May 2021 Newsletter: Life-Long Learners in God’s Field
May 14, 2021
“I Will Show You the Most Excellent Way”
April 16, 2021

Building a Culture of Peacemaking at ABTS

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Over the past year, with our commitment to our new strategic direction, our approach to ministry at ABTS has changed, and with it our approach to peacemaking. In February, our Dean of Faculty Bassem Melki shared about our new approach to peacemaking, saying that,

the kingdom of God is the kingdom of peace. God is a peace-loving God, and a peacemaking God… God’s children ought to have the character of their Father… That is why, at ABTS, we want to challenge our students, faculty, staff, leadership, board, and partners, to walk the talk. Every member at ABTS becomes a peacemaker.
Peacemaking, then, begins between us before it extends outwards. This is why, since January 21, Bassem has been facilitating biweekly sessions on peacemaking for ABTS staff members. During these sessions, we explore what causes conflict, its different aspects and how they impact us, what the Bible has to say, and how we can begin to build a culture of peacemaking between each other before practicing it in our communities. The five sessions we have held so far are informed by a year-long action research project carried out in collaboration with a team of fourteen Lebanese Evangelical leaders. These leaders shared openly about their experiences with conflict resolution and contributed actively to the development of a new theory of peacemaking and reconciliation that is contextual to the needs of the Arab Church.

Held on the 25th of March, Bassem carried out the latest session from our new multimedia Zoom Room that our partners helped us set up for use as a smart classroom, offering a seamless educational experience for students and teachers at ABTS and abroad. During the session, Bassem asked each of us to select one conflict that we had individually gone through and that still impacted us. He then guided us through a practical unpacking of what made up each conflict and helped us work towards internal reconciliation. “Time will not heal unresolved conflicts,” he shared, “our humble prayer is to go beyond confession to repentance and reconciliation so that together we might grow as a community into the likeness of our Lord.”

“The recent peacemaking training sessions have been a journey to my inner self. It’s like looking in and rummaging deep. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been transformational,” shared Christina Khamis, our Media and Public Relations Officer. “There are always worldly ways of thinking that can take root in our mind, which is why we need to constantly have our minds renewed by Scripture. We need to be proactively practicing peacemaking as we engage our churches and our communities.”

We thank the Lord for continuing to mold us during this season of change. We pray that He uses us to spread a culture of peacemaking among our communities and create new peacemakers wherever we go.