September 2022 Newsletter: Look and See What the Lord Has Done
September 16, 2022

Look and See What the Lord Has Done

Graduating students share about their ministry, vision, and theological training.

Soon, 22 students from all our programs will have their graduation ceremony or, what many call, commencement. It has been called so because students begin a new phase as holders of a degree. It is the end of their academic journey, and their launch into the ministry field. However, this is not the case with our students. They have been faithfully serving the Lord in each of their unique contexts and putting theology into practice all throughout their training period. We hope to give you a glimpse of God’s work in some of our graduating students’ ministries as they reflect on their vision and academic journey.

El Sadig from Sudan | Bachelor of Theology

My focus is on children and youth, and my vision is to see Sunday school ministries in Sudan running in an effective and innovative manner. I pray that the Lord uses me to plant a church, and I pray that its roots may be the children and youth of Sunday school.

I am actively involved in the ministry of my local church as well as its branches and ministry centers, which are dispersed across the country. My ministry includes preaching on Sundays and during revivals, seminars, and conferences. I am also the administrative secretary of one of our church branches.

Now that my academic journey is over, I am more aware that nothing can mend our brokenness except reconciliation with God and with others. I am resolved to go to people and tell them about the only One who can save them.

Yousif and Sousanna from Sudan| Bachelor of Theology

Yousif and Sousanna dreamed of becoming missionaries to their people, and the Lord used them to start the Faith Baptist Church of East Khartoum in early 2022. Today, the church is actively involved in society.

As to how theological education transformed them, Sousanna shared, “Studying theology has transformed my marriage. I learned to periodically evaluate my walk with God and my ministry, so I can work on the areas that need improvement.” Yousif shared, “Modules such as the Restored Community and Disciples Making Disciples have been extremely practical and useful to me as I ventured to pastor a church.”

Sousanna and Yousif share a vision of bringing about an openness to Christ in their area as well as true discipleship. “Both the psychological and spiritual needs are great here. We have a lot of work to do,” Sousanna shared.

Yaser from Syria | Bachelor of Theology

I currently pastor the Resurrection Church of Azounieh in the Aley District of Lebanon, which seeks to integrate disabled people by giving them the opportunity to take part in ministry including Bible studies and discipleship. We also try to help equip parents so that they can help their children be better integrated into society. Since the ministry started almost a year ago, it has grown from 30 to 150 families. Our vision is for the ministry to continue growing so that every local church in the country has a ministry for disabled people.

As I look back at my five years at ABTS, I see how big of a difference studying theology has made in my life. I have found a calling and learned to trust that the Lord will use it for His Kingdom. I learned that all I have is from God, and accordingly, I should use it all for His Kingdom.

Student from Morocco | Bachelor of Theology

I recently opened a production company that focuses on audiovisual content. The company serves the Moroccan population generally and Christ followers specifically by providing a fully set-up studio where they can use their God-given talents to prepare audiovisual content. My wife and I also organize camps for children and youth. During these camps, we share the Good News and run an exploratory and interactive Bible course, as well as other useful trainings.

Theological education transformed my thinking and ministry. It also helped me create educational resources that suit my context. For instance, the Art of Teaching course helped me come up with effective programs for children and youth. It changed my outlook on ministry so that I now strive to make a difference outside church walls.

Raymond from Lebanon | Certificate in Ministry

I currently serve the Lord at the Beit Mounzer Evangelical Baptist Church. I lead worship and help with home visits. I share on Sundays from time to time and discuss topics with the youth during youth meetings and camps. I also love to offer counsel to my brothers and sisters at church.

Studying theology helped me so much because it offered me the opportunity to grow in God’s word. I delight in God’s word, and I am glad for the opportunity to study it objectively in surrender to the Spirit’s guidance while being faithful to the original meaning.

Nadim from Lebanon | Certificate in Ministry

I accepted Christ when I was 16, and today, I serve at a Baptist Church in the North of Lebanon as head of the outreach committee. There’s no doubt that studying at seminary added a lot to my teaching and preaching ministry in the local church and in my life as Christ follower and gospel bearer. That’s because I gained a much deeper understanding of the Bible.

I benefitted so much from the program’s courses as they honed my research skills and helped me study the Bible in a systematic and academic way. They have increased my faith, love and hope and steered me towards true discipleship. My vision is to serve my community through what I have gleaned at seminary. First, I would like to share the gospel in every way available. Second, I would like to preach God’s word with a focus on the gospel message. Third, I hope to help teach God’s word in the North of Lebanon.

