Ever since she was a teen, Juliette* from France had always heard about TeenStreet (TS). She never attended TS during her own teenage years, but after studying and beginning her career, she attended Transform, OM’s summer Mediterranean-themed short-term outreach. There, God called her to missions in the Middle East.
For the last two years, Juliette served with OM in the Near East (field consisting of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Syria). Near the end of Juliette’s initial term overseas, her roommate and ministry partner, who grew up attending TS, “did everything she could so that I would come,” Juliette described.
Keen to include Juliette in TS 2016, her friend – who already planned to coach at TS this year, following the conclusion of her own commitment in the Near East – went all out. “That includes talking to me about TeenStreet over and over again, telling me to come and actually paying for half of my fees to come,” Juliette said. “I could not say no after that—I had to come!”
In the Arab country where she served, Juliette’s ministry mainly focused on college students or older women; however, she and her team were also introduced to two 17-year old Syrian girls who had become believers. From time to time, Juliette met with one of the girls for coffee and Bible study.
Between meetings, the girl would text Juliette and her team prayer requests. “She would regularly send messages if she had a rough period in school or she was afraid that her mom would find out she had become a believer. When we would actually meet, she would have questions about faith,” Juliette recalled.
Although she didn’t see the girl often, Juliette said “it was still very encouraging to see how deep her faith is in God, how deeply she’s rooted in God’s word. She has a deep knowledge of God and who God is, even though she’s 17.”
In the Middle East Juliette desires to lead girls and women into a relationship with God, but because of security, most of the people living in her host country don’t know her true intentions. At TS, Juliette’s discipleship experience “couldn’t be more different.”
“The only reason I’m here as a coach is to disciple a group of teenage girls,” she explained. “I am here for them, for that purpose, to have a follow up with them to make sure they understand everything that’s being said, to answer their questions and, in a way, guide them and push them to go further with God.”
Her small group girls also came to TS to know God better, Juliette stated. “It’s just really cool to see [them] coming together and sharing more and more every time we meet and having fun together and seeking God together...Amongst themselves I hear them talking about really deep stuff, questions [that] would never have crossed my mind when I was 16 or 17.”
“For sure I came here to serve the teens, but I also came here to be refreshed, to be poured into,” Juliette continued. “God does that during the LIFE meetings in the morning, during the Throne Rooms in the evenings, but also from the teens. When they’re sharing, they hep me see things from a different angle and understand a passage differently… Just because they’re young doesn’t mean that God won’t use them, even in the lives of people that are older than them or their leaders. It’s a good reminder for me as well.”
*Name changed for security