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With a mandate to “bring about positive transformation in thinking and practice between
Christians and Muslims in the Middle East and the West,” ABTS’ Institute of Middle East Studies,
since its initiation five years ago, has held annual Middle East Conferences that challenge its
attendees – Arabs and Westerners – with new missional and missiological approaches that are
more effective and more sensitive to our context. Another ABTS ministry is the Educational
Ministries Resource Center, the purpose of which is to “provide human and material resources for
facilitating excellence in strategic educational ministry in the Middle East and beyond.”
In response to the dire need for Arabic language Christian resources, LSESD’s Dar Manhal
Al Hayat (DMAH) publishing house pursues a mission to make available and accessible such
resources through translations and local writings. More than 40 new books have been published in
the last four years – and many others are currently in process. DMAH partners with ABTS in the
publishing of much needed theological resources in the Arabic language. Moreover, the GateWay
Bookstore was established in November 2008 as an outlet to facilitate access to these resources
in Lebanon. DMAH partners with Arab publishing houses and ministries to render its Christian
resources available for the wider Arab public.
LSESD’s Beirut Baptist School (BBS) continues to be a unique platform for Christian witness
with more than 92 percent of its students from a non-Christian background. The high level of
education remains an effective incentive for families to enroll their children at BBS despite its
Christian identity and ethos. Hence, the lives of BBS’ student body of around 1,300 (and through
them their families and a larger community) are touched by the weekly Chapel and Bible study
classes – more so since at BBS equal attention is given to both the academic and the spiritual
In response to identified needs, the LSESD has recently founded two new ministries:
community relief and development and the Baptist Children and Youth Ministry that focuses
on the empowerment of local children and youth ministries – holding camps for children in
partnership with western churches, and capacity building conferences for youth leaders.
We have learned to look at our challenges as opportunities! As such, though we – as Arab
Christians – and as Baptists – are a minority, our role is to be salt and light in Lebanon and
elsewhere in the Arab World, striving through our lives and through platforms for Christian
witness and ministry to reflect the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

For additional information, visit:
Arab Baptist Theological Seminary website:
Dar Manhal Al Hayat Publishing House website:
Beirut Baptist School website:
LSESD Baptist Children and Youth Ministry website:

Nabil K. Costa is the Executive Director of the Lebanese Society for Educational & Social
Development and the Middle East Representative for the European Baptist Federation.

Photos: A classroom of students at Beirut Baptist School;
Annual Middle East Conference sponsored by ABTS’ Institute of Middle East Studies;
Graduation at Beirut Baptist School;
Children at Beirut Baptist School. Ninety-two percent of the school’s 1,300 students come from a
non-Christian background.
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