by Elli Atchison & Natalie Wisely, World Vision
While acts of terror and violence made headlines, a group of young adults gathered to learn about peace and reconciliation in Washington, D.C. These diverse activists came from across the country, with a shared interest in actively promoting peace in the Holy Land.
The summit was hosted by Millennial Voice for Peace (MVP) and World Vision. MVP members are strongly motivated by the core Christian values to love and pray for one’s enemies (Matt.5:44) and step into the call to be part of the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20), just as Jesus served in His life.
The underlying message of MVP is clear. It affirms the God given dignity of all people, regardless of race or religion (Gal. 3:26-29). And it believes that only advocacy that hears, recognizes, and validates the concerns and needs of both the peoples will be effective in creating lasting peace.
As one MVP member stated: “[We are] inspired by Peacemakers in the Holy Land, both young and old. We hope to follow in the pursuit of freedom, equality, prosperity, justice, and peace, to engage a new narrative of hope for all people in Israel and Palestine.”
The Summit this January galvanized and inspired the group, but they see it as just the beginning of a broader mission. One participant explained, “I hope we have enough momentum and strength between us to mobilize other young people to seek a better understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to advocate for and with the peacemakers of the Holy Land.” Another attendee concurred that they see “the Millennial Voice for Peace summit [as] just the beginning of what will become a nationwide push for peace.”
Youth around the world continue to take a stand for their beliefs. In a similar fashion, MVP seeks to mobilize and empower Christian Millennials in the United States to take a stand for peace and justice in the Holy Land. As one MVP member described, “Millennials are… open to seeing multiple perspectives and we yearn for action against injustice. Right now this movement is an ember, but with the right spark, I think our generation is ready to be a powerful force in shifting the dialogue and changing the way Americans approach the conflict in the Holy Land.”
We are reminded of the words spoken to another young leader many centuries ago, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
We thank you that you continue to raise up young people to do your work. We are encouraged by this group of Millennials that support peace and justice for all people. We know this can be a difficult path and pray for your continued strength and guidance as they seek to be true to your word.
May you give all of us the courage to speak out when we see wrong, the words to encourage where we see your hand at work, and the grace to humbly ask for your wisdom in all things.
Use your voice to support peace and justice for all people of the Holy Land by signing MVP’s Statement of Principles. You don’t have to be a Millennial to sign. Just someone that supports their message.