This week, please intercede with us for Dr. Emad Botros in Lebanon. Originally from Egypt, Emad and his family moved to Lebanon in 2015 when Emad joined the faculty of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary.
Lebanon is home to nearly 7 million people, of whom 61% are Muslim, 34% Christian, and 5% Druze. In the Roman era, the region flourished as a Christian center where the Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic tradition, emerged. Ruled by the Ottoman Empire from the 16th to early 20th centuries, Lebanon later became a French state until 1943. Between 1975 and 1990, fifteen years of civil war rocked the country, which also endured concomitant military occupations by Syria (1976-2005) and Israel (1985-2000). Eventually, Lebanon emerged as a relatively stable and progressive republic in the Middle East. After years of poor governance, corruption, and debt, however, Lebanon has plunged into a humanitarian crisis caused by financial collapse. Hoarding and smuggling have exacerbated dire shortages. Political leaders are urging calm after recent sectarian violence amid tensions over an investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion. Thousands of Lebanese are leaving the country, with many more mourning the loss of a way of life. Please continue praying for peace, provision, and hope for Lebanon.
Emad is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (a client school of the Vital SustainAbility Initiative) in Beirut. He earned his PhD in Christian Theology (Old Testament) from McMaster University in Canada. Last June, Emad defended his dissertation, titled, “The Merciful and Gracious God: An Arab Biblical Theology of Jonah’s Narrative in Islamic Context.” He hopes to revive interest in the Old Testament among Christians, and especially Muslim-background believers, throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and to draw out Scripture’s rich resources for ministry in this region. Emad and his wife Almess, originally from Iraq, have two teenage sons, Timothy and Nathaniel.
Emad shares the following message:
I am originally from Egypt. I am married to my lovely Iraqi wife, Almess, and we have two boys, Timothy and Nathaniel. As a family, we have been living for the past six years in Lebanon, where I am serving as Assistant Professor of the Old Testament at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) in Beirut.
Pray for Lebanon
As you know, Lebanon has been struggling for the last two years at every level. The crisis comes with its own challenges and opportunities. The Lebanese people are struggling, confused, frustrated, and angry. The recent clash between different groups in the country resulted in seven deaths, with many more injured, leaving the people fearful as it revived memories from the 15 years of civil war.
Please pray for the situation to de-escalate. Pray for rest in the whole country, and for peace in the hearts and minds of every Lebanese family. Pray for this country to remain as a safe gateway to the whole region.
Pray for the Church
Though the country is struggling, the Church is pursuing its mission. Although the Church is facing the emigration of its members and leaders, and particularly its younger generation, the current crises have encouraged the Church to respond with love and compassion to the needs of its communities, to work more on developing new generations of leaders, and to focus more on the discipleship of new believers.
Please pray for church leaders not to lose hope, and for the body of Christ to be effective and fruitful amid these crises.
Pray for Our Family
Amid all that is happening in Lebanon, we as a family thank God for the opportunity that He has given us to live in this country for more than six years now. Though it has been challenging, we still experience God’s presence and goodness. Most importantly, we feel that we are growing as a family at every level.
So, we praise God for His goodness. Please continue to pray for rest, and for peace in our hearts and minds as a family. Pray for strength to continue our ministry, and for wisdom as we continue raising our two boys, Timothy and Nathaniel.
Pray for Teaching and Scholarship at ABTS
In terms of my teaching ministry, my major interests have been in the Old Testament, biblical theology, and Islam. My goal is to develop a biblical theology of the Old Testament for the context of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Above all, my research has focused on the intersection of the Biblical texts and the Qur’an, especially regarding God’s character. For my MA in Christian Studies (Old Testament) at McMaster Divinity College, my research focused on the intersection of the Book of Exodus and the Qur’an, especially regarding the Golden Calf narratives. My PhD in Christian Theology at McMaster focused on the intersection of the Minor Prophets Corpus and the Qur’an, and particularly the Book of Jonah for the MENA context.
As I continue teaching and developing resources for the MENA region, please pray for our students to continue growing in their understanding of God and His mission in their lives, the Church, and our region. Pray also for the ABTS family to have courage, strength, and hope as we pursue our vision and mission during this critical time. Finally, I personally need your prayers for God’s guidance, clear mind, inspiration as I continue developing written resources for the region over the next couple of months.