home and calling of the original custodians of these lands and waters: the Wodi Wodi and Elouera peoples of the Dharawal Nation. We are learning to listen and to walk softly in this place. In light of all these peoples have, and continue to endure, we recognise their ongoing stewardship and invitation to friendship as God’s mercy to us.
Wollongong has also become home to thousands of people from refugee and immigrant backgrounds from around the globe in recent years, and we’re committed to welcoming and forging friendships of solidarity with peoples from every tribe, tongue, and creed.
The Foundations for Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Lebanon (FFRL) believes in identifying all people through a common humanity, seeking to break down dehumanising perceptions resulting from sectarian division and establishing a path towards social reconciliation through the lens of forgiveness. We work primarily with the emerging generation in Lebanon to overcome cycles of hostility and restore common narratives between communities. We seek to equip the next generation with skills for nonviolent conflict resolution as they take up their various roles and responsibilities in society.
LTN 2019 LOGISTICS
Module 1: 6 Weeks (YWAM Muizenberg, South Africa)
May 10th – June 21st, 2019
Module 2: 6 Weeks (YWAM Wollongong, Australia)
July 1st - Aug 9th, 2019
Module 3: 6 Weeks (FFR LEBANON)
Aug 19th - Sep 27th, 2019
Debrief (in lebanon): 1 Week
Sep 28th - Oct 4th, 2019
* There is a ten day break between modules for students to relax, explore or visit home and travel on to the following module. Housing options can be arranged during this time at our various YWAM facilities (fees dependent) if students would like to make use of them.
** Dependent on the school size, we are available to help organize collective travel for those who would like to travel in tandem to each module.
Completion of a Discipleship Training School (DTS).
South Africa (Module One) - R14,500
Australia (Module Two) - 2,000 AUD
Lebanon (Module Three) - $1870 USD
School Debrief Week - $400 USD
* School fees include all food, housing, tuition and learning material related costs. Fees are to be paid in local currency (or CC) prior to the start of each module directly to each hosting base.
** Travel & visa costs are NOT included in the module costs. We are available to help organize your flights and have a dedicated travel agent who can structure your tickets.
Please check visa requirements for South Africa, Australia & Lebanon pertaining to your nationality before applying for the school. Many nations can receive 90 days visit upon arrival to each location. Don’t hesitate to connect with us should you have visa-related questions. For those requiring pre-arranged visas for portions of LTN, visas must be obtained before the start of the school.
SCHOOL LEADERS, FACILITATORS & CONTRIBUTORS
Jarrod is the co-founder of First Home Project, a community welcoming, housing and “giving a hand up not a hand-out” to people recently arrived as refugees, is the Teaching Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Perth, was a part of initiating the #LoveMakesAWay movement, and is a peace award winning nonviolent social change trainer, working primarily in the Middle East and Eastern Europe when not at home in Australia.
School Leader / Lebanon (Middle East) Module
Ramy grew up during the civil war in Lebanon and is the founder of The Foundation for Forgiveness and Reconciliation, an organization that works with youth in Lebanon to transform conflict and prevent violence. His journey into the field of peacebuilding began when he obtained a scholarship to YWAM Northern Ireland, where he spent five years working in community based peacebuilding projects in Belfast.
During this time he also gained particular knowledge and experience in the role of forgiveness in peace building through his work with the International Forgiveness Institute. After spending time in South Africa he eventually returned back to his homeland of Lebanon, working as peacebuilding coordinator for Caritas before stepping out to pursue his own vision for what would become the Foundation for Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Lebanon. Ramy is currently studying for his MA in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding and lives in the south of Lebanon with his wife Roula and their two children; JD and Deborah.
CHRIS & BECCA
School Leaders / Australia Module
Chris and Becca made their home as immigrants on Dharawal Country (Wollongong, Australia) about a decade or so ago. They're parents to a few noisy kids. Chris is a musician learning to walk in solidarity with First Nations Peoples. Becca loves birth education, trauma-informed care and her multi-cultural neighbourhood.
Tonya Stanfield has served as a minister, activist, teacher, speaker, writer and missionary for over 23 years. Currently, she’s part of the Centre for Christian Formation and Discipleship. She has a passion to wade with others into the deep places of faith and questions and to challenge the Church toward Jesus’ reckless love. But what excites her most is finding God in the unexpected places. She founded 1 counter-human trafficking ministry, is the author of Traffick Proof, and walked with her husband as he founded 1 ethno-doxology ministry. All of this has caused her to live on 3 continents and travel to 52 countries. Somewhere along the way she acquired 2 unique kids, 2 fluffy dogs, and 1 Master’s degree in Christian Spiritual Formation and Discipleship.
& MARY-ANNE RABE
Andre and Mary-Anne Rabe are passionate communicators of the good news of Jesus Christ. Their message has taken them to some of the most obscure corners of the earth as well as to some of the most well known cities. Whether it’s a small group or a large church, whether its an academic audience or a charismatic party – to inspire love remains equally relevant. They are the founders of Mimesis Academy and have authored a number of books and Mary-Anne have published a number of music albums.
Our intention can be expressed very simply: to reduce violence and inspire friendship.
There are so many possibilities to bring joy, meaning and beauty into our world.
Obviously violence and evil are still a reality, but every act of love is a victory over evil.
We have ministered in slums and mansions, among the poorest and most privileged. But no matter what your circumstances are, if you are not aware that you are loved, life becomes torment. Similarly, the moment you discover how loved you are, heaven begins. We have therefore never limited our message to a specific group. Whoever you are, wherever you find yourself – you are loved!
