MENA (MNN) — Ministry today in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) looks very different than it did 25 years ago. The impacts of the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war, and COVID-19, for example, are still felt in the region today.
Through it all, the Lebanese Society for Educational & Social Development (LSESD) has worked through a coalition of ministries to be the hands and feet of Jesus across the Arab world.
This week, from September 26 to October 1, LSESD is hosting an event called Loving God & Neighbor Together — celebrating what God has done in their 25 years of ministry and looking to the next 25 years!
Wissam Nasrallah, the COO of LSESD, says, “Whether through theological education, academic or spiritual resources, through training for special needs, or through camps [for] children or medical camps, or through relief and development — our purpose is to enable the local Church to be fruitful, and to be the hands and feet of Jesus on the ground, and bring about positive Christian witness wherever the local Church is.”
When talking about the future of LSESD and its ministries, Nasrallah says, “Our region is going through major changes. One of the biggest changes is the disappearance of historical Christian communities. Whether they are Catholic, Orthodox, or Evangelical, the historical Church has been struggling.
“When we look around us and we see all these major changes, we realize that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. There are so many things that we would like to do, but we have limited capacities and resources. So we want to be good stewards of what God has given us and do the right thing.
“Our posture is to be listening to God’s voice. Where does He want this to be? How does He want our ministries to evolve? We’re really open to let Him shape the the type of ministry, the size of the ministry, and the form of ministry in the next 25 years.”
Ministries housed under LSESD include The Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Salt & Light, The Beirut Baptist School, and others.
During the Loving God & Neighbor Together event this week, Nasrallah asks, “Please be praying for wisdom for our leaders, for our participants, but also for the church leaders as they navigate this complex time. As they see their churches shrink in some areas or even [are] persecuted, this needs lots of patience, lots of faith, and lots of discernment.”
Header photo courtesy of LSESD.