This article was originally published by Christianity Today, on October 6, 2023.
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Inspired by new transnational networks, Arab ministry leaders and international partners reflect on the previous 25 years of service and call for similar spiritual integration.
Middle East evangelicals must emulate China.
So stated Nabil Costa, chief executive officer of the Lebanese Society for Education and Social Development (LSESD), at his organization’s 25th anniversary celebration, held last week [Oct. 27] at LSESD’s Beirut Baptist School (BBS).
He was not calling for a change in geopolitical orientation. On the contrary, in attendance were dozens of financial partners primarily from Western nations he would not wish to offend.
But Costa continued, praising India and Saudi Arabia.
“Our vision is to equip churches to bear the thimar of faith,” he said, using the Arabic word for biblical fruit, “in the midst of a changing Arab world.”
BBS was founded by Baptist missionaries in 1955, who yielded their various ministries to local believers in 1998. Honoring their heritage at the gathering entitled “Celebrating Together,” Costa also announced LSESD’s name change to Thimar–LSESD, reflecting the spiritual impact of ministries in education, relief, special needs, community development, and publishing.