Lilaf from Syria | Certificate in Ministry

In 2016, I accepted the Lord Jesus as a personal Savior, and in 2017, He called me to lead home groups, to disciple others and teach them God’s word. Since I obeyed His call to ministry, I have been seeing fruit and transformation in people’s lives, and today, I pastor a “spiritual tribe” at Resurrection Church Beirut. Through the church, I serve 150 families with the help of 15 home group leaders. We have nothing to boast in, but the Lord is the One who works in us and through us.

Studying theology has helped me so much in the Lord’s field. So often, people would ask me questions that I couldn’t answer, but studying theology helped me find the right answers. I needed to study theology to share the gospel with non-Christians and serve families better.

Emad from Syria | Certificate in Ministry

Ever since coming to Christ in Lebanon, my wife and I invite every Kurdish family we know to church. In 2019, a ministry team came into being, and today, we have a home visit and discipleship ministry. We currently serve 25 families. The ministry is growing, and so is the need for planting a church and training the home group members for ministry. The Kurdish people are coming to Christ in great numbers, so we must be ready, as a local church, to welcome them with open hearts.

I am so excited to use what I learned at seminary to bear the message of Christ and to be salt and light in my community. I am so thankful that the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary accepted me as one of its students. I am so thankful for all its efforts and pastoral care. I am thankful for all the people who are working hard behind the scenes.

Mikhael from Egypt | Certificate in Ministry

I am currently a missionary in Lebanon amid Syrian refugees. I serve in outreach and discipleship. I am working on coordinating between the ministries of several churches in Syria from several denominations. My vision upon graduation is to see the Kingdom of God growing through discipleship. I aim to form discipleship schools for Syrian refugees coming from different backgrounds and plant churches in unreached areas. Theological education changed so many notions that I had through the courses offered — notions that have to do with church planting, ministry among multicultural and multi-faith groups, and discipleship groups.

Ebtisam from Syria | Certificate in Ministry

I am part of Resurrection Church Beirut’s home group and home visits ministry. I also lead worship and am part of our church choir. My vision for ministry is to share the gospel wherever God chooses to take me. I praise Him for the opportunity to study theology and to study His word deeply and thoroughly. The Lord changed many misconceptions that I had through theological education, and He transformed many things in my life and ministry. Now, I know how to share the gospel in a clearer and simpler way with people from non-Christian backgrounds because I learned how to love and understand them.

Reed from the US | Master of Religion in MENA Studies

Unlike the America of today, religion is intertwined into the everyday life of people in the near East and beyond. The four core modules of MRel perfectly sew the study of religion into the students’ understanding during their study. Without this education taught by a world-class faculty and staff, I personally would never have been able to understand the issues and opportunities of the near East and the missional needs.

I currently lead an NGO in Texas called “The Jonah Project”. Our vision for the Jonah Project ministry can be summed up into one word: participation. The NGO exists to help break bread, build relationships, and share about the Lord’s work in Lebanon. Another subsequent vision for our mission is to bring Texans to Lebanon on short-term mission trips. We believe in the participation to “go”, and we know the Lord will work on people’s hearts so they can “see” His work in Lebanon.

Zena from Lebanon | Master of Religion in MENA Studies

I have been working as a Program Officer at UNICEF, Lebanon, since 2015. I lead the program implementation of education, youth, and child protection in four Lebanese governorates through a program cycle design. I advocate for children’s rights within governmental offices and public institutions and oversee the integration of gender and inclusive programming.

The MRel program aided my work in many ways. One important way was learning about the different religions in the region academically and understanding how religion informs the decisions people make. I learned the different views on gender roles, for instance, and about how that plays into issues such as women’s access to education.

I am passionate about humanitarian work. I feel it is a calling and a job at the same time. It drives me to really care about people and rush to their aid. I love that I see Jesus in my work. I learn to respect people from all walks and advocate for justice.

Pene from Singapore | Master of Religion in MENA Studies

I agree with Billy Graham that one of the next great moves of God is in the workplace and marketplace through believers. My family has a long history of entrepreneurs; and my education and experience have always been in the business world. Through entrepreneurship, I believe we can advance the Great Commission.

The MRel in MENA Studies has elevated my critical thinking skills and strong theoretical understanding, which serve as the cornerstone for my business operations. Discussions on culture, history, politics, economics, and religions sharpened my understanding of the market in the region. As an entrepreneur, having a grounded theological framework is important for me to remember what drives me is rooted in Scripture, not man’s wisdom.

My vision is for my enterprises to have a transformative impact in the countries where we operate; transformation that elevates dignity, alleviates poverty, and helps individuals realize their personal destiny. My prayer is that God would use these vehicles to carry out His Great Commission.