Witnessing Change in the Lives of Our Certificate in Ministry Students
May 13, 2022
A Theological Treasure for the Arab Church
April 13, 2022
We rejoice in the opportunity of visiting our alumni and seeing the extent to which God is using them in their contexts. Both our Alumni Relations Coordinator José Sabbagh and our Administrative Coordinator Mirella Kazan, who are part of the Registrar’s Office, joined a conference from March 6 to March 9 to encourage some of our Sudanese alumni and build better relations with church leaders so we can serve them better. In the past few years, visits to alumni had been on hold due to pandemic restrictions, so José had been communicating with them virtually. But now that these restrictions have been lifted, José and Mirella were able to meet with Sudanese key leaders face-to-face, and they had much to say about God’s work in Sudan.
Mirella - We met many Sudanese church leaders at a conference, and some of them are our alumni. During our time there, we introduced these leaders to our theology programs, and we caught up with our alumni. Many of these leaders expressed their interest in having their congregation members study theology so that their churches experience growth.

José - Before we presented our programs, our graduate Philemon, who is a pastor of a local church and the Head of the Baptist convention in Sudan, introduced us and expressed his gratitude for his theological formation at ABTS. Later, a key leader who belongs to the Evangelical Church of Bahri came to us. The church is pastored by our graduate Hafiz, and many of our alumni serve there. He said that whenever our students graduated, he would see how big of an impact their journey of theological training had on the overall growth of the church’s ministry. In one of the group discussions, they talked about the role of women at church. They wanted women to have more active roles in Sudanese churches, so I encouraged the women who were present to study theology and get equipped for ministry.

Mirella - When I first started working at the Registrar’s Office, students had recently moved to online learning, and they were no longer with us on campus. When I met them on this trip, I was able to see the fruit of our work. I saw how much these Sudanese church leaders are hungry for knowledge and how much they love what they do. I was able to see how wonderfully God is using the seminary’s ministry. I realized more than ever that it’s not just about my work at the office, but many are depending on me and on every person at ABTS.

José - Their excitement is so touching. Despite everything going on in the country, they are on fire, and they press on in ministry. It’s not easy to serve God under pressure; they have to do it with much caution. This is the first time I travel to meet alumni and other church leaders. It made me see the vastness of God’s work. It is staggering once we think about it because we often fail to see beyond our limited scope.

Mirella - At the end of one day, there was a prayer for Sudan. Many of the participants were praying, and we felt that they were troubled by their country’s situation. One sister was praying, “Until when will we see ministers in prisons and courts?” They needed deliverance from this situation. However, in spite of it, they are witnessing the growth of God’s kingdom in many parts of the country. They never thought that the Sudanese Church could reach certain areas in the country, yet to their astonishment, it continues to grow steadily.

José - We saw their tears when they prayed at the end of the day, men and women. They need much prayer for things to calm down in their country and for them to have more freedom to worship and serve God. Our trip was very fruitful, but I pray for its long-term fruit. I pray that we would be able to follow up with them, to really know what their needs are and to help them enroll in our programs for the service of their churches.

The Sudanese Church continues to realize its need for equipped leaders, so we humbly come alongside it and watch the amazing ways God has been growing His Kingdom in Sudan through the Church. We ask you to keep our Registrar’s Office team in prayer as they strive to follow up with our alumni and help identify new leaders to be trained.