Edwin is the co-founder of Nations2Nations, a global initiative working to resource and mobilize marginalized indigenous people. Through confidence and skills building, advocacy and mentoring young leaders, Edwin and his team are seeing indigenous communities grow in self-worth and become motivated and equipped to flourish. Edwin is also a deep well of learned wisdom when it comes to the work of reconciliation and peacemaking having grown up amid the turmoil of apartheid South Africa. He currently serves as the base leader of YWAM Muizenberg and is a persistent voice of radical hope in a violent world.
Josh is a filmmaker and storyteller with a heart for peacebuilding and reconciliation. In 2012 he travelled to Lebanon and spent time living in the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, it was during this time that he developed an interest in conflict and peace with particular regard to the context of Lebanon. Upon returning to the country a number of times in the following years he eventually met Ramy Taleb, together they were able to establish what would be the first project for The Foundation for Forgiveness and Reconciliation with a group of young people in the Shatila refugee camp.
Since then Josh has completed his MA in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, including a research consultancy for Tearfund on the role of ecumenism in Peacebuilding. Josh’s day job is in filmmaking; this has taken him from the front lines of Northern Iraq to the slums of Nairobi. Most recently he has been directing a new documentary series exploring the role of religion in conflict and peace.
School Leader / Lebanon (Middle East) Module
Alongside her husband Ramy, Roula leads the Foundation for Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Lebanon and is the lead programe coordinator. Roula has particular experience in working with younger children, including developing content for curriculums with young Syrian refugees. She has great capability at creatively shaping FFRL programmes to meet the unique requirements of each group that the organization works with, no matter what age or ethnicity. Roula is currently studying for her MA in Reconciliation and Peacebuilding after being awarded a scholarship by the University of Winchester.
Brooke Prentis is an Aboriginal Christian Leader from the Wakka Wakka peoples. Brooke is the Aboriginal spokesperson for Common Grace and Coordinator of the Grasstree Gathering. Brooke works ecumenically speaking on issues of Justice affecting Australia and sharing a message of Reconciliation as friendship. Brooke has co-written and written a number of theological papers over the last two years that have been presented in Australia and Internationally. Brooke is a founding board member of NAIITS Australia and is currently studying a Masters of Theology through NAIITS, in partnership with Whitley College and the University of Divinity, as well as being a scholar of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. Brooke is a much sought after speaker and writer who is a community pastor and advocate who has a vision "to build an Australia built on truth, justice, love and hope".
Adam is a Wiradjuri man, proud father of 3, and aspiring theologian. In 2018 Adam completed an honours degree through the University of Wollongong. His honours thesis engages concepts of sovereignty, Aboriginal identity, and settler colonialism. He is also pursuing post graduate study in theology. Adam is passionate about kingdom culture, understanding what it is, and how we live it.
Dr. Samuel Sarpiya has over 20-years’ experience as a businessman, educator, social worker, community developer, and Christian leader, serving in senior leader positions within large intergovernmental, non-governmental, and charitable organizations.
Born in Jos, Nigeria, Samuel moved to South Africa in 2000, where he worked several years with the global mission organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Samuel then served several years as Development Director for Cape Townbased production company Destine Nation Productions, wherehis many duties included serving as line producer for South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) contracted television shows. In 2006, Samuel moved to the United States to again work for YWAM as a leader in information technology at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii, but also served as a delegate to the United Nations 46th General Assembly from 2006-2008 and represented YWAM on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the U.N. Council Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII).
In 2009, Samuel moved to Rockford, Illinois to pastor a church. In 2012 he co-founded the Center for Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation, which educates and trains organizations including police departments and schools in nonviolent conflict resolution and reconciliation.
Samuel has also served the last two (2) years as a Moderator, the most senior officer on the Leadership team of the 122,000-member Church of the Brethren Denomination. As 2017-2018 Moderator of the denomination, Samuel is its visionary leader and serves on both its Mission and Ministry boards. Samuel also presides over the denomination’s Standing Committee and Annual Conference, advises its Executive Committee, and represents the denomination at strategic inter-church conferences.
Samuel holds an earned doctorate degree in Semiotics and Future Studies from George Fox University, a Master of Divinity in Conflict Transformation from Bethany Theological Seminary, and an undergraduate in social work, University of Jos, Nigeria. He also holds the University of Rhode Island’s Level 1 and 2 Kingian Nonviolence Trainer Certification. Samuel is a trained Critical Incidence and Stress Management, debriefing. Samuel, his wife and three daughters are proud to call Rockford, Illinoishome.
Caro is a pastor who leads a small, vibrant church in Wollongong, Australia for the past nine years. She’s keen on people finding spiritual practices that will help them grow, particularly through contemplative spirituality and community. As someone who’s worked nearly 20 years with the local church she is passionate about the health of people in ministry through self-awareness and good self-care. She’s a wife and a mum to three kids who loves gardening and playing basketball and is usually in the middle of ten different books at a time.
LTN Staff / Facilitator
Obadiah is an Activist, Artist, and Liturgical facilitator. He has been on staff with YWAM Muizenberg and A Life Together since 2015, while traveling internationally, leading short term teams to east Africa and the Middle East. Obadiah’s driving passion is to create more inclusive and generous spaces within the Body of Christ.
** Many more contributors to be announced.
Can’t join us for the whole school?
Consider attending one of our ‘LTN Open Weeks’ (anyone and everyone is welcome)